2008 Democratic National Convention
Denver, CO  August 25-28, 2008 

2008 Democratic National Convention Committee
Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee
City and County of Denver  |  2008 Convention Page
Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau
Pepsi Center
INVESCO Field at Mile High

Rocky Mountain News
2008 Democratic Convention Watch

Delegates, +
The Big Tent
, +

Host Committee

Interest Groups
Media (Both Conventions)
Front Page Coverage

The Denver Group

August 23  |  August 24 >
 August 25
 August 26
 August 27
 August 28
"One Nation"

Mayor John Hickenlooper
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

Sen. Claire McCaskill
Sen. Edward Kennedy
Craig Robinson

Michelle Obama
"Renewing America’s Promise"

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius
Gov. Janet Napolitano
Gov. Ted Strickland
Gov. Ed Rendell
Sen. Bob Casey
Gov. Deval Patrick
Gov. Brian Schweitzer
Keynote: former Gov. Mark Warner
Sen. Hillary Clinton

"Securing America’s Future"

Former President Bill Clinton
Gov. Bill Richardson
Sen. Evan Bayh
Sen. Joe Biden
Sen. Jay Rockefeller
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Senator Ken Salazar
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn
Rep. Patrick Murphy
Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth

Sen. Biden acceptance speech
"Change You Can Believe In"

Gov. Bill Ritter
Sen. Obama accepts nomination at INVESCO Field

August 29 >

Overview: The Democratic National Committee announced the selection of Denver as the site of its 2008 national convention on Jan. 11, 2007.  In a statement, DNC chairman Howard Dean noted that, "The recent Democratic gains in the West exemplify the principle that when we show up and ask for people's votes and talk about what we stand for, we can win in any part of the country.  Additionally, we have a number of strong Democratic leaders in the West who will be a part of showcasing the vision of Democratic leadership for America as we introduce the next Democratic President in the Rocky Mountains." >  Organized labor had some early concerns about the selection, particularly following Gov. Bill Ritter's veto of the Colorado Labor Peace Act. >  In April 2007 the DNC announced Leah Daughtry, its chief of staff, as CEO of the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee.  CEO of the host committee, charged with raising $40.6 million by July 1, 2008, is Mike Dino, a senior policy advisor at Patton Boggs LLP in Denver.  The DNCC discounted media reports of financial difficulties. 1, 2

Matt Nugen, formerly political director for the Obama campaign, has been coordinating convention operations for the presumptive nominee since June 9.  The DNCC took control of Pepsi Center on at 8 a.m. on July 7.  Also on July 7 the DNCC announced that on the final day of the convention Sen. Obama will accept the nomination at INVESCO Field, which accommodate more than 75,000 people. >  The platform, "Renewing America's Promise," is ready after the Platform Drafting Committee met August 1-3 in Cleveland, OH, and the Platform Committee met in Pittsburgh, PA on August 9. 1, 2  One of the back stories in the lead-up to the convention was what role Sen. Clinton would play and whether her name would be placed in nomination.  An independent effort called The Denver Group > formed to ensure there would be a roll call vote, and on August 14 the two campaigns issued a joint statement that "both Senator Obama's and Senator Clinton's names will be placed in nomination." >

Interesting Fact Sheets from the DNCC: Firsts  |  Technology  |  Engaging the Community

Denver sits in the heart of the Rocky Mountain West, an area of great opportunity for the Democratic Party in 2008.  The West is a region where the Democrats must have a strong showing to carry the 2008 election, and high visibility in Denver can help achieve that goal.

Not since 1908, has Denver hosted a national convention.  As history has shown, the 1908 convention highlighted Denver as a major U.S. city. The exposure generated in 2008, exactly 100 years after hosting the first convention will once again showcase Denver as a major political force.

Convention Facilities:
Pepsi Center:
Situated at the edge of downtown Denver, the Pepsi Center anchors the thriving LoDo entertainment district and is the region’s newest sports and entertainment venue.  The Pepsi Center comfortably holds over 20,000 people, and the state-of-the art facility offers wireless technology, on-site restaurants and private meeting rooms.

The Pepsi Center is wired with all of the technology necessary to broadcast national events via radio, cable and television.

Between 2006 and 2008, three new hotel projects will be completed, adding 1,400 rooms to the current 38,000 room capacity.  In late 2005 a beautiful new convention headquarters hotel was built in downtown Denver, adding 1,100 rooms and suites.  The hotel is directly across the street from the Colorado Convention Center and is close proximity to many of Denver’s major shopping and cultural attractions.

Aviation history was made when the $4.3 billion Denver International Airport opened on February 28, 1995.  Covering 53 square miles (137 square kilometers, twice the size of Manhattan), Denver International Airport has five full-service runways and has established a landing rate of 120 planes an hour in good weather.

Currently DIA is the fifth-busiest airport in the United States and the 10th-busiest in the world.  Twenty-two airlines offer 1200 flights including non-stops to 120 American cities and according to the Federal Aviation Administration, for the past three years, DIA had the fewest delays of any of the nation's 15 busiest airports.

Denver is also a major hub for inter-city buses with over 60 daily arrivals and departures and is on the main east-west route for AMTRAK with three arrivals a day.  Denver’s Denver’s downtown transit system allows easy access between the Pepsi Center and almost every downtown location.  The light rail system connects the Pepsi Center to the 16th Street Mall, which serves as a convenient transportation spoke through downtown.

Other Benefits:
Nothing about Denver is more misunderstood than the city's climate.  Located just east of a high mountain barrier and a long distance from any moisture source, Denver has a mild, dry and arid climate.  The city receives only 8-15 inches (20.3 - 38 cm) of precipitation a year (about the same as Los Angeles), and records 300 days of sunshine a year -- more annual hours of sun than San Diego or Miami Beach.

In summer, dry relative humidity makes Denver feel cool and comfortable, offering natural air conditioning.  Fall is a particularly delightful time to visit the city and make day excursions to the mountains to view the colorful changing of the aspen, an event that takes place from mid-September until mid-October.

Denver has over 2,000 restaurants serving all varieties of cuisine.  Area specialties include Rocky Mountain Trout, fresh Colorado beef, and lamb (Colorado is the fourth largest producer of lamb in the U.S.).  Another popular local dish is buffalo. High in protein, lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than chicken, buffalo is gaining popularity among health conscious diners and is offered at numerous restaurants in Denver.  Local residents also enjoy Mexican and Southwestern dishes, served at dozens of local neighborhood pubs and taverns.

Media and Technology:
Denver has branch offices of the Associated Press, in addition to large affiliates of all the major news networks.  It is also a mecca for high tech companies and rivals the Bay Area for communications and technology.

*     *     *

DNC announces selection of Denver to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention [January 11, 2007 press release]

DNC Summer Meeting - Chicago, IL - August 17-19, 2006

Denver submits proposal [May 18, 2006 press release]

DNC Spring Meeting - New Orleans, LA - April 21-22, 2006

Host Committee Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center - February 21, 2006

Denver Prepares for Potential Democratic National Convention Bid [February 16, 2006 press release]

Note: Labor issues were a concern

  • Change to Win Jan. 11, 2007 press release on the DNC's selection of Denver to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
  • Text of Gov. Bill Ritter's HB1072 veto message, Feb. 9, 2007.
  • AFL-CIO Executive Council March 8, 2007 statement on Colorado's Working Families.

  • Democrats last met in Denver 
    in 1908.
    They nominated 
    William Jennings Bryan and John W. Kern.

    • In 1935, Louis Ballast melted a slice of cheese on a hamburger at his Denver Humpty Dumpty drive-in restaurant, and patented the invention as the world's first "cheeseburger." The restaurant is gone today, but there is a small memorial to this historic dining event at 2776 North Speer Blvd.(in the parking lot for Key Bank).

    • Denver truly is one mile high. The 15th step on the west side of the State Capitol Building is 5,280 feet (1,609 m) above sea level.

    • It was on top of nearby Pikes Peak in 1893 that Katherine Lee Bates was inspired to write the words to "America the Beautiful."

    • The mountainous area of Colorado is six times the size of Switzerland and contains 9,600 miles (15,449 km) of fishing streams, 2,850 lakes and over 1,000 peaks two miles (3,218 km) high.

    • The road up 14,260 foot (4,346 m) high Mount Evans is the highest paved road in North America -- and it is maintained and operated by Denver City Parks Department. Denver's Mountain Parks Department maintains 20,000 acres of park lands including its own private buffalo herd and Red Rocks Amphitheatre -- all part of the largest city park system in the nation.

    • In hopes of gaining political favors, local boosters named the frontier mining camp on the South Platte River "Denver" after Kansas Territorial Governor James Denver. They never received any favors -- by the time they named the town, Denver had already resigned.

    • There were originally three separate towns on the current site of Denver, with three different names. In 1859, in return for a barrel of whiskey to be shared by all, the other names were dropped and the tent and log cabin city officially became "Denver."

    • Denver is one of the few cities in history that was not on a road, railroad, lake, navigable river or body of water when it was founded. Denver just happened to be where the first few flakes of gold were found in 1858 and it was here that the first camp was made. The first permanent structure was a saloon.

    • The Indians warned early settlers not to build there, but no one listened. In its first few years, Denver was destroyed twice, by fire and flood.

    • The dome of the State Capitol in Denver is covered with 200 ounces of 24K gold, but the really priceless building material was used inside as wainscoting. It is Colorado onyx, a rare stone found near Beulah, Colorado. The entire world's supply was used in this building and no more of it has ever been found.

    • The Denver Zoo is the fourth most popular zoo in America (based on those with paid admission fees) and has the 7th most diverse animal collection. The zoo has 3,500 animals representing over 685 species of which 157 are classified as threatened or endangered. It costs $38,000 a day to care for the animals and operate the zoo.

    • Denver Parks Dept. grows 240,000 flowers a year in their own greenhouse, planting them in 506 flower beds throughout the city. If laid end to end, these plants would stretch for 56 miles (90 km). If placed together, the city's flower beds would cover every foot of the of Colorado Convention Center -- about seven acres of flowers.

    • Some of Denver's famous high school alumni include Golda Meir, a future Israeli prime minister who attended North High School, and Douglas Fairbanks, who was expelled from East High before becoming one of the most famous silent movie stars of all time. Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Academy Award for her performance in Gone With The Wind, also attended East High.

    • Central City (located 34 miles (55 km) west of Denver) is known as the "Richest Square Mile on Earth" because of the half billion dollars of gold mined there. A new "gold rush" was launched in Central City in October 1991 when limited stakes casino gambling was legalized for Central City and neighboring Black Hawk. Original projections thought that only a few casinos would open in the first few years; within one year of legalization, there were 41 casinos in the two towns offering over 7,000 slot machines, poker tables and blackjack games.

    • The Colorado Rockies opened on April 9, 1993 before 80,277 fans, the most to ever witness an opening game in baseball history. The team went on to break 11 Major League Baseball records including most single season fans -- 4,483,350 -- the most to ever attend any American sports team in a single season.

    • An 1872 Colorado newspaper describing a new hotel -- the first in the city to feature locks on the doors -- reported: "Guests may lie down to peaceful slumbers, undisturbed by the apprehensions of getting their heads blown off." In Denver's wild days, famous gunfighter Bat Masterson was employed as a guard at several of the city's saloons, but today, downtown Denver is one of the safest cities in America. There are 5,200 first class hotel rooms in downtown Denver and 24,000 beautiful rooms throughout the city.

    • Denver is a popular setting for many authors. There are at least 25 novels where the action takes place in the Mile High City, including Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan, which became a critically acclaimed movie and Jack Kerouac's classic, On the Road.

    • The Pikes Peak Railway is the highest cog railway in the world traveling 8.9 miles from 6,571 feet to the summit at 14,110 feet.

    • The Colorado Trail is a 500-mile long hiking trail from Durango to Denver, crossing eight mountain ranges, seven national forests, six wilderness areas and five river systems.

    • Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous street in the United States.

    • At 11,112 feet above sea level, the Eisenhower Tunnel is the highest in the world.

    • The highest suspension bridge in the world is the Royal Gorge Bridge near Canon City, which is 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River.

    • The Mount Massive Golf Course near Leadville is the highest in North America and Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the U.S. at 10,430 feet.

    • The 700-foot high Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa are the highest dunes in the U.S.
    Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action