Democratic convention notes: Day 2

Snapshots from the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver:

Though the Democrats made every effort to offer healthy food for conventioneers, delegates and others are being forced to go fruit-free. Security is extremely tight, and checkpoints to enter the convention resemble security measures to enter an airport — and then some.

The rules are that security personnel must confiscate even small items that could be used as the most primitive weapon known to mankind: a thrown object. The ban includes fruits and bottled beverages.

No word if Barack Obama’s favorite salad green arugula gets a pass.

–Isaac Wolf, Scripps Howard News Service


Even if you know he’s a fake, it’s a little shocking to see Gerardo Puisseaux close-up.

The Cuban immigrant to Miami is a dead ringer for Barack Obama, from the broad smile to the close-cropped hair.

He was a construction worker in Miami until about six weeks ago, when he hooked up with online Spanish-language news channel America TeVe ( Since then, he’s been going where Obama goes and causing a stir in each location.

"We make something like a reality show," he said, his thick accent proving he’s not a soundalike. "We walk in the street with the people."

He draws attention everywhere he goes.

"Sometimes I get tired because everybody stopping me, a lot of questions, sometimes political questions," he says. "I am not Obama."

About a year ago, Puisseaux realized the resemblance. And while Cuban-Americans aren’t the biggest faction of the Democratic Party, Puisseaux responds, "A fan? Obama? I love him."

— Lisa Bornstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News.


Wishful thinking or mix-up? Either way, no Boss for the convention.

According to his people, Bruce Springsteen won’t be at Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday in any capacity.

Although highly placed city and DNC-linked sources had told the Rocky that the appearance was set, in-the-know sources high in the Springsteen camp said unequivocally that the singer is not scheduled to perform or attend the acceptance speech.

According to organizers Springsteen, along with many other artists, was approached for a possible role at the DNC, but nothing ever came of it.

An acoustic Bon Jovi set prior to the Obama speech is still in the works. Dream Girl’s Jennifer Hudson will sing the National Anthem. Other celebs spotted in the city: Angela Bassett, Ellen Burstyn, Eva Longoria, and Dana Delaney.

— Mark Brown, Denver Rocky Mountain News.


On Monday afternoon, a group in pink pig suits carried signs reading,"Stop Global Warming: Tax Meat." Nearby vendors were selling all manner of Obama T shirts, including one with a useful double meaning: "Vote For A Change."

The ubiquitous militant Christian presence in the streets warned Democrats variously that they were doomed to hell and that they should follow the dictates of the Bible. Among their banners: "Homo-Sex — A Threat to National Security."

Aurora, Colo., Policeman Todd Renner, 38, holding a wicked-looking pepperball gun shaped like a machine gun, said the protests have been unexpectedly tame. Admitting that his gun "looks meaner than it is," and that it was very heavy, he said he’d never had occasion to fire it except in practice. His chief concern was the bright sunshine and 80-some degree heat as stood lock-kneed in layers of protective black gear.

"We try to stand in as much shade as we can," he said.

— Bartholomew Sullivan, Scripps Howard News Service


On Monday, state party leaders asked Florida’s delegates to wear tropical clothing and loud sunglasses to the convention. Most complied with the attire, but fewer saw fit to wear the shades.

On Wednesday, the delegates are being asked to wear red, white and blue and don flashing red, white and blue necklaces compliments of the Walt Disney Co. The necklace request brought groans from the group.

Former Florida Democratic Party Chairman Terri Brady reminded the delegates that outlandishness gets attention.

"If you thought they (the sunglasses) were stupid, you got on T.V. because of those glasses," she said.

— Brent Batten, Naples Daily News in Florida