Politics, Spectacle and History Under Open Sky

From The New York Times:

Barack Under clear skies after a humid day, the crowd of nearly 80,000 was a hodgepodge of suited Democratic donors, senators, delegates, party bigwigs, celebrities, political tourists, teenage volunteers and older voters — many of them African-American — bent on seeing a moment they had thought they would never witness. Some waited for five hours in baking heat in a line up to a mile long to come to the stadium. “I have no reason to be here other than to be a part of history,” said Janelle Murph, who had booked a last-minute flight from Baltimore to see the first African-American accept the nomination of a major party on the 45th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. “When I realized it was on that anniversary, it just felt like fate. I had to be there.”

As afternoon turned to evening, the mood evolved from giddy to serious to — by the time Mr. Obama was talking about Iraq — nearly silent. Mr. Obama’s face loomed on big video screens overhead while he spoke. About half of the crowd remained standing throughout, a group that included far more young people in the stands than delegates on the floor.

An elderly African-American man removed his oversize red, white and blue hat in deference as Mr. Obama spoke.

More here.