Oh, its on!
The highly choreographed infomercials that are our political conventions are now over. The Republicans held a distracted and somewhat shrill gathering that was high on complaining and offered little in solutions or more crucial; inspiration that undecideds can take to heart.
The Democrats were highly focused and on message over 90 percent of the time. It was a stronger line-up of surrogates and party stars that made effective pitches. It helps that they have a better brand, incumbency, accomplishments that have solid support by the electorate, and frankly better speech writers.
As has already been noted in this evening’s blog and previous nights, the Democrats were the Scottish Highlanders a la Braveheart, slicing their way through the Republicans with strong rhetorical punches. It was a rare display of backbone by the Democrats and it was refreshing to see such political aggressiveness this week.
Two months til the election, let the games begin!
The entries are below:
He started a little slow, heavy on detail that might have lost the casual viewer. But he finished with inspiration, talking about what in his fellow Americans, through this tough economic time, that gave him hope. And he made a direct appeal for their vote.
While the ideals, the policy, and the contrast with his opponents were the most powerful arguments for re-election, his oratory left little doubt about his resolve, and left the arena in a joyful tizzy as the confetti fell and the families filled the stage.
I am the President
Social issues are next as the President reinforced his recent bold policy statements and moves about gay marriage, women’s health care, and immigration.
“Politicians should not be deciding who you can marry…or making the health care choices that Women can make for themselves”
In recognizing he has changed his position he made a powerful statement which was likely meant to show that he had evolved and that he is no longer some inexperienced community organizer but a battle hardened, accomplished and effective leader.
“I know times have changed and so have I…I’m no longer just a candidate…i’m the President.
He also spoke briefly about the heavy weight he carries as president and commander in chief…quoting one of his key influences, Abraham Lincoln,
“I’ve been driven to me knees many times with my conviction that I have no place else to go.”
Drawing the line at the Middle Class
The president stakes out his position on taxes, health care, medicare, and education with specific promises. Its not a huge risk considering that Romney has given basically no specifics. But it does allow Republicans to focus on his promises.
Either way, the president has effectively restated each of the Republican lines of attack and policy proposals and shown how each of then are patently absurd. Ye he also made a call for bipartisanship on the economy saying, “I want to get this done.”
Addressing the Republican principals of smaller government and solving problems through deregulation or going after the corners of our society and civil liberties.
“We don’t think that the government can solve all the problems, but we also don’t think they are the source of all the problems, or welfare recipients…or gays…”
Heavy on the details
A very policy heavy speech, in sharp contrast to Mitt Romney’s which he spent only a few lines at the very end of his speech. Its all good proposals, but it may lose a few people in contrast to all the focused and inspired rhetoric that was used by previous speakers to build him up.
Energy independence reaffirmed
The President reiterates his multi-facted approach to energy that includes higher efficiency standards, increased natural gas exploration, and more investment in renewable energy.
“I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan…and we need to end corporate welfare for oil companies.”
President Obama reminds the convention about the lack of solutions from Republicans and those that have been offered are awfully stale; saying their prescriptions to solve America’s problems don’t work.
“Have a cold? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning.”
All about the benjamins
Barack Obama laments the money race that has taken hold of our elections.
“If you are sick of hearing me ‘approve this message’, so am I.”
Its interesting to note, that its just incredibly loud inside the arena. Some of that can be attributed to staging of the seating. But Ryan, Romney, not anybody last week received the kind of energy that has been doled out this week for each speaker…and especially when the president walked out just a few minutes ago.
And a nice touch to show his family side…he told his kids in the front row that they had to go to school in the morning.
Lets get ready to rumble!
Michelle Obama introduces Barack Obama…he comes out clapping like a coach…like he always does. Coach-in-Chief!
Romney’s bad 10,000 dollar bet
In summing up Barack Obama’s dedication to his fellow citizens he said,
“You never quit on America and you deserve a president that will never quit on you”
And in one more rhetorical blast, Biden makes a populist argument as to why the Republican ticket doesn’t understand the American people.
“America is not in delcine. I’ve got news for you Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan…It never makes sense..its never been a good bet, to bet against the American people. Never…and we have no intention of downsizing the American dream.
Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive
Pivoting from auto industry to national security, Biden talks about all the hard calls President Obama had to make in sending special forces into Pakistan to kill the mercurial terrorist leader. In tying it up all in a little bow, he made clear that two herculean tasks had been accomplished, a point that has been glossed over in an attempt to show that Romney should be elected due to national security and economic negligence.
To thunderous applause Biden stated a line he has been using for the last 10 days:
“Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.”
…wait for it
Joe Biden starts his rebuttal of the Romney attack about the auto bailout with a softly delivered missive about how Romeny is not a bad person, that he is from Michigan and knows about the car industry, especially since his dad ran a car company before he was a governor of Michigan.
But he deftly pointed out how tone deaf Romney was about the imagery of letting the auto industry fail as he advocated in 2008 during the crisis.
“I don’t think he understood…that saving the automobile worker, saving the industry…what it meant to all workers…he saw it the bain way. It may be the best way to bring your company profits but its not the way to lead from the highest office”
And turning Republican criticism about President Obama’s tour of the Middle East during his first year in office (dubbed the apology tour by conservatives) on its ear he noted that like that tour, saving the auto industry was about saving the American psyche.
“He [Obama] understood that it was about restoring America’s pride.”
My friend Barack Obama
Joe Biden makes his pitch to the American people by talking about his relationship with President Obama. How he has worked closely with the president and how he has observed the depth, intensity and compassion he has taken in approaching his job.
Some key quotes so far:
“I don’t see him in sound bytes, I walk thirty paces down the hall and I see him in action.”
“When he sat down for the first time in that Oval Office, he new…e had to restore not only the confidence of a nation, but the confidence of the world.”
“You know Barack and I over these last four years, we learned about one another, a lot about one another. I learned about the enormity of his heart and he learned the depth of my loyalty to him”
In talking about his approach to the economy Biden says Barack Obama asks some simple questions: “How is this going to affect the average american? How is this going to affect their lives? That’s whats’ inside this man.”
Biden has entered the building
Joe Biden, after a lengthy infomercial video lauding him, starts by giving love right back to his wife Jill Biden who had just introduced him.
“I accept…it will be my pleasure, I accept” Biden says in regards to his nomination to be Vice-President of the United States.
Kerry gives Romney a Swift kick
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry ran for president in 2004 and lost to George W. Bush, partly due to the famous “Swift Boat” attack ads that called into question his Vietnam War record which was incredulous since it was unimpeachable.
Additionally, held up against the non-existent war record of Bush and his Vice-President Dick Cheney it was galling to think that somehow a democrat who served in war was not good enough even though military service had always been held up by Republicans as a sacred prerequisite to be president.
Kerry, who has worked for years on foreign policy issues in the Senate, gave what MSNBC’s Ed Schultz called the best speech of his life has he defended the Obama Administration’s record in this arena. The take away line from the speech, which illuminates the distracted and wandering stances Mitt Romney has taken so far, is another in a series of punishing rhetorical blows democrats have leveled this week.
“Mr. Romney here’s a little advice. Before you debate Barack Obama on policy, you better finish the debate with yourself.”
Crist-tal clear logic
Charlie Crist, former Republican governor of Florida, tried to run for one of Florida’s Senate seats in 2010 as an independent but lost to Republican Marco Rubio who was a darling of the Tea Party.
Crist, in addressing the democratic convention says what many democrats have said is the reason why its been tough to compromise with Republicans since Barack Obama was elected.
“I didn’t leave the Republican party, the Republican party left me.”
Love in an elevator
Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm took the stage to offer a defense of the Auto Bailout which the Romney campaign has taken several positions on its validity and effectiveness.
The key line given by Granholm encapsulates the contrast the democrats are trying to make. That Mitt Romney is floating in his own monied fantasy world, and that he doesn’t care for the working class. She referenced Mitt Romney’s statements about loving Michigan’s trees and automobiles and how he has several of them need their own elevator.
Granholm reframed that image by saying, “But the people who design, and sell, and build those cars…In Romney’s world the cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft!”
Gifford’s Long Road Home
Former Arizona Congresswoman Garbrielle Giffords, in a powerful moment, walks on stage in Charlotte to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Giffords was nearly fatally wounded 18 months ago by a gunman at a campaign event in Arizona. Her recovery has been a long an arduous one after being shot in the head.
The fact that she can walk on her own and speak, while somewhat haltingly, is incredible.