So the mile high week is over and the Democrats now officially have their nominees. Here is a view of the activities and celebration of the week from the pasture.
Pre convention it was announced that Barack Obama chose Joe Biden for his running mate. Not a surprise to me. Biden brings to the table what Obama doesn't have. Biden has the foreign policy experience that Obama lacks and also the killer instinct he doesn't like to show. More often than not, a veep choice will focus on one of two things: a deficit in the portfolio of the nominee or a geographic help to carry the Electoral College. And since Delaware is not a prize jewel in the Electoral College, Biden had to be chosen for portfolio deficit of Obama. Let's be candid. His foreign policy experience is lacking. Biden as running mate: plus
The convention started Monday with Michelle Obama speaking in prime time. Excellent choice. She needed to accomplish a couple of things. First, she had to get folks to forget the early campaign blunder of saying: "I'm finally proud of my country." It was a slip then and she was able to show her pride and she talked about the road travelled by her and her husband to get where they are today. The speech was good but there is nothing like kids to steal the show. The Obama children did just that at the end of day one when they came on stage and saw Daddy on the screen behind them. "Love you, daddy." "Love you baby." Night one: finished on a high note.
The outside convention event that did get some attention was McCain's presence on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The issue of McCain's houses came up in a question from Leno and McCain went back to old standby that nobody has the guts to tell him is way over used. I was a POW for 5 ½ years. It has been overused up to this point and will be overused during the next two months. Wes Clark can't say it without be criticized but enough already. Tell me where you are going to take this country in the future.
Tuesday was Hillary's first night in the spotlight. Her speech was praised by the media as a unifier. I didn't see that. Yes, she praised Obama. Yes, she endorsed him. Yes, she campaigned beside him. But her speech Tuesday night was all about Hillary. Look what I did. Remember who I met along the campaign trail, as she shared stories of the past 18 months. Remember those cracks in the glass ceiling. Aren't I wonderful? By the way, did you notice at the beginning of the speech how Hillary thanked everyone and praised them all except Bill? Night two: with Hillary as the main speaker, it was as good as it could be.
Wednesday was another night that could have been a repeat of Tuesday but actually turned out pretty good. The nomination of Obama was solidified in the afternoon as Hillary called for the nomination by acclimation. The musical group burst into a rousing rewritten version of the theme for Soul Train. Poor choice. Clinton's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" was a much better selection in 1992. Speaking of, Bill Clinton is a hero to most Democrats. I'm not impressed, never have been. But I will say the man has a way of captivating a crowd. I saw him speak just outside the pasture in January and he is good on the stump. His convention speech was more unifying than his wife's. Joe Biden spoke and finished the night on a high note as he took a swipe or two at John McCain. About time. I was waiting for someone to throw a good punch or two. The hero for the night for me was Beau Biden, Joe's son and current attorney general of Delaware. Even though it was only an introduction of his dad, it was the one that brought a lump to the throat. Mark my words, he will be remembered for this intro and will be back at future conventions. Another plus night.
Thursday was a hit. INVESCO Field was a great setting for Obama's acceptance speech. Before Obama got to the stage it was time for the master of "the inconvenient truth" Al Gore. Gore showed some spunk, something that was lacking in his prior attempts for the #1 spot on the ticket. Gore drew some blood when mentioning McCain's record. Obama came to the stage right on time; actually the night was running ahead of schedule so a delay filled with music had to be thrown in. Obama did very well with the speech. He addressed the issues in more detail than he had before. You can't get too specific in this type of speech but it was obvious that the campaign wanted more than just a great example of oratory. They got it. A big disappointment in the night was the weak display of fireworks. Maybe it was the fact that Beijing was still fresh on my mind but it was poor. Spend some money (heaven knows you spent plenty on the background at the rest of the event) and make it spectacular. Lot's of red, white and blue with a bang. I've seen better displays at a WWE event held inside.
Most delegates left Denver unified behind the nominee. That's good for the campaign. If you can't do it there, you can't do it anywhere. So the ticket is the Big O and Joe. Pretty good week for the democrats.
The week was a bit upstaged by the Friday announcement of Gov. Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. Remember, more often than not, a veep choice will focus on one of two things: a deficit in the portfolio of the nominee or a geographic help to carry the Electoral College. As with the Democrats, it's a portfolio issue. Most conservatives were pleased with the record and stands on the issues. Most democrats hollered about the lack of experience, especially in foreign affairs. True on both accounts. The lack of experience squawking may settle from Republicans to Obama because of the choice. At least with her lifelong membership in the NRA and being an avid gun user, we won't have any accidents like we did with Dick Cheney. She tried to take Hillary's "cracks in the glass ceiling" line and transfer it across the aisle. It may work with some independent women but none of the Democrats. But then again, it doesn't have to work with too many folks. This race will be close. Hopefully next week we will learn some more about this "hockey mom", as she described herself.
Well, it's off to the Twin Cities to see the GOP. I'm sure the coming of the hurricane will not help on the domestic front as folks will be reminded of the administration's nightmare called Katrina. The challenge will be to try to convince America that Bush and McCain aren't policy twins of different mothers. Hopefully most peolep won't see W. speech on Monday night as he has to go up against Labor Day travelers coming home, college football from the Rose Bowl and Monday Night Football. Viewership will probably rival WWE for third place on the TV. Good luck, George.