Convention speaker highlights
    Democrats, Pepsi Center and INVESCO Field
  • Monday: Michelle Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama's sister Maya Soetero-Ng and Michelle Obama's brother Craig Robinson, former President Jimmy Carter
  • Tuesday: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the anniversary of the women's suffrage movement in America, Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, and California State Controller John Chiang
  • Wednesday: Former President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama's vice presidential running mate are on the schedule.
  • Thursday: Barack Obama accepts nomination at INVESCO field in Mile High Stadium.

    Republicans, Xcel Energy Center
  • Sept. 1: President George W. Bush, first lady Laura Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut.
  • Sept. 2: Former New York mayor and presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee
  • Sept. 3: McCain's vice presidential running mate, Cindy McCain, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, former Hewlett-Package CEO Carly Fiorina and former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
  • Sept. 4: John McCain accepts nomination.

Convention: Fast Facts
    Democrats
  • Aug. 25-28, Denver, Colo.
  • 4,235 delegates, 503 from California
  • 50,000 attendees, including 15,000 journalists
  • Want more? Visit www.demconvention.com
    Republicans
  • Sept. 1-4, St. Paul, Minn.
  • 45,000 attendees, including 15,000 journalists
  • 2,380 delegates, 343 from California
  • Want more? Visit www.gopconvention.com

DENVER — Hundreds of people from the Bay Area are invading Denver this week for the Democratic National Convention.

Of course, there's the official duty of nominating Barack Obama as the party's presidential candidate. But there's also a lot of unofficial business going on.

From bloggers to beer, meditation to massages, the Bay Area's imprint is everywhere.

Here's a lighthearted look at Bay Area "icons," loosely defined, trying to get attention in Denver:

Hip hops

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is moving into Coors country, serving up specially brewed election-year suds called Obama Ale. But even beer can't avoid politics.

There's a McCain ale, too, and a Clinton version, ordered just in case, is on ice.

The brewery is selling both beers online. After the election, it will announce which label sells more. Both Obama and McCain brands, in fact, are the same Pilsener-style ale.

A political statement?

No, said the brewery's marketing man, who, for the record, is a registered independent.

Circus city

In a clever hijacking of the GOP's claim to the title the "Big Tent" Party, Mountain View-based Google and Berkeley's Daily Kos have set up the real thing: a two-story, 9,000-square-foot tent outside the convention for 500 bloggers from across the country.


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Official convention organizers awarded press credentials to just 120 bloggers, a fraction of the demand. Hey, the party argues it's more than the 30 they credentialed in 2004.

But even the Big Tent needs at least a fourth ring. Bloggers are begging passholders to sell them their coveted access.

Maybe this is why: Google is offering special treats, free massages, smoothies and a nightly cocktail party.

And if that's not enough, the Big Tent has its own blog about bloggers blogging called the Tent Flap, www.bigtentdenver.org.

Green party

In a game of green one-upmanship, everyone wants to be the environment's closest friend.

That brings San Carlos-based Tesla Motors to Denver to show off its all-electric roadster to Democratic delegates and VIPs.

Tesla already has an order from GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So far, Democratic delegates from Indiana and Oklahoma are impressed, although not by the $100,000 price tag. No word on what ethanol-loving Iowans say about the Tesla.

Got Pink?

Bay Area anti-war icon and CodePink founder Medea Benjamin and her pink-clad colleagues hope to color Denver like summer flowers this week.

Some CodePinksters are delegates and others rode the "Peace Train" into town for anti-war protests. They're gathering inside and outside dozens of convention-related events all week.

The delegates can't miss San Francisco's Benjamin.

On Sunday, she cycled through town on a green-and-pink bicycle.

And she's on assignment, she says, for the Christian Broadcasting System. Benjamin, who is Jewish, said this of her reports: "First they go to God, then to CBS."

Channeling Berkeley

Stressed-out Bay Area delegates can stretch for Obama at the Yoga Health Festival at the city's flower garden park.

The sponsor is Dialog:City, an "arts and cultural event that catalyzes civic discourse by inviting internationally renowned artists and designers to create participatory, interactive, and dialogical site-specific works." (Is "dialogical" a real word? Just barely.)

Other offerings include political karaoke, digital projections of veteran stories from a Humvee and a technology hip-hop opera on the climate impact on Antarctica.

Obviously, the Bay Area is already in Denver.

Reach Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773, lvorderbrueggen@bayareanewsgroup.com or www.ibabuzz.com/insidepolitics.