Sleep-Walking Into Charlotte

I was scanning a throwaway column from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Jamie Dupree about how exhausted he was as he packed his bags in Tampa and headed to Charlotte when I suddenly realized: he’s got a point. Back-to-back conventions are a pretty heavy lift, even if most of the exhaustion comes from going through vast bureaucratic and security hassles to interview some hardware store owner from East Calcium Deposit wearing a stupid hat about exactly how cool it was to get a picture taken with Newt and Callista.

i’m pretty tired just from watching–very selectively–and writing about the hijinks from Tampa. But it’s nothing remotely like the deadening bone-weariness that comes from actually attending one of these shindigs, at least if you have to work (some people just go to the free-food-and-hootch parties, which is an excellent survival strategy). The usual drill is this: the first day after the convention you can’t talk. The next day you can’t walk. By then you should have indulged yourself in a twelve-hour nap, nestled between as much mindless entertainment as possible. Then you recover.

So I do wonder if the “working reporters” who are covering both conventions are going to go into some sort of shock by about Wednesday. And I wonder if the Powers That Be in Charlotte have plans for dealing with it, whether it’s free massage chairs, mid-day breaks, or a message delivery system involving hand puppets.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.