Don’t get me wrong, Denver was a nice place. But to have a convention in the Pepsi Center, there just wasn’t the type of work space that was really needed by the media. So when we arrived at our spot in Minnesota early on Saturday morning, I was all smiles.
No temporary tent. No porta johns. No plywood floors. No giant improvised air conditioning system.
This is my view out the window from our workspace here in St. Paul. You can’t see the river, but it’s better than looking at the rod and curtains in my other setup.
My spot is the furthest away from the camera on the right. We’ll get a photo of that posted later in the week.
As for food here, there is no Corn Dog cart unfortunately, but there are three or four places right here on our floor to something to eat and drink! What a concept!
Why the Democratic National Committee couldn’t think of that, I have no idea.
There always does seem to be one constant about these events, and that is the Republicans do organize their event more efficiently most of the time, whereas the Democrats always seem to be have something that isn’t working right.
At least we don’t have to suffer through another week of using portajohns that are baking in the sun outside.
Here in St. Paul, we have returned to civilization with a bathroom just across the hall from our workspace.
Look at all those urinals!! No waiting outside in the rain for the portajohn to become available, eh?
The one thing that never changes is that the phone company can’t get my ISDN broadcast line to work correctly at first, just like the haggling we went through in Denver, just like in Boston and New York in 2004, just like Philadelphia and Los Angeles in 2000 and Chicago in 1996.
Thankfully, I have my Cox Newspapers IT guru, Steve Duff, with us again here at the GOP convention. He has left no stone unturned the last two sets of conventions in helping me get on the air, and for that he gets a big round of Cox Radio applause.
Poor Steve is across the workspace right now, going through the same battles we had last week with Qwest and AT&T about why my line isn’t working properly.
“YES!” he just said firmly to the robot on the phone with him.
As I think back about my ISDN broadcast technology, the only time where my ISDN line worked immediately was in San Diego in 1996, at the Republican Convention, one out of the last eight conventions.
That day I arrived at the airport to find out that Sen. Bob Dole was going to announce his running mate choice any minute.
We grabbed our bags, jumped in the rental car and blew down the road to the beautiful San Diego Marriot and Convention Center.
I ran in with less than 10 minutes until the 5pm EDT newscast, and with the help of a couple of cameramen from our Cox TV group, we had my ISDN box and all the mic cables, etc. put together in a few minutes.
The line came on with about 30 seconds until air as the anchor in Atlanta was hooking me up on the phone just in case. The top of the hour arrived, I did my live report about Jack Kemp just being named and no listener knew that we were having a wild past few minutes.