By Josh Miller

08/27/08
On Wednesday evening, former President Bill Clinton
approached the podium at the Pepsi Center and was welcomed with an
uproar of cheers. I happened to be just outside the arena shooting
exterior shots of the center when he was giving his speech. However,
being a hundred feet out of the arena did not stop me from hearing
him. Video inside the arena was broadcast to dozens of televisions
surrounding the arena, making sure everyone could hear him. However,
the wild cheers of the crowd had no need to be broadcast to be heard
outside of the arena.

After getting the shots I needed, I entered the
arena and began to walk the gauntlet of security, press and patrons
crowding the arena. Press was instructed to use a service tunnel to
access their locations, so I entered through the doors and was
immediately greeted with signs for all the major networks and
journalists from around the world. At times, I could see passages that
led to the floor, and plasma monitors that were scattered every few
dozen feet, encircled by journalists watching Clinton’s speech.
I continued the long and crowded walk to
my “assigned” press space, and finally entered the public section of
the arena three levels above the ground. I saw a mass of people
huddled around a television also watching the speech, cheering into
the television with as much force as they would cheer on the floor.
When I finally reached my press area, I learned that employees were
not told that it was strictly a press area, and filled the section
passed its capacity.
I was only able to
catch a glimpse of Clinton’s speech through the curtain separating the
arena from the outside hall, but I realized
that I didn’t need to see Clinton from three levels up to be able to
experience his speech. Televisions were scattered everywhere, so
everyone was within earshot of his powerful speech. Simply being
inside the arena with thousands of people gave me the ability to
experience first hand the excitement of the moment, and I will never
forget the thunderous uproar as Bill Clinton left the podium.