Thoughts on the Democratic convention, at the midpoint
Posted by sanityinjection on August 27, 2008
Nothing much of importance usually happens on Day 1 of a convention, and this one was no exception. The one thing that sticks out my mind was the image of Michelle Obama and her daughters on stage with their beaming father on a giant video screen behind them. Looking at this handsome, young, charismatic family, I was reminded of nothing so much as JFK, Jackie, Caroline and John-John, only recast with darker skin. If I were the Obama people, I would try to use a photo of Obama and his family together in every ad. It’s an attractive image that counteracts the usual GOP critique that the Democrats don’t support “family values”.
Day 2 was a little more interesting. Governor Schweitzer of Montana is a pudgy redneck with goofy mannerisms who surprised me by blowing the roof off the place with an old-fashioned stump speech that really fired up the crowd (which had just finished ignoring Obama’s brother-in-arms, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.)
The TV cameras kept going to Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama for reax all night, especially during Hillary’s speech. The Hillary tribute video was well done – I especially liked that they got some real rock music in there instead of the usual insipid crap. Chelsea Clinton continues to be droolworthy, although it’s a little scary how much her voice is starting to resemble her mother’s. (Hillary has many fine qualities, but dulcet tones are not among them.) I liked watching Bill’s face and seeing what was either the greatest acting job ever or genuine love and pride for his wife.
The most enduring image from Day 2 was during Hillary’s speech when she paid tribute to two Democrats who recently passed away, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones and the chair of the Arkansas Democrats, Bill Gwatney. Jones’ son and Gwatney’s wife were sitting in the VIP box on either side of Bill Clinton. When the crowd acknowledged them, they stood up and briefly took each other’s hands in front of Clinton. That image of the white, Southern woman holding hands with the strong, well-dressed young black man, I thought encapsulated the whole idea of unity that Obama supposedly represents. Again, if I were the Dems, I’d get that shot into as many ad pieces as possible.
What we haven’t heard much of at all so far is specifics about what Obama wants to do as President. We know he’s going to calm the seas and make the lion to lay down with the lamb, but some actual policy proposals might be nice, too. I would assume we’ll be hearing more on that front in the second half of the convention.