While I'm here working on posts about tonight's speeches, I have CSPAN on still. The camera and audio are lazily panning the Fleet Center catching the exodus of delegates, the general meandering of stage crew, and the sounds of crowds surely deciding to which party they should funnel their energy.
It's a familiar sound, comforting. I'm not there, and I'd be lying if I said that didn't bug me - hourly. Since 1998, I've missed few party events - having caught every state party convention, many e-boards, the 2000 national convention, and even the New Hampshire primary this past January.
But at least I know what it feels like there, how to navigate the crowds, find the food, free drinks, collect the good signs, rare buttons, scavange for credentials, make friends, and network the hell out of each and every after-party. I know the smell of a climate controlled arena, the feel of confetti in my hair, the sound of amplified political rhetoric and wince-inducing feeling of thunderous applause.
It's a homelike to me as the smell and feel of government buildings and campaign headquarters (I grew up crawling around LA city hall and later poured juice at candidate pancake breakfasts). I can't help it. I am that nerd. Thanks Dad. Thanks Mom.