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  • PIN THE TAIL/Daniel Rubin

    Observations from the 2004 Democratic National Convention

    Monday, July 26, 2004

    When dinosaurs breakdance 

    It wasn't exactly "The Anarchists' Convention," that old John Sayles short story that reminded me of my family dinners - 14 seats and 20 arguments. But the Blogger's Breakfast did gather a world of lone voices in one room where they clinked china, greeted the rising stars among them and got to hear praise from Howard Dean and advice from Walter Mears.

    Dean got a standing ovation, which is unusual from a crowd of scribes, and he thanked them for their help changing the dynamics of the primary season. "What we've created here is a real community," he said.

    Mears both gave and solicited advice. After 46 years pounding them out for the Associated Press, Mears is now a veteran of one day of blogging. His grandson, 12, had to tell him what one was. But he's finding his voice, and no doubt still typing as fast as Clark Kent, and he warned the crowd that they were going too be hard-pressed to find real news. What they should do, he said, is work the state caucuses, hanging out in hotel rooms, and taking the temperature of swing states.

    Blogger Tom Burka was wondering how long it would take for big media to co-opt the bloggers. The Villanova-reared attorney and political satirist had read NBC reporter Andrea Mitchells' blog and wondered why she was writing about shoes. Navals must be next.

    The dinosaur is trying to breakdance, I told him, as I lumbered around hesitantly, wondering what that speeding asteroid was all about.

    Daniel Rubin

    Daniel Rubin is a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He can be reached at


       •  July 2004

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