Day 4: A night at InvescoPosted: Updated:
Wow -- what a night last night.
All week long we'd been reporting live from the Pepsi Center, which is about two miles from Invesco Field. Moving those two miles in the midst of crushing crowds, not to mention the tightest security perhaps I have ever seen. Well it was a bit of a pain.
They put all the media on buses; ours was kind of like a tour bus, which we rode to the exterior check point. Swat teams and secret service waited with bomb sniffing dogs to search us. Next we moved to the interior security check point where we went through metal detectors.
Inside Invesco, we were stationed right on the field. Everywhere we looked there was a famous face from the world of politics, entertainment and media.
The Reverend Al Sharpton was there, so was Fergie, Hadyn Panetttiere, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, the list goes on and on. The family of Dr. Martin Luther King was there, too.
There was a very touching tribute to Dr. King, fitting because yesterday marked the 45th anniversary of his famous Dream speech.
I can't imagine what must have been going through Barack Obama's mind before stepping out on the stage; was he thinking about Dr. King. Was he nervous? There was so much riding on his every word.
Before Obama, Al Gore spoke to the crowd. Gore is a great speaker, very witty. One line that drew a lot of applause was when the former Vice President said, with regard to John McCain, "We don't need more of the same policies. I mean, I believe in recycling but this is ridiculous." The crowd loved it.
One of my favorite moments was when Michael McDonald took the stage, sat down at the piano and performed an amazing rendition of "America". To see 80,000 + people in an open air stadium waving flags -- incredible. It reminded me of the 2001 World Series, right after 9/11 at Bank One Ballpark (now Chase Field). The DBacks took on the Yankees (and pulled off a surprise victory). Before the game, Ray Charles sat at his piano and played "America", it was beyond amazing.
What struck me last night was all these people showed up. Whether you like Barack Obama or not, whether you agree with him or not, it is cool to see so many people engaged. To me it says people are energized, they really want to have a say in what happens in our country. And this is a crucial time, to be sure.
By all accounts, Obama's speech was a hit. At least the people who were at Invesco seemed to love it. At one point, right before Obama was about to leave the stage, the fireworks were going off, the crowd was going crazy, the American flags were waiving -- he looked very emotional. Again, I wondered was he thinking about Dr. King. After all, had it not been for the efforts and heart of the Civil Rights Leader, Obama might not have had the opportunity to stand on that stage.