Dem Con 3 pm: Obama


By Tim Redmond

During the Hillary Clinton press conferece this morning, one of the reporters asked Clinton to respond to the perception that she's the old guard of the party and Barack Obama is the upstart. She sidestepped politely, but here on the convention floor, there's some evidence that the reporter was right. There were a lot more Hillary signs and a more organized contingent this morning, but Obama's people are distinctly younger.

Like Clinton, Obama has staged a surprise entrance -- not even the rank and file of his supporters know exactly what door he will enter. I look for the custer of security folks, and get to a back entrance just as the candidate bursts through the door.

From a few feet away (as close as I can get) he looks even younger than he does on TV. He jogs forward toward the stage, then is mobbed by supporters. When he finally emerges on the podium, he's joined by San Francisco DA Kamala Harris, an early supporter.

What we get is mostly a stump speech, revolving around his theme that "we must find a way to come together." But he's an inspiring speaker, and he does promise universal health care "before the end of my first term" and directly says the he will "stop the drug companies from price gouging."

"The insurance and drug companies will have a seat at the table," he says, "but they don't get to buy every seat at the table." That's more direct than Clinton.

He's also more direct -- way more direct -- on the war. "I'm proud to say I stood up in 2002, when it wasn't popular to stand up, and say [the war] was a bad idea." That gets a long ovation.

When he wraps up, it's clear who thbe majority in this particular crowd favors right now -- and it's not Hillary Clinton.

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