Thursday, September 06, 2012

Much better!

My thrilling convention coverage continues...

Can someone explain to me why Sandra Fluke gets a spot in prime time? As far as I can tell, her major contribution to society so far has been being degraded by Rush Limbaugh...and if that is the standard, then this convention is going to need a much longer schedule.  They can't find time for the Vice President, or for any members of the Presidents cabinet...but they can carve out 15 incredibly valuable minutes for a random graduate student? OK...

Elizabeth Warren was...well, Elizabeth Warren. Full of lovely phrases about equality and fair play and wonderful chastising of the privileged, but not the least bit likeable and not a single concrete idea. I fear that she is headed for a pretty embarrassing defeat come November (well, I don't really "fear" it, because we won't really miss her). She is in a State where she takes a 3-1 registered voter advantage into the election, and where the President from her party, with whom she is closely associated, will likely win by a larger percentage than in any other state in the country save his own. She was saved the trouble of running a primary and will have tons and tons of money...and she is probably gonna lose by 8 points anyway...

The main event, however, was obviously Bill Clinton, and we once again got a glimpse of his brilliance in this forum. If you go into the way, way back machine, I thought his 2008 speech was overrated (but I thought Hillary's was underrated), but he was very much back to his old self last night. Frankly, the speech was too long, his command of the facts was questionable, and his history just a tad revisionist...but his persona is just mesmerizing. He may as well have been working a room with 10 people.

I found the tone to be really interesting. This was not a grand, visionary World Leader speech. Save for some passages about bi-partisanship and cooperation (which, by the way, I hope that the President was listening to, since he is just about the worst offender of this) the text was absent big ideas and really heavy on details. He spent a lot of time talking about why we should still like Obama, what he has done to make him proud and why he feels great about him being President for another four years. It is bothersome that so few other Democrats can make that same argument.

And taking the time to explain specifics about Medicare policies? I love it...and I can't imagine anyone else who would attempt to do that to an audience of 10 million or so. Sure, his facts are dubious (the argument relies on the assumption that you can just decide not to pay $700 billion and expect that not a single provider is going to cut back on a meaningful service) but his ability to explain that in 30 seconds is phenomenal. And for the nitwits on TV...that is a policy. "Restore the middle class" is not a policy. "Close the medicare drug donut hole" is a policy. {Frankly, it is a terribly policy, but that isn't the point...the point is that it is an actual action, not a vague idea that means different things to different people.}

Just one last note about Clinton's power to command a room. In 2012, in a Democratic National Convention hall, he managed to get a serious and heartfelt ovation for George W. Bush. Now THAT is an accomplishment.

2 comments:

Kari said...

I much appreciate your commentaries -- as a Cdn I need all the insight I can get to understand these conventions!

steffi2282 said...

OMG, now I want to hear his speech. Guess I have to look it up on the Internet.