Welcome to the Mile High City. You're primed to enjoy all of the festivities associated with the Democratic National Convention, but a word to the wise: Be careful how much you drink. That is, unless you really do like swinging from the chandelier naked singing Barry Manilow songs and being reminded of your singular talents the next morning by your boss.
The problem is altitude. Above 5,000 feet, the body metabolizes alcohol much more slowly because there is less oxygen in the air. So a couple of beers deliver the impact of four or five, and a night of sea-level-style partying can easily lead to a multiday, Rocky Mountain-sized hangover.
Englewood, Colo.-based DUI lawyer Jim Forslund is well acquainted with the trouble that out-of-town revelers can get into in Denver. "Don't drink at all," he advises. "Just say no." --Randy Barrett
Four years ago in Boston, Meet the Press host Tim Russert reminded Barack Obama that in 1996 when the Democratic convention was held in Chicago, Obama told a newspaper that "the convention's for sale.... You've got these $10,000-a-plate dinners.... When the average voter looks at that, they rightly feel they've been locked out of the process." When Russert asked if he still felt that way, Obama demurred. However, in his book The Audacity of Hope, Obama admitted: "Privately, I thought my original 1996 quote was better." Although conventions had once captured the "urgency and drama" of politics, they had since become "a weeklong infomercial" and a means of rewarding "the party faithful and major contributors," Obama wrote. --Brian Friel
Psst! Cue the beautiful people. Hollywood A-listers will be flooding the Democratic National Convention this week. Keep your eyes peeled for Anne Hathaway, Annette Bening, Warren Beatty, Ellen Burstyn, Susan Sarandon, Quentin Tarantino, Mischa Barton, and Spike Lee ... We're hearing that numerous top-drawer musical acts were eager to entertain at the Dem convocation this week but weren't thrilled at the prospect of playing for the Republicans in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Not to worry--the GOP faithful will not go tuneless: LeAnn Rimes, Daughtry, and the Charlie Daniels Band are booked as well as Sammy Hagar, the Beach Boys, and the Bellamy Brothers... Democrats have at least one less thing to worry about these days: Swift Vets and POWs for Truth is no more. With little fanfare, the controversial "527" outfit, which spent $22.7 million assailing the military record of 2004 nominee John Kerry and his fitness to lead, shut down this summer. Among its last checks was one for $415,000 to the IRS, which fined it for disclosure violations. That's on top of the $300,000 in fines levied by the Federal Election Commission in 2006 for campaign finance law violations ...
328: Number of events scheduled during the 2008 Democratic National Convention- -Quinn Gillespie & Associates
$100 million: Total amount of federal aid given to cities of Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul for convention-related security --National Journal
This article appears in the Aug. 23, 2008, edition of National Journal.