Convention surfer: Democratic National Convention Day 3

Chuck Todd cruches the numbers with Meredith Viera on the Today show. Would you want this man's face on your thong? Copyrighted photo by Virginia Sherwood | NBC. Below, you could rock this Chuck Todd trucker for $13.99.

It's the third day. The Cintons are still the spotlight act, though this is Obama's convention;  Democrats are cheering Pat Buchanan and Joe Scarborough is sure Hillary is really going to vote for McCain.

Let's get weird.

Probably the best thing I learned about watching Morning Joe Wednesday was Viva Chuck Todd. For folks who don't share my political TV addiction, Chucky T is NBC's political director, a man who can crunch poll numbers like a 3 year old crunches cereal.
At Viva, you can find things like an exhaustive chronicle of Chuck's Monday, a poll asking who's the best fourth wheel on Morning Joe (winner: Anyone who can tell host Joe Scarborough he's full of crap) and a chance to buy all manner of Chuck Todd merchandise, including T-shirts, thongs and a pet bowl — maybe you can make it a cereal bowl. Wondering if Chuck gets a cut? Proceeds actually go to charities late NBC newsman Tim Russert supported, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Catholic Charities USA.

BTW, how about Luke Russert as the youth correspondent?

Fox News's Shepherd Smith was invoking Mystery Science Theatre 3000 promoting his Strategy Room webcasts. Tuning in during Vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden's speech, it did have a bit of that air: Three shadowed heads  — 080827smith
Smith (right, Fox News photo), Fox News correspondent Bret Baier and (I believe) Politico's James Kotecki — watching the speech on a big screen and throwing in comments. It was a bit more typical banter than witty banter, Shep making observations such as, "Imagine watching your son up there," as Biden highlighted his 91-year-old mother in the audience and, "he's not playing an every guy, he is an every guy."

The funny moment was when Biden talked about getting knocked down and Shep started sing a little Chumbawumba: "I get knocked down, but I get up again."

Maybe the most interesting thing though was simply the chatter between speeches. Smith carried on a conversation with a wireless microphone in one hand and the fingers of his other hand on his laptop. Prior to Biden's speech, the king of the track pad started an interesting conversation about the impact Hurricane Gustav may have on next week's Republican convention, both with public officials and news organizations that are scrambling reporters to the Gulf Coast.

"You cannot juxtapose partying in St. Paul with death and destruction on the Gulf Coast," Smith said, thinking aloud about what a Monday landfall may bring.

No Boss?: Listening to The Rising play after Biden's speech made me hope that reports Bruce Springsteen will not be on stage at Mile High tomorrow night prove to be as true as Biden's claim, "I'm not the guy," last week. I know John Clay does too.

'Mac Daddy: With former President Bill Clinton taking the stage to Fleetwood Mac's Don't Stop it felt like 1992 all over again, which seemed to be the idea.

Breaking news: During the late afternoon roll call, MSNBC seemed to be most on top of what was happening, Keith Olbermann detailing how New Mexico would yield to Illinois which would yield to New York so Hillary Clinton could call for Barack Obama to be nominated by acclamation. Later in the night, they were on top of Obama speeding toward the arena to make an appearance after Biden's speech.

Kentucky did get its moment in the proceedings, Kentucky Democratic Party chair Jennifer Moore promising to try to turn the Bluegrass into a Blue State and Gov. Steve Beshear invoking the World Equestrian Games while announcing our votes.

Networks broadcast and cable were far from unified in their coverage of the roll call. MSNBC and CNN gave it uninterrupted coverage. Fox News let Brit Hume's show go on almost as normal and once 6:30 rolled around with the network newscasts, CBS and ABC were on it, while NBC barely got back from a Transitions Lenses commercial in time for Clinton's appearance.

Showtime: Next stop is Thursday night with the first major-party African-American presidential nominee, one of the most gifted public speakers of our time, giving his acceptance speech in a stadium on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's  I Have a Dream Speech. The expectations could not be higher.

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