Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call: The Obama promise, stuck in line

Denver looks golden in most memories of last year's Democratic National Convention -- including Barack Obama's acceptance speech, which was delivered on August 28, 2008, exactly 45 years to the day of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

But then, there are the memories of trying to get into that speech, moved from the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field at Mile High at the behest of the Obama team, with that crew (and the feds) taking over arrangements from the city. Which meant that the city could do little other than deliver bottles of water and set up porta-potties (and take the heat) from the thousands of people lined up along Federal Boulevard, waiting for hours to pass through the serpentine, byzantine trail that would ultimately get them into Mile High.

In retrospect, that incredible clusterfuck was a harbinger of the going-nowhere-fast strategy that's now stalled the healthcare reform that was a big part of the Obama promise that filled the stadium -- once you finally got inside -- a year ago today.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun