DENVER–There’s no question that speeches by Democratic dignitaries, especially Barack Obama’s address Thursday night, constitute the main event here at the DNC. Yet security has become a formidable side show. The federal government devoted $50 million to bolster the security effort here and will match that in Minnesota next week. So what does $50 million buy? The AP has an itemized list, but as far as those attending the nightly proceedings are concerned, it still adds up to long lines; the queue for the security checkpoint stretched the length of two or three city blocks each of the first two evenings. Considering the airport-style security being imposed, the line moves with surprising efficiency. Police, Secret Service, and TSA officials operate metal detectors, x-rays, and conduct manual bag searches, though no one is asked to remove their shoes.
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