Well, I've checked into the Grand Hyatt hotel where the Colorado delegation is staying and everyone is sufficiently busy, that is, I don't see anyone just standing around looking for something to do! The staff is alert and friendly. There are people with walkie-talkies and credentials around their necks at every doorway, hallway, and exit to the hotel. This morning, as I checked into the hotel, there were numerous "agents" in and around the building as well. I call them "agents" because they are all wearing dark suits, sunglasses, ear pieces and they seem to be talking to their handcuffs or wrists -- I'm assuming they have communication devices hidden in their sleeves. I cannot tell which agency they work for or whether they are private security personnel but they are very serious in their demeanor so I don't think that I will approach them to ask them who they work for -- it will remain a mystery for now (smile). There is a flurry of activity going on in the driveway to the hotel because people are arriving in large black SUVs with tinted windows and there are law enforcement officers (in full tactical gear) stationed in groups of 6 at each entranceway to the driveway.
I have just returned from the 16th street mall where I went to grab a burger at the Paramount Cafe. When I left the hotel to walk the 1.5 blocks to the mall, I was told to exit the elevator and move directly to the main entrance of the hotel by one of the "agents" stationed at the doors of the elevator. My guess is that someone important was either arriving at or exiting the hotel. To be sure, there are many famous people here...I have already seen Rep. Maxine Waters, Wellington Webb, Walter Cronkite, and several other people whose names I don't know but they were well-dressed people who were giving on-camera interviews in the lobby of the hotel. It is exciting to be in the middle of it all. Back to my story.....I was sitting just inside the patio doors of the Paramount Cafe when a crowd of about 60 protesters started making their way down the 16th street mall carrying signs that I couldn't read and shouting what seemed to be the word "Ostrich"! I confirmed this with several other diners nearby and we all agreed that we don't have a clue what that means. Anyway, many of them were dressed in black tee-shirts with black bandanas tied around their faces. It was a bit intimidating and seemed to have the potential to get out of control quickly until I saw the entourage of police officers, in full tactical gear (bullet-proof vests, helmets with visors, and guns) following behind the protesters in SUVs, on motorcycles, on bicycles, and on horseback.
The police presence was enormous! As I walked along the 16th street mall after my meal, there were entire squadrons of officers all along the mall as well. I smiled a little to myself as I thought about how deflated the egos of the protesters might be to find that the police outnumber them by about 100:1. Isn't it nice to live in a country where the democratic process itself can be both protested and protected at the very same time? God bless America.