[[ Please welcome Lisa Gritzner to the Fox&Hounds blog. Lisa is a consultant with a background in state and local government affairs, and she will be reporting for us this week from Denver as our correspondant at the Democratic National Convention. -Joel ]]

Greetings from the mile high city. I’ll be here in Denver sharing my thoughts on the convention, the issues, the city and whatever else I come up with along the way. I hope you will enjoy my maiden voyage into the blogosphere.

My first day in Denver has been a political junkie’s dream. I started Sunday like many Americans – with Tom Brokaw, Bob Schieffer, George Stephanopolous – except I wasn’t watching the morning political shows. I was a guest at a brunch hosted by the Shorenstein Center of Press, Politics and Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard moderated by Judy Woodruff. It was a fascinating look at the role of media in the ’08 election.

It was amazing to be in the room – the audience members – Arianna Huffington, Gwen Iffle, and bloggers like Mickey Kaus – were just as interesting as the panel. But, I gotta be honest, the conversation was a bit underwhelming. Most notably, NOT ONE panelist talked about Joe Biden or their thoughts on his selection as VP and, even more disconcerting, was Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendel’s (a guest speaker) seeming inability to get beyond the "Hillary issue" as I fear I may be calling it this week.

A few issues became clear to me during the discussions. First, it’s very hard for the mainstream media to sit back and talk about themselves and their role in the political fishbowl. There’s so much assertion that these larger than life media figures merely "cover the campaigns as they unfold". That’s just plain silly, and any person who has ever read a newspaper, watched the news, or turned on a computer knows darn well that today’s news story (or in this era, this hour’s news story) quickly becomes tomorrow’s legislative priority.

It also felt so out of touch to talk about media coverage of the ’08 election without bloggers, Jon Stewart, and Saturday Night Live (and the others parodying it all) being represented.

But, the most amazing moments of today came not at the hands of the old school media, but from the young big city mayors – Fenty from DC, Booker from Newark; and from some chancellors of education – Joel Klein of NYC and Michelle Rhee of DC, and LA’s own former Superintendant of LAUSD and former Governor of Colorado Roy Romer at an ED Challenge for Change event. Breaking the bonds of the past, challenging the old school (literally) ways of the past and calling the plays as they come – in this case identifying some traditionally "Democratic" organizations as the agents of stagnation rather than change and innovation.

These folks, Fenty and Rhee in particular, are pushing the envelope and changing the way cities and their schools interact – contract negotiations notwithstanding – for the better. I was proud to be in a room with such forward and pragmatic thinkers.

It got me really thinking that the real story of this convention might be just that. Obama talks about change and maybe, just maybe, what we need is not just change from a hopeless Bush/Republican regime but also an old school democratic regime so hopelessly locked in the old ways that it forgets to find joy in the future.

So, I hope the winds of change are blowing and if the leaders I saw today are any indication, we are in for a very wild, but needed ride.

Does this make me a "new dog Democrat?"

Until tomorrow…