By: - August 29, 2008 12:00 am

“Unity” was the buzzword at this week’s Democratic National Convention, but the Illinois delegation took the theme to an unexpected level. U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D), apparently tired of the Democratic in-fighting that has long gone on between Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and House Speaker Michael Madigan (D), demanded that the two political nemeses publicly embrace, the Chicago Tribune discloses (with video proof!). Jackson also participated in what the paper called a “surreal hugfest,” embracing two other Democrats, state Sen. Debbie Halvorson and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.  

A word of caution to Alabama politicians eyeing a run for governor two years from now: a big obstacle could be in your way – all 6-foot-5 of him. Rumored to be exploring a run for the governor’s office in his home state, former NBA star Charles Barkley confirmed as much in an interview with CNN.com at the Democratic convention. The plain-spoken Barkley may not have endeared himself to voters, however, when he said, “I can’t screw up Alabama .”

Oregon State University may not be as prominent as the University of Oregon when it comes to intercollegiate sports, but the school picked up a key win in Denver this week. Oregon State men’s basketball coach Craig Robinson happens to be the brother-in-law of Democratic president nominee Barack Obama, and used his prime-time speaking slot on Monday as any good coach would. “Go Beavers!” Robinson told the thousands of assembled Democrats, The Oregonian reports.

With so many Democrats in one building, it was inevitable that some would get worse convention seats than others. No   surprise, then, that those on the fringes included delegates from reliably Republican states where a Democratic win in November appears unlikely. Utah delegates complained about seats “with a good view of the butt” of the speaker, the Deseret News reports, while Idaho was moved from a close-up spot to the “nose bleed seats” to make room for vice presidential nominee Joe Biden’s home-state delegation from Delaware , the ( Spokane , Wash. ) Spokesman-Review notes. 

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