Thursday, August 28, 2008

Those Speech-Giving, Convention-Having, Truth-Telling, Liberal Elitists

They have some nerve pointing out the obvious to the voters of America. It's as if they think people are so stupid that some of them might actually still vote for John McCain after seeing the GOP's true colors on full display for the last eight years.

Seriously though, I think this convention has been excellent and relegated the GOP talking heads to either jumping on board with their sincere praise or flailing helplessly with rumors of discord between the Clinton camp and the Obamas. And they look like fools stoking up those divisions because the speeches by the Clintons were perfect. Had they heaped on any more praise or been any more strident in their calls for the election of Barack Obama, they would have been ripped apart for going over-the-top or for mocking the nominee. Mission accomplished by the Clintons.

I was not disappointed one bit with the Big Dog's speech. Oyster highlighted his favorite parts. I can see why President Clinton wanted so badly to go into the economy during his speech. There was a lot of buzz early in the week about Bill not being happy with his speech topic or whatever. I think this was a load of bull. Do you think the Obama camp, after all the work that's been done to heal the primary wounds, went to Bill Clinton and told him what he had to talk about? Did people expect the Obama camp to be so stupid that when Bill Clinton came to say 'I'm going to absolutely roast the GOP on the economy during my speech,' he was told no?

Totally worth watching.

For all the talk about the wounds of Clinton supporters not being sufficiently heeled after the primary campaign, what about all the insults absorbed by Obama supporters after the borderline Rovian campaign run by the Hillary camp?

I'm generally not a holder of grudges but I lost a lot of respect for the Clintons during the primary season.

They needed to earn back that respect from me as a young Obama supporter just as much as the Obama camp needed to heel wounds with the Clintons. That wasn't the dominant media storyline but it's true.

Anyways, both Bill and Hillary's speeches were superb and really castrated the media make-believe over the seriousness of the supposed rift. Was there supposed to be some sort of armed coup? Give me a break.

The Clintons praised Obama, they praised his ideas, they went after McCain, and they excoriated his agenda. They challenged the Democrats to propel Senator Obama to the Presidency.

I'm ready.


Hillary Clinton's best line: "Was it really just about me?"

Bill Clinton's best line:

It was really more of a moment. Go see Oyster's highlights. I think it came at the end of Oyster's orange. President Clinton speaks to "the example the Republicans have set" and absolutely roasts them.

American workers have given us consistently rising productivity. They've worked harder and produced more. What did they get in return? Declining wages, less than ¼ as many new jobs as in the previous eight years, smaller health care and pension benefits, rising poverty and the biggest increase in income inequality since the 1920s. American families by the millions are struggling with soaring health care costs and declining coverage.

Then he pivots emotionally, getting angrier while still preserving an appropriate enthusiasm, showing that authenticity that have the GOP fits for so many years. He brought down his finger and said with an inflection that suggested he was gritting his teeth in outrage:

I will never forget the parents of children with autism and other severe conditions who told me on the campaign trail that they couldn't afford health care and couldn't qualify their kids for Medicaid unless they quit work or got a divorce. Are these the family values the Republicans are so proud of? What about the military families pushed to the breaking point by unprecedented multiple deployments? What about the assault on science and the defense of torture? What about the war on unions and the unlimited favors for the well connected? What about Katrina and cronyism?

America can do better than that. And Barack Obama will.

But first we have to elect him.

That crescendo was perfect. Here's the video, the passage in discussion hits at around the 11 minute mark.

And of course, Jeffrey is right about the line about "Katrina and cronyism." I'm happy with it, not just because it was placed to get a big audience pop, but because it is a catchall that implicates Ray Nagin (an unequivocal embarrassment to national democrats) as a friend of the Bush administration just as much as it does Halliburton and the Shaw Group.


The DNC box score thus far:

Home Runs: Michelle Obama, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry.

Josh Marshall is also all about John Kerry's speech. It was excellent.

Key line: "Are you kidding me folks?"

Watch it:

There were late rumors of Kerry maybe being vetted as an Obama veep. I think the Biden choice is better but Kerry would have been pretty compelling given how toughened he has become. John Kerry is a good Democrat. In 2016 when Tim Kaine or one of the Udall boys from out west or Donna Edwards (if we're lucky) is the Democratic nominee for President, he or she could pick John Kerry as the 'experienced attack dog' running mate.

A Double Down the Line: Joe Biden

The life story telling went well. The family photo ops went well. The delivery was solid. It just wasn't as well-written as some of the others. Biden just got called up off the bench, it's hard to get a good swing on the ball when you've been riding the pine. So Biden took the pitch he was given and went the opposite way, blooping one over the first baseman's head and hustling into second base. I have full confidence in Joe Biden's talent. He'll be swinging a hot bat the whole rest of the summer and will be batting cleanup by the World Series this October.

Strike Outs: The DNC farm system.

The rookie call ups were nervous. Mark Warner can give a good speech and the substance within probably works well in centrist swing Virginia. But as the key note, there wasn't so much to wow over. Brian Schwietzer showed some promise out of Montana but needs some more seasoning. I expected more polish from Missouri's Claire McCaskill.

It's not as if the DNC is devoid of young talent. I would have enjoyed to seeing Udall out of Colorado or Udall out of New Mexico. Rep. Donna Edwards out of Maryland brought down the house at Netroots Nation; I would have loved to have seen her get in a few swings at the DNC. What about giving a shot to a few long-shot Senate candidates from this cycle that maybe could use some cash. We're really threatening to get 60 in the Senate. Why not give Noriega from Texas an opportunity to close the gap on Cornyn. Or what about Allen in Maine? Or Cowboy Kleeb from Nebraska? Or Rice from Oklahoma? Or Hagan from North Carolina? Look how close the Dems are to 60 in the Senate. They just need to push a little bit harder to get there and they could have used the convention pulpit to help out in Oregon, Maine, North Carolina, Texas, etc.

Also it would have been nice to have a John Edwards speech at this thing. Too bad he blew that for us.


Carmen said...

Wow. TV really affects you, huh?

I'm not stupid, E, but you are very, very young.

E said...

I evaluated the convention as what it is, a television infomercial for the democratic party.

I thought it has indeed been an effective infomercial for the democratic party.

If that's what exposes me as a twenty-something in your mind, I guess I don't know what to tell you.

Carmen said...

Your opening two paragraphs don't read as evaluation of an infomercial. I'm not sure the rest of it came across that way either.

I'd get into the youth idealism part, but you probably wouldn't hear me for another twenty years or so... ;)