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Unlike last week's Republican National Convention, where Tampa's downtown looked like a war zone peopled only by police, military, and those with convention credentials, the Democratic convention opened yesterday with a family-friendly event that was open to the public.
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Even today as the convention officially gets underway, both the diversity and the amount of public access are striking in comparison to what we encountered last week in Tampa.
Obviously, yesterday plenty of families turned out for CarolinaFest, which was a family-centric event. But today, parents and children are back to simply people-watch, as delegates, media, and politicians mill about the downtown area.
Obama campaign officials say the increased access is symbolic of the way they want Americans to view the party -- as one that strives to be open and accessible in everything it does.
Expect this theme to be repeated throughout the week by convention speakers.
What do you think of the differences between the Republican and Democratic conventions?