Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Opening night of the DNC
Just a few observations about the Democratic National Convention.
First off, I think the party brass is truly regretting they held this event in North Carolina. With all the other swing states in play, I assure you of one thing. NC is not winnable. It will line up for Romney in 2012. But hindsight is always 20/20.
2. You just can't help but notice the physical makeup of the delegates. Every time they panned the crowd last night, there was an enormous variety of ethnicity and multi-culturalism. And the Democrats seemed more enthusiastic about praising Obama, not tearing down Romney. The RNC crowd trended in the exact opposite direction. A wise political calculation. If it was a Republican praise and worship session for Romney, it would have looked pretty silly.
3. The Democrats have committed a pretty big fuck-up. You won't hear much about it in the mainstream press. Obama's speech on Thursday night was supposed to take place at Bank of America Stadium. Just this morning, they moved it to the arena. That's a shift of about +/- 40,000. I think this decision was made a while back, and just now, they've conveniently blamed it on the weather. "Chance of rain" - big fucking deal. That's not a reasonable justification for doing this. Nor was it ever. You just pissed off thousands of your biggest supporters. I've read articles about the difficulty securing multiple venues and the potential for poor optics (the stadium having chunks of empty seats). Not a smart move. FOX News should jump all over this and interview disappointed Obama fans that were shut out. Crush the Democratic momentum. Nothing makes for better political fodder than hearing from diehard Obama supporters who feel BETRAYED.
4. Comparing Michelle Obama to Ann Romney. Of course this is NOT a fair comparison. Michelle is a far more gifted public speaker and the speech itself was vastly superior. The audience seemed truly moved. When they showed the faces in the audience, peoples expressions were more "real." The Republican crowd intuitively relied on waving red, white and blue. It was more about signs, placards, balloons, confetti, etc. The racial makeup of their crowd consisted of two colors, white and eggshell white. Ann Romney did a nice job. Michelle Obama tore the roof off the place.
5. I guess the boldest attacks of Mitt Romney came from Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. I watched his highlights and he was indeed pretty harsh. The truth - you do need an attack dog to rev up the crowd. The difference is... the Republicans closed on that note. They wanted to leave you feeling angry and resentful. The Democrats went the optimism and future route. This all does make sense. It's simply a matter of strategy and positioning. You almost have to sympathize with the Republicans on this one. It's just the hand they've been dealt.
6. I thought Rahm Emmanual (Chicago mayor) was really stale and mediocre. He's more of an aggressive behind the scenes guy, a Romulan from Chicago if you will. You don't want him on the stage, but with that massive ego, he likley could not be deterred. However, Julian Castro (San Antonio mayor) was spectacular. They're likely grooming him for a future Senate run against Ted Cruz (R) in Texas. This guy is a superstar - could play a major role as the future Texas demographics are shifting toward the blue column. Deval Patrick (MA Governor) was strong as well.
7. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke as well. Wow, a Nevadan bean counter complaining about Romney not releasing his taxes. Weak. Why is this guy on the stage? No doubt providing a muted counter-punch to Mitch McConnell.
All in all, I thought the DNC came across as more uplifting and authentic. The RNC seemed stringently rehearsed (except for the Eastwood fiasco), caustic and generally resentful. I'm certainly NOT an impartial observer. My liberal stance on just about every social issue makes it exceptionally difficult to identify with the Republican platform. No abortion in cases of rape or incest! Hard to comprehend why mainstream America doesn't want to jump on board. Democratic operatives should unearth some rogue Republican who wants to make an exception only for cases of "gang rape." Now that would be sick/funny.
What's crazy is the DNC has 2 more nights, Wednesday with Clinton and Thursday is Obama. They'll both give soaring oratory performances. The only way FOX News will be able to spin it is to claim it was a love-fest for the Democratic gods. No solutions are being offered. It's just these high-flying speeches that haven't yielded any results. I also see them trotting out the inevitable argument that he's "not doing the job." I do find this troublesome, because even if you harbor intense hatred for Obama's policies and objectives, I can't see how anyone could make the claim he's not fulfilling the job description of the POTUS. Just because you don't like the job he's doing, doesn't mean he's not doing the job.
And yeah, I realize it's all just playing politics. That's cool. Gotta do whatcha gotta do.