The debut episode of the Democratic National Convention was pretty moving, even to this old Contrarian.
Several pundits (including Democratic hatchet man/Skeletor look-alike James Carville) have pointed out the lack of a clear offensive against McCain, but last night was really all about Michelle Obama (and Ted Kennedy, who looked and sounded remarkably robust). Michelle’s pitch-perfect speech put lie to the myth of elitism through touching examples of determination, love of family, and yes, faith. I challenge any Republican cynic to watch her speech and tell me that it’s not an all-American story. The completely unscripted interaction between Barack (via satellite), Michelle and the kids was total cute overload. Here’s the full video, in case you missed it:
Tonight, of course, is Hillary Clinton‘s last chance to convince her die-hard supporters that Barack Obama is the guy to vote for. Logic should make this patently obvious, but those kooky PUMAs just won’t let it fucking go. (Read this Salon article for the grisly details.) Here’s an excerpt:
"I asked [Hillary supporter] Carlson why, if she was offended by being called "Sweetie" and invested in the legacy of her foremothers, she would express her disappointment over Obama’s nomination by supporting a man who would rob women of their reproductive rights and who does not support equal-pay legislation. ‘We are really sick and tired of having women’s rights held over our heads as a threat," she said. ‘It’s country over party now.’"
That’s the kind of nonsense Rachel Maddow aptly called "post-rational" during last night’s MSNBC coverage.
Everyone’s wondering what Bubba‘s gonna do with his convention spot; I puzzle over why Barry would want to have two nights of Clintons instead of sticking them together and getting it over with. But the Clintons still have enormous influence over the Democratic machine, and handing the keys to Obama probably requires a lot of precise politcal maneuvering. Or maybe it’s simpler than that. Perhaps the Clintons (Bill in particular) just don’t want to let go of the wheel. Hillary certainly has the discipline to sell her commitment to Obama, but whatever was left of her husband’s political prudence has been eclipsed by his ego. The Clintons are in the business of selling access to themselves, based on the presumption that there’d be another one of ’em in the White House. With Obama as the nominee, their brand is worth less.
My favorite part of last night’s coverage was a segment with Bill Maher, where he talked about how Americans are getting stupider with each election cycle. "I’d love anybody to tell me something that you can’t just tell the American people and have them believe it because you didn’t add ‘LOL’ to it at the end of your e-mail message," he told Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews. Zing!
In other news, Hillary’s ex-Communications Director Howard Wolfson has a music blog. Does this make me like him less or more? I’m so confused.