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Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

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  • Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

    Been watching it on PBS since last night. Fabulous coverage and uninterupted speeches. Thoughtful post-speech commentary.

    Speeches throughout the event have been mostly so-so, if you ask me, with maybe highlights coming from Jimmy Carter and Clinton (last night). But tonight, Barack Obama, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Illinois, delivered the keynote address, and my jaws dropped. He did phenomenally. The speech was well-written and intelligent and delivered with a fervor and emotion and charisma I really haven't seen on any campaign trail in recent memory. Though I think seeing and hearing Obama is half the experience, his prepared remarks give some idea about what just transpired:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politic...ech-text_x.htm

    Unfortunately, I understand the networks didn't cover the speech. Shields and Brooks and other PBS commentators were practically giddy over his address, which is quite different from the reaction they had for Howard Dean (they especially didn't see his point about "never being ashamed to call ourselves 'Democrats') and Ron Reagan (he "oversold" the issue). Commentators described Obama's speech as both intelligent and charasmatic. Some people are describing Obama as the first African American of the United States of America. As a side note, Obama has Hawaii ties, having attended Punahou.

    What are your thoughts on the Democratic Convention?
    Last edited by ruth; July 27, 2004, 11:31 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

    I'm following it. I'm not thrilled with any network's coverage of it, and last night when I went looking for Obama's remarks, I was somewhat dismayed to find the best access on Fox News! I liked Barack Obama's address, which had passion and optimism, to the point where you could almost feel the edits of outside handlers in those few spots where it sagged. His local ties make his story compelling, but he was definitely the shining star of the night across the country.

    I think Howard Dean either decided to, or was told to, keep himself in check, and it was disappointing. He had an opportunity to remind everyone of the fire he helped rekindle in many, and instead it was a C+ appearance at best. As for Ron Reagan, he wasn't really there for his message or his speaking ability... just his name. I admit, I didn't stick around for much of it.

    While it was refreshing and inspiring to see Barack Obama and the "new generation" of Democrats, it was still the first night's speeches that impressed me the most. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, even Al Gore said a lot of things right, and well. Poor Al Gore had the right mix of humor and insight, and Bill... I'm pretty sure everyone watching would've elected him right back into office right then if they could have.

    John Kerry has his work cut out for him, to make an impact and galvanize his image as a leader against this surprisingly strong backdrop. The DNC has made me realize that I truly am supporting him because of what he stands for, rather than who he is... and in a way, that's kind of sad.

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    • #3
      Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

      I wish I could, but I don't have television. And as I noted in another thread, it's sad that National Public Radio isn't providing coverage. Maybe not "gavel to gavel", as someone replied in that thread, but at least the major speeches.

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      • #4
        Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

        I'm not following the conventions - either Democratic or Republican - because my mind is made up and I don't need to attend a pep rally to know who to vote for. But it really, really bothers me that after almost four years of George W. Bush's term, there are still people who say that they are "undecided". How can you not know whether you support this man's policies?

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        • #5
          Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

          Actually, I'm listening to it on C-Span and then watching it on PBS later in the evening. Carter was as partisan as I've ever seen/heard him; Clinton was at his best (the "more in sorrow than in anger" explanation of why the Republicans' philosophy is all wrong was beautifully done). Dean was at his best earlier in the day; his speech at the podium was toned down, I think. Obama hit a home run, even among the Fox and other conservative outlets. Reagan explained the science pretty well to laypeople. THK I really liked, but I was predisposed to anyway, and then there was the very human event where she told a Scaife-sponsored newspaper reporter who has been maligning her for years to "shove it."

          I expect Edwards to give a version of the "Two Americas" speech he gave all campaign tonight. Kerry just has to prove he's not a stiff guy who talks in "Senate-speak," I think.
          http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/

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          • #6
            Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

            Originally posted by Linkmeister
            THK I really liked, but I was predisposed to anyway, and then there was the very human event where she told a Scaife-sponsored newspaper reporter who has been maligning her for years to "shove it."
            I liked her speech, too, but the whole "Shove It" incident bothered me. I might be a hardcore non-conservative, but I still wince when someone on "my side" makes a misstep like that. Her repackaging the incident as some kind of noble, "why can't a woman speak her mind" act against misogyny didn't help.

            After the whole Dick Cheney "Go F--k Yourself" flap, I would have hoped any politician would be a bit more careful... at least for a little while, and definitely in front of journalists. It's hard to rally behind the flag of "raising the level of discourse" when we're just as willing to jump into the mud.

            Back to the topic at hand, though... I'm looking forward to Edwards. His speaking ability has always been one of his selling points (since I'm not among the target demographic on the "good looks" front). Positioning him close to Kerry on the program was a neccessity, but it again makes me nervous for The Main Event to put in a first rate performance.

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            • #7
              Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

              Well, read the background. That paper has been attacking her foundations for a dozen years, and when she clearly said "Un-American traits on the tape, he quoted her as having said "Un-American activities, which has all manner of nasty un-democratic connotations to it. I don't blame her much.

              If you're interested in what the bloggers there have been saying/doing, I put up a few links, including a couple of RSS feeds.
              http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/

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              • #8
                Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

                From what I read, it wasn't the "trait" versus "activity" thing that the reporter was calling her on... she further denied saying "un-American," which she clearly did. But actually, that's not really my point, anyway.

                The reporter could have been Ann Coultier or Bill O'Reilly -- it could have been someone whose single, sole mission in life is to make her look bad. The question could have been, "When did you start beating your kids?" She could have decided not to give the guy the dignity of a response. Instead, she took the bait. If you're going to be in politics, you've got to play it smart.

                How do you think John Edwards did? I only read, and haven't yet watched.
                "Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction," Kucinich said. "Joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Homeless is a weapon of mass destruction. Racism is a weapon of mass destruction. Fear is a weapon of mass destruction. We must disarm these weapons."
                Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton spoke, too, but I've got their remarks on my to-do list.

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                • #9
                  Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

                  Edwards-watchers say he was at about 75% of his A-game. I don't know. He basically made a summation to the jury at the end, and I was impressed with that; it's no wonder other attorneys would go to the courtroom to watch him close.
                  http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/

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                  • #10
                    Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

                    I am not following it because I am always not home, busy cleaning, working out or something,when it is on, and I can later catch news footage, reports and talk radio about it, later. I also am not voting for Kerry, so it doesn't mean much to me, although I like to be aware of everyone in my world, and watch what even the opposing side of anything, is up to.
                    Stop being lost in thought where our problems thrive.~

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                    • #11
                      Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

                      I watched the Kerry speech last evening at the Mai Tai Bar in Ala Moana Shopping Center.

                      Delightful bar, that is.

                      But much as I want to see Bush2 OUT of the White House, I just cannot vote for Kerry.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

                        I was disappointed. I'm not getting the vibe a lot of the other pundits did that he "met the challenge." The consensus may be that it was a "safe, reasonably good speech," but I would've ranked it even lower. He needed at least an "8," and that speech was a "5."

                        He seemed awkward, stilted, willingly confined to the TelePrompTer, the contrast painfully clear between his oratory skills and that of his VP pick (and especially hard to take after Jesse Jackson, for better or worse, tossed the script and just went with his heart). Could he have licked his lips more often? Could he have seemed more dorky trying to make "emphatic, assertive" hand gestures? And that's just on his delivery.

                        The content was, yes, safe, and that wasn't so much the problem for me as the fact that it was more defensive than it was revolutionary, or forward looking. I felt like there was a checklist of Republican Talking Points somewhere that he was checking off, answering them instead of setting his own agenda and course. "I will tell the truth" equals "Bush didn't," but doesn't tell me a damn thing of what else he plans to say or do.

                        Like I said above, I'm voting for Kerry, but by default, not out of any passion for the man. I back wholeheartedly what he's trying to stand for, and definitely feel in my heart many of the things the other speakers at the DNC expressed... but I hope he gets into office only to get the current occupant out, and will yet mourn that it will probably mean it'll be 2012 before we can see someone more inspiring.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

                          "that of his VP pick"

                          My bar companions during the speech included a black man (very much a Kerry supporter) and his Asian lady friend (as dubious as I was).

                          When the "VP pick" came on camera, I said, "Oh there's his pretty boy."

                          She laughed, he didn't.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Democratic Convention - Are you guys following this?

                            I am hearing a little from a few Dems. that they wish Edwards had been head of the ticket, per his performance at the convention. As one that isn't voting for either, I can tell you that since I know some people are swayed by other than policy of their candidate, I think the Dems. would get even more votes if it were an Edwards/Kerry ticket.
                            Stop being lost in thought where our problems thrive.~

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