S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, August 29, 2008

This Is The Week!

Up dated -- Memeorandum reported that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is McCain's VP pick: source

The mornings after the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week, I was often struck speechless. The DNC was so very big, bold and beautiful along the way. Fast paced, and yet somehow at ease, the convention moved towards the last day with ascending excitement. Media coverage of the week was available to cable and satellite TV viewers in pundit-driven or gavel to gavel style. By Thursday's the DNC had visited almost everything. The convention's conclusion did not begin until afternoon.
FRIDAY MORNING, everyone agrees the DNC was unprecedented in several respects. Barack Obama is the first African American candidate to be nominated by a major party to run for President. His acceptance speech audience was the largest ever. His candidacy was the most high-tech in history. And the United States is in a brand a new kind of governance crisis. The USA is embroiled in two very high cost (in people and money) wars. Polarized politically, in economic recession, its citizens have been routinely victimized by an out of control, inept, constitution-shredding administration. An unprecedented level of problems faces the nation; that is the reason the Democrats are willing to leave the venue mostly united. They and the whole country know what is at stake.
Is it any wonder that the "Change We Need" campaign of (dare I say it?) destiny's Obama was eventually so welcomed by Democrats? The other reason for Democratic party unity is Barack Obama himself. His skill as a the leader of his own campaign became more apparent as the week progressed. The stadium setting was the story for a while. And it was seized upon by nay-sayers as "over the top." A full stadium of flag waving, enthusiastic people, who came early and in large numbers, affirmed the planners' decision in my opinion. A text message exercise in voter recruitment energized a huge starry map showing supporters. Lots of good video filled in the gaps, along with food and funny hats, statement t-shirts, and Diverse Dems dancing in place. The audience was entertained by good music that seemed just right, much of it with a a modern folk feel. Stevie Wonder and Sheryl Crow sang. Republicans and Independents testified to their support. Obama's best political friends, including his mentor, Senator Dick Durbin, gave little speeches. And a set of "just folks" told us through vignettes why they had to support Obama. In contrast, a stage-filling group of military leaders and generals marched out in a line to support the candidate, some of whom had previously retired in protest against the Bush administration. Vice-President Gore did 'his thing" with sincerity and skill.
This is the week that culminated last night in Senator Obama's acceptance speech. By most accounts it was perhaps his best speech ever-- it was dynamite. At once biographical, inspirational and confrontational, it was also policy specific. It was a magnificent blue print for the next couple of months of this 2008 presidential campaign. I cannot wait for it to unfold. Unwilling to post yesterday, because I wanted to just enjoy the moments, I went back to my occasional years-ago choice of "being on vacation without my camera." The blogosphere took appropriate notice, however, as links to the other blogs where I post show. This is the rest of the week as reflected in my earlier notes:
THURSDAY MORNING, Wednesday was historic -- Senator Barack Obama was nominated by the Democrats to run for President. In a stroke of genius, Senator Joseph Biden was nominated for Vice-President. Speeches by Former President Clinton, Senator John Kerry and Veep-to-be Senator Joe Biden were all outstanding. Many of us were relieved by Bill Clinton's endorsement. Wednesday night's theme was national security. Morning-after reflections gave the Democrats high marks for the way the theme was handled during the third night of this historic week. Bloggers gave the mainstream media less than high marks for the coverage. Because of the difficulty of Surviving the DNC on cable,too many viewers missed the best speech of the evening given by John Kerry.
WEDNESDAY MORNING, Democratic National Convention -- Tuesday night was all Hillary Clinton's, though she was not the official keynoter. The keynote speaking task fell to Governor Mark Warner, who was lack luster, by many of the next morning's accounts. To me, Hillary Clinton's address was probably one of her best to date. A few questioned whether Clinton's endorsement of Obama was strong enough, but most bestowed qualified approval of her speech. Scott Paul, for instance at The Washington Note, gave: "A (Potentially Premature) Defense of Clinton." To quote:
I had two immediate reactions to Clinton's speech. First, purely from the perspective of speechcraft and delivery, I've never seen her deliver a better one. Second, she said very few positive things about Barack Obama or his candidacy. She talked at great lengths about the need to support Obama given the state of the country, the challenges we face, the alternative of John McCain, and the importance of Democratic Party unity. But aside from one line of praise for the grassroots oriented, bottom-up nature of Obama's campaign, she had precious little to say about the appeal of the candidate himself.
TUESDAY MORNING, Dateline: Democrats -- Michelle Obama was a big hit with all of us who listened to her speech Monday night (8/26/o8). She was both highly "professional," as well as very personal. On the morning after, this was a typical story: "Michelle keeps things down to earth." It was penned by Roger Simon at It refers to Michelle's narrative about Barack, the brand new father, driving his little family home from the hospital at a snail's pace. To quote:
. . . She was describing a simple moment, a real moment, an emotional moment and one that made only one point: Barack Obama is a human being just like you. He is not an other, he is not a celebrity. He is a father, a husband, a person.
And so, indeed, was Senator Ted Kennedy awesome, according to David Rogers at (8/26/08). Most every listener was rooting for his success. In a way, he "had us with hello." The headline hinted at how we all still felt the next morning: Ailing Kennedy: 'The dream lives on.' To quote:
Most people have to fight a whole Civil War before getting a Ken Burns documentary. Not Teddy Kennedy, who staged a triumphant appearance before the Democratic National Convention Monday night complete with a Burns-crafted tribute casting him as the modern Ulysses bringing his party home to port.

Weakened by cancer, the Massachusetts senator first let the pictures do his talking but then rocked the Denver hall with an appeal for healthcare reform and party unity that brought him full circle from his famous the dream shall never die speech in New York 28 years ago.
This is also the week that Senator McCain was to have announced the identity of his running mate. I am not waiting to conclude this piece with that information. I want to savor the week before being forced to move on before I am ready. But, of course I will move on -- to Minneapolis. I predict that I will be able to post much more because I will not be savoring all those Republican moments. I give them back to the next participants in this wonderful democratic process.
ADDENDUM -- References From Tom Head, who writes about civil liberties for
  1. Obama vs. McCain (on civil liberties issue differences)

  2. Joe Biden on Civil Liberties

  3. Joe Biden's Middle East Policy

  4. Civil Liberties and November 2008 Ballot Initiatives

  5. If You Make a Mistake While Voting
View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.
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