Photograph via CNN.com
It was another good day at the DNC. Buster heckling continues to be more of an annoyance than anything else. The MSM is fixated on them, and MSNBC specializes in finding sour faced Busters since that’s *their* storyline. It’s one reason I’m watching on C-SPAN this year. MSNBC’s coverage is different from past conventions as if its top priority is rebuilding Brian Williams’ image at the expense of reporting what’s going on. People I know at the convention report that the vast majority Sanders delegates are cordial and plan to vote for the nominee. Less dramatic but true.
Since the day belonged to President Obama, let’s start there. He is the best convention speaker of my lifetime and this was his best convention address ever. His focus was on defending his record, passing the baton to his successor, and making Donald Trump look small and petty. Tim Kaine brought the mockery but POTUS made Trumpism sound like what it is: a fever from which the American people will eventually recover. Hopefully, the fever will break by election day.
Here are a few HRC-related highlights:
And most of all, I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together — black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young, old; gay, straight; men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love. That’s what I see. That’s the America I know!
And there is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, has devoted her life to that future; a mother and a grandmother who would do anything to help our children thrive; a leader with real plans to break down barriers, and blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American — the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.
Let me tell you, eight years ago, you may remember Hillary and I were rivals for the Democratic nomination. We battled for a year and a half. Let me tell you, it was tough, because Hillary was tough. I was worn out. She was doing everything I was doing, but just like Ginger Rogers, it was backwards in heels. And every time I thought I might have the race won, Hillary just came back stronger.
But after it was all over, I asked Hillary to join my team. And she was a little surprised. Some of my staff was surprised. But ultimately she said yes — because she knew that what was at stake was bigger than either of us. And for four years — for four years, I had a front-row seat to her intelligence, her judgment, and her discipline. I came to realize that her unbelievable work ethic wasn’t for praise, it wasn’t for attention — that she was in this for everyone who needs a champion. I understood that after all these years, she has never forgotten just who she’s fighting for.
The President’s speech was a rousing affirmation of the center-left creed that I believe in as well. Once again, his personal qualities are as important as his policy positions. Time to say something I said a lot at my eponymous blog in 2007 and 2008: Barack Obama is the Sidney Poitier of American politics. I firmly believe that he’s one of the finest human beings ever to serve as President.
President Obama is committed to HRC’s attempt to become our first woman President. Pioneers gotta stick together, y’all. The main reason that Donald Trump may not lose as badly as he deserves to is the change factor. It is difficult for a party to win three consecutive terms in the White House. Plus, while there are fewer people willing to say it in 2016, there are many voters who cannot bring themselves to vote for a woman. Many of them are the same people who cannot abide having a black President. I still foresee victory in the fall but it could be a squeaker. The joker in the deck is the Insult Comedian’s belief that all publicity is good. Hence, his visit to the Russia House yesterday. It still has the potential to blow up his candidacy when the whole world, as opposed to the GOP base, is watching.
I promised a wrap up so let’s get on with it, but first a painfully obvious musical interlude:
If you were hoping for a surprise ending, you were sadly mistaken.
I watched more of the convention yesterday than on previous days. The programming was strong and the best of the early speakers were 2016 also-ran Martin O’Malley, and Nutmeg State US Senator Chris Murphy. On the other hand, Jesse Jackson looked bloated and ill. I hope he’s okay: he ,too, was a pioneer as a candidate who paved the way for Barack Obama. Funny story time: my late Meemaw-in-law was over 90 when the 1984 Democratic primary campaign was raging. She was a Yellow Dog Democrat but not exactly a high information voter. We were watching highlights of the DNC and she saw all the black faces and asked me, “Is that the Republican convention?” I lied and said yes. Hell, I wanted her to vote for Fritz Mondale, after all. I am a bad. bad person, but arguing race with a woman born in the 19th Century was ridiculous. It was literally a white lie…
Harry Reid gave a short and characteristically feisty speech. He got a nice round of applause but not the ovation that the best Senate Democratic leader since Lyndon Johnson deserved. Despite his kind words about Bernie Sanders, some of his supporters judge everybody in relation to him. It’s rather feline, Della Street insists that I judge everyone in relation to her. Fortunately she’s an internet rock star…
It was also great to see civil rights veteran and DC delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton who inspired this tweet:
The gun violence segment was the emotional highlight of the evening. The speech by Christine Leinonen whose son was gunned down at the Orlando massacre was particularly poignant. It’s always good to see Mark Kelly and Gabby Gifford. She’s both a testament to the human spirit and the ravages of gun violence. She inspired this tweet:
That concludes the Twitter inspiration part of the program. Let’s move on to the main event. In addition to President Obama, there were three main speakers. I’ll take them in the order they appeared.
Vice President Biden: Joey the Shark gave one of the best speeches I’ve ever seen him give. It was alternately emotional, funny, and passionate. As man known for his ability to work across the aisle in Senate, the Veep seemed personally offended that the Republicans nominated Donald Trump. I know the feeling.
As always when Biden appears and I’m on the Tweeter Tube, I had to deal with some Biden related ignorance. Just because he’s an Irishman who looks like a shot and a beer guy doesn’t make him one. The Veep grew up around alcoholic relatives and as a result does not drink. He’s not the Onion Joe. I prefer the real guy.
Michael Bloomberg: The diminutive plutocrat and former New York Mayor is NOT one of my favorite people but he gave one of the most politically effective speeches of the DNC thus far. Here are a few memorable lines:
Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders, and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.
I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he’ll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the US visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What’d I miss here?!
Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy. He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims.
One of the best lines in Bloomberg’s speech seems to have been ad-libbed:
“Let’s elect a sane, competent person with international experience.”
As opposed to an insane, incompent Insult Comedian with cotton candy piss hair. I think wooing decent Republicans and Independents is important in this election. The Obama/Clinton coalition is expansive enough to encompass everyone who thinks Donald Trump is a menace.
Tim Kaine: I’m on the record as a Tim Kaine fan and he performed well night. He showed off his sense of humor thereby establishing that he’ll be the nicest attack dog ever. He nipped at Trump repeatedly during his speech and drew some blood with his impression of him. I believe Tim may now own the word believe. Like the Monkees, I’m a believer:
Since Twitter must stereotype everyone, Tim Kaine is now a lovably nerdy, pesky dad type to the Twitteratti. What the young ‘uns don’t get is that sort of dad is usually deliberately messing with their kids. They’ll learn. Dylan was wrong: nobody is forever young,
Tim Kaine has the potential to become the latest in a long line of Democratic Happy Warrior Veeps. It’s good company as it includes Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Joe Biden
I was relieved that the Buster heckling was de minimis during Tim’s speech. Heckling someone so manifestly nice is apparently a bridge too far even for them. It’s tweet time. One that neatly sums up his liberal bona fides:
I didn’t plan to go on as long as a Bill Clinton speech today but what can I tell ya? But it’s almost a wrap. In the words of President Barack Obama, “DON’T BOO, VOTE.”
UPDATE: Charlie Pierce watched the President’s speech with the Gret Stet delegation and wrote a piece about Obama’s coolness.