Democratic National Convention in Denver: A look back 10 years later
Author: Mark Harden - August 23, 2018 - Updated: August 23, 2018
A decade ago, Denver stood in the national spotlight as never before. Tens of thousands of visitors and hordes of media representatives flooded the city as it hosted a four-day political extravaganza that helped propel a young Illinois senator to the White House.
The 2008 Democratic National Convention, Aug. 25-28, pushed Denver into the big leagues as a convention and tourist destination, and proved it belongs on the short list of major cities that know how to stage mega-events.
It also demonstrated that Denver’s government, political and business leaders — Democrats and Republicans — could come together to host a national party convention for the betterment of the city.
“I don’t know that we realized the magnitude of the task before us,” Steven Farber, founding partner of Denver law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and a leader of the city’s $61 million fundraising effort to host the DNC, told me a decade ago in an interview for the Denver Business Journal. “You have to face it to understand it. … (But) I always knew we would make it.”
There was no shortage of drama those four days. Sen. Ted Kennedy, who had undergone surgery for brain cancer two months earlier, was being treated for kidney stones but left his hospital bed at the last minute to deliver an opening-night speech to the convention. Candidate Hillary Clinton, who had battled Barack Obama fiercely through the spring, interrupted the roll call of states and called for her one-time opponent’s nomination by acclamation. And Obama accepted that nomination under the stars before a full house at the Denver Broncos’ stadium.
Here are photos from those late-summer days 10 years ago when, briefly, Denver was the political capital of the nation.
Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.