by John Hawkins | August 28, 2008 11:32 am
I’ve continued watching the convention on CNN, primarily because I want to get the liberal spin as it occurs or maybe, because I am more of a masochist than I realize. Either way, CNN is very annoying.
Anyway, things kicked off at 8 PM with Melissa Etheridge performing. That, CNN showed. But then, while Harry Reid was speaking, they interviewed Brian Schweitzer, which is bizarre. They have the Senate Majority Leader on stage and they’re talking to someone who spoke last night — how does that make sense?
Then, CNN ran into Spike Lee on the convention floor and they tried to bait him into saying something controversial about Bill Clinton. Oh, did Bill Clinton hurt himself with the black community? Surprisingly, Spike showed good judgment for once, didn’t take the bait, and kept his comments nice and boring.
Oh, good grief. Madeline Albright was on the stage and they ignored her. What the hell is wrong with CNN?
One interesting nugget from CNN: they handed out flags instead of Bill Clinton signs for Clinton’s speech because they didn’t feel like Bill had earned signs with his name on them. Pettiness, thy name is Barack.
Ok, finally after a full hour, we get to the Big Dog giving his speech at nine.
Bill got a rousing ovation from the crowd and he finally had to ask them to sit down and “please stop” because they were cheering him for too long. Michelle Obama actually looked happy to have Bill up there, which was a change from how she was with Hillary.
Bill made a much more enthusiastic and genuine pitch for Obama than Hillary did and the crowd ate him up a the spoon. Clinton even made the first real attempt to answer the “he isn’t ready to lead” charge. Essentially, it was, he’s smart and Joe Biden will help, which isn’t great, but is still better than anyone else has done. Bill spent most of his time beating up on the Republican Party, instead of McCain, which was the way to go. In fact, I suggested that very tactic.
It was an A+ speech. They should have had Bill doing a different speech every hour on the hour, all through the convention. They would have gotten a 20 point bounce.
From there, they went to John Kerry. CNN didn’t even cover all of Kerry’s speech which is just mind-boggling. He was the Democratic nominee for President in 2004. Seriously, do people watching the Democratic National Convention want to hear John Kerry speak or David Gergen spin? I think for about 98% of the people watching, the answer would be the former.
When they did finally cut to Kerry, he was giving a rousing (well, for Kerry) speech attacking McCain and Bush and trying to spin Obama as the man the country could trust on foreign policy. There were a lot of smears, innuendo, and lies in there, but ya know, it is the Democratic Convention, so what do you expect? It was mostly a red meat speech featuring a lot of tired rhetoric (well, what we saw of it). C+?
There was a Steven Spielberg film done as a tribute to vets, which amazingly, they didn’t turn into a Bush/Iraq war piece. From there, they had a veteran speak whom CNN ignored for about 15 minutes. She nominated Biden and then Nancy Pelosi (blech!) hit the floor.
Then, we had the Joe Biden intro speech. Joe is the “salt of the earth,” blah, blah, blah.
Out comes his son, Beau Biden, to humanize him. He started with a story about Biden losing a child 36 years ago in an auto wreck and coming to their bedside. Then, he talked about how Joe used to stutter when he was a kid. Next up, he talks about their spin on “Joe’s greatest legislative hits.” He gets extra points because he is going to Iraq later this year, yet he didn’t overtly mention it. Then Joe came out and they had a big hug. All in all, it was a good intro and a better, more moving speech than most of the pro-speakers on Day 1 and 2.
PS: Joe really has a beaming smile when he uncorks it. His kid is serving in Iraq. Biden’s wife is a good looking woman, emotes well. Even Biden’s ancient mother looked completely adorable and sweet when they cut to her. They’re a good looking political family.
Biden said some nice words about Hillary and Bill — sold himself a bit, took a few shots at McCain, and started building up Obama. He did fudge — a lot on what Obama did in his limited time in the Senate. A lot of stuff Obama just tagged along on turned into things he supposedly led the way on. Then, he went on a “That’s not change, that’s more of the same” attack on McCain. He said we need more than a good soldier, we need a wise leader. Is that supposed to be Obama?
Biden did try to make a case for Obama and took a lot of shots at McCain on foreign policy. All in all, despite the fact that it hasn’t gotten great reviews, I thought Biden gave a B+ speech. From there, the ObamaMessiah made a quick appearance, said a few nice things about the Clintons, and got the throngs cheering.
Summary: After two lackluster nights, the Democrats finally got going tonight. All and all, it was probably a “B+” night for them. This was definitely a good night for them, although they still lack a positive theme for Obama beyond “change” and their “McCain =’s Bush” theme is a little soft, given that the press has spent the last year telling anyone who will listen that he’s a maverick who’s not like other Republicans.
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