It is just Monday and the Democratic National Convention hasn’t even gaveled in its first session, but already some Kansas delegates to this festival appear to be a little uneasy.

It’s about the vice presidential nominee, of course, and while nobody has any reason to believe that the delegates won’t approve both Sen. Barack Obama, of Illinois, and Joe Biden, of Delaware, as their presidential/vice presidential team, there’s a feeling of something left behind.

And while Democrats are prepared to be practical, very practical as they stand a decent chance of electing a president, the “change” that sparked many of the new Democrats and the young seems to have been dialed-back considerably.

Sure, Obama himself, as a black American, is more change than the nation has seen, but those looking for more change, and believing Obama is a strong enough candidate to help carry that change, just aren’t seeing it in Senate veteran Biden.

Informally, delegates here — especially those who are supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination — are disappointed. Not that they believed there was much chance that Clinton would wind up being the vice presidential nominee, but they believe Biden doesn’t represent anything very different. Not much change.

And Kansans who were hoping “change” meant a really different ticket, say, Obama and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, don’t seem quite as enthused as they might.

Not that Sebelius was a lock, but that the concept of change is, well, one that doesn’t work well in small quantities. How much change is so little change that, well, it’s really not much change?

There’s a line somewhere.

Those signs for Kansans driving west to Denver for the convention didn’t say “slightly larger-than-life” prairie dog just 50 miles ahead. The signs said “50-foot tall prairie dog” and while nobody’s going to pull over for a slightly larger than life prairie dog, there’s a business model that suggests some will for a 50-footer. There’s that aspect to change there has to be enough change, enough difference from life as we’ve known it as Americans for however old we are, to make a venture into change attractive or even worth a look.

The week may tell us just how Democrats are going to go about marketing their ticket to Republicans. They’ve got the Democrats, of course, but they need Republicans and swing voters, and offering them change with some limits might be a marketing plan. Limited change? Enough change? All the change you can handle? How much change do you really want, anyway?

Best prediction is that by the time Kansans are heading home from the convention, they’ll have a handle on just how to market their ticket to friends and acquaintances, judging just how much change they believe their friends can handle and adjusting the sales pitch to close the deal.

Biden probably dials back change, where Clinton or maybe Sebelius wouldn’t.

But, for those who are looking for a Democratic ticket that not only looks like but talks like more change than Americans have seen from one administration to another, well, it looks like Obama/Biden provides that.

But, it’s just a dab less change than many new Democrats, and first-time voting youths, were looking for.

Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report. To see about that, visit or call (785) 267-5500.