Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, July 26, 2004

Democratic National Convention Reactions

Hi Everyone,

I got a chance to watch/listen to some of the speeches for the first night of the Democratic National Convention. Here are some of my reactions:

As expected Bill Clinton gave an amazing speech. Wow! He's great. The juxtaposition of the Democratic policies and the Republican policies was great. So was the "send me!" theme where he said that back in the 1960s a lot of men, "including the current President, the current Vice President and me...could have gone to Vietnam but didn't....John Kerry came from a privileged background he could have avoided it but instead he said, 'Send me!'" Great stuff. But I think the best part of Clinton's speech was when he said that the Republican party's policies are designed to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the very few. And since most people don't really believe in that, the Republicans need to portray the Democrats as totally unacceptable. "They need a divided America. We don't!"

The best speech of the night was not, surprisingly enough, Bill Clinton's. Instead that honor belongs to a reverend Alston (an African American preacher who served on Kerry's swift boat in Vietnam). Actually, I have to give the edge to Clinton's speech with regard to issues but Alston won heavily on style points. The reverend was fantastic! He really had the crowd rockin'. His ringing endorsement of Kerry, the brave skipper was great.

Speaking of Navy men, Jimmy Carter gave a surprising speech. After being introduced as the house building, Nobel Prize winning saint in waiting, Carter gave a speech in which he alluded prominently to his own military service aboard nuclear submarines during the Truman and Eisenhower years. Carter made a strong point of saying that he and his shipmates had confidence that neither Truman nor Eisenhower (both of whom had served in war time overseas), would mislead them or send them into war needlessly. He made allusions to Kerry's "serving actively with honor" (pronouncing "honor" in a way that sounded more like Robert E. Lee and less like Bush) and "showing up for assigned duty." Carter alluded to human rights and the moral high ground on that issue that has been abandoned (a barely veiled allusion to Gitmo and Abu Gharib). It was clear he could barely contain his disgust for Bush. Which might partly explain why he is getting active in party politics again after so many years of staying away.

Gore's speech was hilarious. That guy is downright funny. "You win some, you lose some...and then there is that little known third category." Yet more evidence that Gore was "overhandled" by his campaign staff. I hope that is not happening with Kerry.

Overall the theme of the night was clear: JFK the heroic skipper of PT 109 - sorry, make that JFK the heroic skipper of PCF-94.

In other news: Theresa Heinz Kerry told a conservative editorialist to "shove it" because she believed he was misquoting her and accusing her of calling Republicans "un-American." We'll see what happens. My guess is she did it on purpose after they found poll numbers showing that Cheney got a little boost among the Republican base for dropping the "F-Bomb."

Did anyone else see/hear the speeches? Reactions? Comments?

10 comments:

Bell Curve said...

I remember Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live talking about Gore partying with Tyra Banks and others until 4 AM after he lost the election. "That's not Al Gore. That's the Gore-ster! Where was that guy during the election? I would have voted for that guy."

The Law Talking Guy said...

I am saddened that the Big 3 networks are not going to cover the keynote address by Barack Obama. I hope they don't cover the Republicans' keynote address, even if theirs is by a white man.

Raised By Republicans said...

Two things came to my mind during the Obama speech. First, I can't imagine a Republican in Illinois (Ditka included) who would want to go toe to toe with this candidate! Second, I hope I get to vote for him some day (I don't live in Illinois).

I was not impressed with Dean's speech. I think he demonstrated again that he is not ready for prime time (even if only on cable and PBS).

US West said...

I was interested to hear Therese Heinz Kerry last night. I sort of respect a woman who says what she thinks, even if it is "shove it". I don't think she did it on purpose. From what I saw, the guy didn't give her a chance to properly refute his claim.

I think that being called opinionated gets under her skin. And I think she refuted that wonderfully by pointing out that "My right to speak my mind, to have a voice, to be what some have called opinionated-it is a right I deeply and profoundly cherish. And my only hope is that one day soon, women who have all earned their right to their opinions, instead of being called opinionated will be called smart and well-informed, just like men."

I think that resonates with me because I can identify.

She may be a little hard for the public to swallow, as she is non-conformist and not as eager to please as Hillary. She doesn’t have this big aspiration to have a political career. It will be interesting to see how she develops over time. But for me, the fact that John Kerry admires some one tough-minded like that raises my esteem of him.

Raised By Republicans said...

I was very impressed with Theresa Heinz Kerry. I think her line about how smart, confident women are dismissed as "opinionated" will resonate with the majority of women who work outside the home. Some pundits have said that it will alienate moderates but I don't think so. I think anyone (male or female) who would vote Republican just because of Theresa's speach would probably have found some other excuse to vote Republican anyway. However, I think there is no way the GOP can go after her now without it looking like they have problems with "upity, opinionated" women. I think she'll lock in a sizable gender gap.

Her telling the story about she marched to prevent the segregation of her university in South Africa in the early days of Apartheid will count among African American leaders. She plays to the base very well and in ways that are hard for Republicans to directly confront without appearing misogynistic or racist.

frankriddle said...

i missed the speaches. Did anyone speak to reproductive freedom?

If so what kinds of things did they say? What is the direction the candidates are leaning? High priority, mid-level or not even on the radar?

Raised By Republicans said...

There were VERY few obvious references to abortion rights or birth control or anything along those lines. I think I saw a content analysis of the speeches on MSNBC that said "abortion" was only mentioned once or twice. However, I wouldn't take that as an indication that the Democratic party has changed its position on those issues. Rather, they believe that the way to win over people who might not be 100% with them yet is to avoid bringing up the issue.

That said, there have been a number of references to the likelihood of 2 or 3 Supreme Court justices being appointed in the next 4 years. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out why that matters for issues like reproductive freedom (or any other kind of freedom for that matter).

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