The birds are singing, a glow seeps over the eastern horizon, and kitten-cats lie contentedly across my feet. I stretch and smile, and want to break into a chorus of “This is my fight song/Take back my life song/Prove I’m alright song/My power’s turned on/Starting right now I’ll be strong/I’ll play my fight song/And I don’t really care if nobody else believes…”
Am I enjoying the Democratic convention? You betcha!
Finally, we get a little bit of an exhale after slogging through so much muck for weeks. Two straight days filled with some really stellar moments. On the one hand, I’m ecstatic. On the other, I keep thinking “102 days more of this campaign after the balloons drop…” (Seriously, we’ve been at this since March 2015 when Ted Cruz declared he was running for president. We have got to limit these campaigns. Even elephants only have a gestation period of 22 months. )
Anyway, soak it all in, folks, because it gets uglier and uglier, and for those who have said, “it can’t get worse…” I promise you, it can always get worse.
But right now enjoy the sanity and the relief. Enjoy the nice coherent messaging from reasonable people making logical arguments.
So, side note: I apologize for not posting yesterday. I took a day off, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t fab things that happened on Day 2 of the Convention.
Calling All Delegates
Roll call was not the hot mess it might have been and thankfully no floor fights broke out. Indeed, we got the symbolic Bernie moment in which he halted the roll call in favor of Hillary, as she did eight years ago for Obama. I even teared up a little at the sight of Sanders getting verklempt when his brother referenced their parents as he cast the votes for Democrats Abroad.
My Man Bill
And then Bill. Giving not the kind of policy wonk speech that we have come to love him for, but the perfect First Lady speech where he extols the virtues of his spouse, and humanizes her with anecdotes about her work ethic and family life. He’s an ex-President with a sharp mind and a lot to say, who could have talked about himself for an hour, but he chose not to. (Take a moment to watch Bill’s ad libs for which he is justly renowned–a writer for Gawker filmed the TelePrompTer screen while he was speaking so you can see him go delightfully off-script.) As Rebecca Traister says in The Cut:
It was notable that Bill mentioned Michelle Obama so enthusiastically in his speech; in many ways, he was taking his cues from her, and he now hopes to share a category with her, a category once also occupied by his own wife — that of the brilliant and hugely overqualified presidential helpmate.
Also, have a chuckle over this assessment of Bill Clinton’s style from Jenni Avins–he wore a fetching pantsuit, clearly in tribute to his wife. Hey, the Times reported on Michelle Obama’s Christian Siriano gown and Melania Trump’s Roksanda Ilincic outfit. Fair is fair.
The best part of Bill’s speech though, was his instantly hashtag-ready refrain of “the real one.”
How did this square with the things that you heard at the Republican convention? What’s the difference in what I told you and what they said? How do you square it? You can’t. One is real, the other is made up.
People were getting all caught up in it and hash tagging #TheRealOne with tweets like, “I haven’t been this emotional since the ‘Fault in Our Stars.'” (Translation for us old folks: “I feel like I just watched ‘Beaches.'”) It’s good to know that he reached both millennials and Gen Xers.
So by the end of Day 2, things were feeling a little bit more on track. Could Day 3 get better? I’m so glad you asked.
Oh, Joe. I love you. Having watched this man through years of ups and downs, through losses and successes, gaffes and heartfelt moments, I couldn’t listen to his speech without feeling an upswell of emotion:
As Ernest Hemingway once wrote, the world breaks everyone, and afterwards many are strong at the broken places. I’ve been made strong at the broken places, by my love Jill, by my heart, my son Hunter and the love of my life, my Ashley.
And by all of you, and I mean this sincerely, those of you that have been through this, you know I mean what I say. By all of you, you’re love, your prayers, your support, but you know what, we talk about, we think about the countless thousands of other people, who suffered so much more than we have, with so much less support.
So much less reason to go on. But they get up, every morning, everyday. They put one foot in front of the other. They keep going. That’s the unbreakable spirit of the people of America. That’s who we are.
In new cycle after news cycle, it’s been all about The Donald, but Joe offered a tribute to Hillary that was in a way almost as touching as Bill’s.
Hillary understands that college loan is about a lot more than getting a qualified student education. It’s about saving the mom and dad from the indignity of having to look at their talented child and say sorry, honey, I’m so sorry. The bank wouldn’t lend me the money. I can’t help you to get to school. I know that about Hillary.
Hillary understood that for years, millions of people went to bed staring at the ceiling, thinking oh my God what if I get breast cancer, or he has a heart attack. I will lose everything, what will we do then? I know about Hillary Clinton.
There’s only one person in this race who will be there, who has always been there for you, and that’s Hillary Clinton’s life story. It’s not just who she is, it’s her life story.
Last night also saw the national spotlight debut of Tim Kaine, Hillary’s veep pick and he did a great job coming after a tough act like Joe. Kaine has an easy manner about him and like Joe, he comes across as very down-to-earth and practical.
He was absolutely on point with his attacks and FINALLY mentioned Trump’s tax returns with a Trump impersonation that made me giggle. I hope that also gains some traction.
Hey, Donald, what are you hiding? And yet, Donald still says, believe me. Believe me.
Believe me? Believe me? I mean, here’s the thing, most people when they run for president, they don’t just say, believe me, they respect you enough to tell you how they will get things done.
I also hope that “Hillary es lista” catches on. I’d like to see that on some posters.
I like Tim. He’s a fiscal conservative social progressive mix and I can live with that because he’s got the priorities I like, plus it seems like he’s a good guy. He’s making inroads with the “Couldja have a beer with him?” crowd, and I was amused by this piece on his Dad-cred:
Tim Kaine knows he probably won’t need the extended warranty, but he appreciated the salesperson’s candor and wanted to make sure they got a nice commission.
Tim Kaine could easily have afforded the next trim level up. But it didn’t add any benefit, and he doesn’t do “flashy.”
Tim Kaine secretly supercharged the minivan, but not before modifying the filtration system and full cat-back exhaust to prevent an increase in emissions.
Tim Kaine keeps a swear jar for everything above “darn” and empties it once in a while to take everyone out for ice cream.
Tim Kaine will always stop to help someone with a dead battery, and healways pretends to electrocute himself with the jumper cables.
Tim Kaine thought about getting Sirius, but then how would he be able to play all of his old Beach Boys tapes?
I was also pleasantly surprised by Michael Bloomberg’s speech. As one might guess, I wasn’t Hizzoner’s biggest fan while he was New York City Mayor. I found him to be opportunistic (you changed from lifelong Democrat to Republican just to get Rudy Giuliani’s endorsement?), tone-deaf (you bought yourself a third term by paying off Ronald Lauder so he wouldn’t block City Council from changing term limits laws?) and out of touch. Still, he didn’t wreck the city during his tenure. And he had some reasonable points to make last night.
Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders, and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.
I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he’ll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the US visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What’d I miss here?!
Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy. He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims. He wants you to believe that erecting trade barriers will bring back good jobs. He’s wrong on both counts.
Still an Obama-Girl
The star of last night, justifiably, though, was the President. Damn, that guy is good.
Like the trickle of a stream headed to the ocean, Obama’s speech was informal and funny to start “Don’t boo–vote!”, sweeping into a thundering roar as it gathered steam. Loved every minute of it.
You know, the Donald is not really a plans guy. He’s not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated.
Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice?
One of my favorite lines came midway through– and it got applause and laughs from Bill Clinton up in the boxes):
I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman—not me, not Bill, nobody—more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.
I hope you don’t mind, Bill, but I was just telling the truth, man.
But getting to the meat of things logically is the Obama style — make the case, lay out the argument and bring it home:
Look, Hillary has got her share of critics. She has been caricatured by the right and by some on the left. She has been accused of everything you can imagine—and some things that you cannot. But she knows that’s what happens when you’re under a microscope for 40 years. She knows that sometimes during those 40 years she’s made mistakes—just like I have; just like we all do. That’s what happens when we try. That’s what happens when you’re the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt once described—not the timid souls who criticize from the sidelines, but someone “who is actually in the arena…who strives valiantly; who errs…but who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.”
Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena. She’s been there for us—even if we haven’t always noticed. And if you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport. America isn’t about “yes, he will.” It’s about “yes, we can.” And we’re going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that’s what the moment demands.
Yes, we can. Not “yes, she can.” Not “yes, I can.” “Yes, we can.”
It was a great speech. When Clinton walked out and joined him on the stage at the end of the speech, I wanted him to pull out an Olympic-style torch and hand it off to her.
I’ll be singing this all day: