The crowd enveloping Barack Obama when he accepts the Democratic nomination for president at Invesco Field at Mile High will be asked to get to work for the privilege of witnessing the historic event live.I am a level of seriousness! I am going to ride a unicycle from Maine! I am going to push a peanut with my nose from Florida! I am really serious!
In a half-hour interview Wednesday with The Denver Post, Obama's deputy campaign manager, Steve Hildebrand, said he wants to use the ticketing process as a massive recruitment tool meant to bring in supporters from all 50 states and energize them to carry the campaign into the final 60 days of the general election.
"We're going to ask those 80,000 people in that stadium [I'm so immature] to march out of there and go with very specific instructions and goals to register millions of new voters," Hildebrand said. . . .
Hildebrand said that to ensure that the campaign fills the stadium, the application process becomes in and of itself a recruiting tool.
"Every single person is going to be a level of seriousness," Hildebrand said. "You know, 'Tell us how you're going to get there from Maine. Tell us how you're going to get there from Florida. Give us a sense of whether or not you're really serious about this. If you're not, we're going to provide someone else with this.'"
Those who want a seat will begin the process at their local Democratic Party office. While demonstrating their ability to attend, they also will be encouraged to sign on to the campaign as volunteers.The story, by the way, is accompanied by yet another photo in the ever-growing "Obamessiah" genre:
"They fill out a form; there's a conversation," Hildebrand said. "We ask them and encourage them to register voters and to get out the vote and those activities that are important to us. It's not a requirement, but it's going to be an encouragement."
Another use of the Aug. 28 speech meant to leverage public support is to use a technique popular with the campaign to hand out names and phone numbers during its events and ask participants to use their cellphones to make get-out-the-vote calls.
Though it is often said that the U.S. Secret Service jams calls during nominee speeches, Hildebrand said he didn't expect any problems, as the agency hasn't prevented the use of the mass-phone-bank approach in prior settings.
Can you hear the angelic (all-Colorado) choir?
Update: Now, don't trample each other, but the News is running live updates of DNC chair Howard Y. Dean's tour of the Pepsi Center! (No updates yet, but just you wait!)