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  • Webb Blog

    Convention thoughts from Tom Webb

    Friday, July 30, 2004

    Farewell, Boston 

    The race for the airport is underway Friday, after John Kerry's acceptance speech last night. My airport cab driver, whose meter was suspiciously not running, offered unsolicited thoughts about the week.

    "I wish every week was DNC week," he said.

    Why's that? Doing good business?

    "There's no traffic. All the Republicans were scared away, and they have all the cars."

    I don't know about the Republican car-owning/scaredy-cat myth, but he was right about the traffic. Everywhere I went during six days in Boston, there was almost no traffic, with the exception of when we had to detour around a Falun Gong parade.

    Boston is an old eastern city, and the idea of a traffic-less downtown seems strange. But between the security fears, the road closures, the dearth of non-DNC visitors and all those fleeing Republican car owners, it was unexpectedly smooth sailing all week.

    My Middle Eastern cab driver also observed that people overseas seemed to pay more attention to these American political events than the natives. "It really affects them," he said.

    So it does. My fare to the airport came to $29.50. Or so he said. Maybe he charged a little extra for the observations.

    Tom Webb

    Tom Webb is the Washington correspondent for the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. He can be reached at

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