Democrats ready to begin convention

August 24, 2008 9:15:09 PM PDT
Democratic National Convention delegates begin the four-day process Monday of nominating Illinois Sen. Barack Obama as their candidate for president.All day Sunday, those delegates were arriving in Denver for a meeting that will make history. Well known delegates from Chicago and the rest of the state were among those descending on Denver.

Obama, however, was back in Chicago Sunday night putting the finishing touches on his democratic nomination acceptance speech.

Over the next four days, the Pepsi Center in Denver will be the venue for Barack Obama to tell his story and sell his candidacy to America.

The stage of center was ready Sunday, with its giant video wall and seats for the delegates marked by their states.

Just four years ago, an up-and-coming senator-to-be named Barack Obama was the keynote speaker for the Democrats, but by the end of the coming week, he will be their nominee for President.

However, Obama has a challenge right within the arena: to unite all Democrats - including Hillary Clinton supporters - and get them behind him.

Denver has waited for the convention for a long time. The last Democratic convention in Denver was held in 1908.

While this year's convention hadn't even started, protests had already begun Sunday. About 200 people held an anti-war protest at Colorado's state capitol building, including activist Cindy Sheehan. There were some arrests.

The protest was organized by a group called Recreate '68, and Sunday's was just the first of five demonstrations the group has planned for the coming week.

There are rings of security around the Pepsi Center. With 15,000 members of the media pressing in, Denver itself has a police force of only 1,500 officers. So, that city has turned to surrounding police departments for help, in addition to the Secret Service. In fact, ABC7 found a Chicago police officer working a 5-9 patrol inside Denver's airport.

The convention is set to kick off with Chicagoans taking the lead. Michelle Obama is scheduled for a keynote address.


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