Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Democratic Convention: Day 3

This was a good day - partly because I watched it on C-SPAN (though there were some audio glitches during Joe Biden's speech). No talking heads interrupting or (worse) replacing the speeches!
There were plenty of good people in-between the Big People. CSM Michele Jones, Lt Gen. Claudia Kennedy (first female 3-star General), Rear Admiral John Hutson (lifelong Republican) (the last two retired), Rep. Patrick Murphy, Tammy Duckworth, Beth Robinson (wife of a Marine, VA activist and MS patient).
Senator Kerry came out firing, comparing Candidate McCain to Senator McCain ("before McCain debates Obama, he has to debate himself!"), and getting the crowd to weigh in on Obama's judgment on Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Georgia vs McCain's erroneous acts/proclamations on the same issues. Kerry even came out and said the candidate who wanted to raise the discourse uses only personal attacks and questions Obama's patriotism. Where was this guy in 2004?!
President Clinton got a huge ovation that last a few minutes - he's easily one of the most popular Democrats. More importantly, he strongly endorsed Senator Obama's candidacy, from his (self-described) unique perspective as one of two Democratic Presidents alive. He trumpeted Obama's policies (not generic "Democratic" policies) as superior to McCain's, which I think was very good and effective. Clinton also said Obama is Ready to be President. Now I only hope Clinton doesn't make any more ambivalent statements going forward.
Finally, Joe Biden. He seemed to stumble occasionally, but that appears to be audio glitches in C-SPAN's transmission. Biden's son did a nice introduction, and Joe continued in the personal-story-vein, describing his childhood and his relationship with his mother ("if a bigger boy knocked me down, my mother told me to bloody his nose so I could walk the street the next day!") Described ordinary people worrying about their situation, immediate and future concerns. He also attacked John McCain, on his continuation of the Iraq War, on his (lack of) understanding of the economy, his support of the Bush tax cuts, his opposition to raising the minimum wage, and contrasted McCain's record with Obama's:
"...on the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong, and Barack Obama was proven right."
The speech might have been delivered better (which would have really brought the house down), but the content seemed quite good. And the NYT has picked up this impression - that Biden did what was needed - which will be good in driving the narrative.
It was great to see Mama Biden and Obama-Uncle Charles Payne. And the ending visual of Obama with the Family Biden was beautiful.
Some people (like Pat Buchanan on MSNBC!) criticize the Convention for not attacking McCain enough. However, the Convention is keeping Obama's promise of a relatively clean campaign, while still drawing a contrast with McCain and tying McCain to Bush (repeated Freudian slips of "George - I mean, John McCain!") And most importantly, I think Party Unity might have been achieved, except for a small minority of recalcitrant Clintonistas (aka PUMAs).

If most of Hillary Clinton's supporters, both women and senior citizens, come back to the fold, and I think Joe Biden can really help with the 65+-group, then Obama will have a much easier time ahead. Obama repeatedly gave shout-outs to the Clintons, which should have helped. Now it's entirely up to Obama - we will see how his speech goes tomorrow.

Still, as for a post-convention bounce for Obama - McCain's VP announcement and the Republican Convention next week would likely dampen it. But we will see... Though as David Plouffe says, the Obama campaign doesn't care about the horse-race, but are focused on 18 battleground states.


Alkibiades said...

Can't wait to hear your take on McCain's "Hail Mary"....or "Hail Sarah", if you will.

Personally, I am laughing my ass off that he and Rove think this anti-choice, pro-creationist will sway our votes! I swear, everyday they insult my intelligence more.

RS said...

But... but... you are a woman! ;-)