Beer and Loafing '08

By Gilbert Garcia

I'm heading out to Denver on Sunday afternoon for the Democratic National Convention, which should be a pretty exciting experience for reasons that have nothing to do with personal ideology and everything to do with the fact that this will be the first national-convention experience for this lifelong political junkie. (As a fourth-grader, I was teased by my friends because I could recite the names of every American president, in chronological and reverse-chronological order.)

I vividly recall George McGovern's 1972 graveyard-shift "Come Home America" speech, Jimmy Carter's then-astounding shout-out to Bob Dylan at the 1976 convention, the wild battle between Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford that same year, and Ted Kennedy's ice-cold rejection of Carter in 1980.

To gear up for Denver, I've revisited Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. It reminded me that beyond the gonzo rep, the occasional references to getting stoned in his hotel room, and a few crazed cheap shots at Hubert Humphrey and Ed Muskie, his reporting was remarkably solid and his political insights still look astute.

Much as I admire Thompson's convention coverage, I don't plan on doing any speedballs at Invesco Field. But I will be writing daily blogs from Denver, with a longer wrap-up to come the following week