Ed. Note: Here's a report from a local bash at Democratic Party HQ in Burlington.
Last night around 10:15, Democratic Party Headquarters in downtown Burlington was rockin' with bottles of Magic Hat beer, balloons, Democratic Guv-hopeful Gaye Symington, large, neon posters reminding us of her candidacy, twentysomethings sprawled on the floor, camerafolk jamming the doorway. Outside, Ralph Nader supporters patrolled the sidewalks, and an activist handed out a flyer critical of Senator Barack Obama's war-related voting record.
For the next hour or so during Obama's landmark speech, the crowd upstairs clapped loudly for the following things, among others: Obama's odes to his notion of equal rights for same-sex couples, his humorous, and also his not-so-humorous, attacks on John McCain's record, his criticisms of status-quo-politics-as-usual, his assurance that he would indeed be a competent commander-in-chief if elected — and then some, thank you very much — as well as an image of a large, thin, blue sign on the floor of Denver Stadium that read, "VERMONT."
The response from the Burlington crowd was less warm for the following things, among others: Obama's support of nuclear power and "clean" coal, as well as his assurance that "we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights." The response to such statements, in fact, was less a rousing cheer than a polite golf clap.
After the event, the dissenters were no longer standing outside. Instead, Gaye Symington stood in the doorway of Dem party headquarters extolling the virtues of Obama's speech to a small group of supporters who were lingering nearby.