Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator and executive producer of Gilmore Girls, and her husband, writer-producer Daniel Palladino, are guest-blogging the Democratic National Convention for PopWatch, so check back for frequent updates over the next few days….

Our first impression of Denver: It’s Reno, but bigger.

People are still arriving: women in smart business outfits, men in power suits, all with phones glued to their ears. Credentials are being handed out, shuttles are pulling up bound for the Pepsi Center, America’s business is being served. But that’s the surface….Look underneath and you discover that the Mile High City has become a repository for the largest collection of nutballs on either side of the Mississippi.

Feverish nutballs. All with something to sell. And all fueled on too much caffeine, high altitude, and knowing self-righteousness.

The Hillary supporters are out in force: loud, adamant, and for some reason, uniformly sun-damaged. Their complaints are consistent but confusing. From what we gather, they think democracy was seriously upended during the primary (nothing new), they are already upset about the floor vote that has not yet happened (they’re mad at the future!), and they are very mad at Howard Dean. (They should be mad at their sign-making department.)

And they really, really want to be on TV. That’s the ultimate fuel — the quest for 15 on-air minutes.

addCredit(“Francine Donahue; Matthew Staver/Bloomberg News/Landov”)

We caught up with the Hillary ladies at the outdoor MSNBC broadcastbooth (we say ladies, but there was one guy in the group, and onecross-dresser/transgender person.) They grimaced. They chanted. Theysign-waved. Just before Chris Matthews’ live broadcast was to start, adefenseless network underling was tasked to ask the Hillary people tomove their immense (and weirdly stained) Hillary sign out of Chris’shot. Poor kid — spittle flew as he was shouted down. One of Hillary’solder defenders elbowed her way up to the sign (they’re not shy aboutusing elbows, these Hillary supporters). She was a dead ringer for the woman on YouTubewho referred to Barack Obama as an “inadequate black male.” She told the underling shewas not moving. For anyone. For any reason. He made a couple morefeeble attempts to nudge them along, then gave up, outnumbered,outmatched, outspittled.

And if Barack Obama really wanted to rub shoulders with the true,weird America, he should take a Secret Service-less stroll downDenver’s 16th Street Mall, a pedestrian-only street lined with chain stores,older mom-and-pop shops, and this week at least, freaks of every kindmanning booths of all varieties. Every cause, and every possiblesouvenir item you can possibly stick Obama’s face on, is on display. Agroup of Christians monopolizes one corner, displaying signs way moreprofessional looking than those of Hillary’s supporters. One advertisesthe specifics of sin: “Porn Magazines,” “Birth Control,” et cetera, andincludes the category “Jesus Mocking.” The last, we assume, is pointeddirectly at Hamlet 2‘s Steve Coogan‘s performance of “Rock Me Sexy Jesus.” We’re guessing.

Written with Amy Sherman-Palladino. The Palladinos are donors of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.