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Breaking out of the pack

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My spot.

It took me part of former Virginia governor Mark Warner's keynote speech, all of the talk by Ohio governor Ted Strickland and the opening section of the address by Massachusett's governor Deval Patrick to reach the opposite side of the Pepsi Center from where I started -- directly beneath the Vegas-style band to the left of the podium, and a few feet away from the woman charged with delivering each speaker's remarks in sign language. The podium was visible beyond her, but it was far easier to watch on the giant video monitors above me -- a vantage point that was reminiscent of 1984, or at least an Apple computer ad. But I could breath and stand still without someone yelling in my ear. Not bad by convention standards. -- Michael Roberts

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