Reflections On Virtual Democratic Convention–Night One

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What we are witnessing with the virtual Democratic National Convention this week, and the Republican one to follow next is a necessity given the COVID-19 pandemic.  While watching the opening night speakers and video clips I thought more than once to what Teddy White would write if alive and able to follow the proceedings.

The famed author of The Making of the President series and a convention analyst for NBC News would mesh the messages of the speakers with the voters which need to be wooed in swing states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  But then he would doubtless say that will be harder to do this year with a  virtual convention.  Before one can be wooed they have to turn in for the broadcast.

The rationale for such a method of conducting this year’s party business is obvious, but so too is the fact that there could have been more finesse and heed paid to the production of the show.  Granted there can be no balloons or floor demonstrations for this person or that cause.  But some well-placed ‘bumper’ music with patriotic flourish and seconds of video with our proud standard bears from decades past could have ushered in the next speaker.  Almost any attempt to enliven the show would have been useful.

Why actress Eva Longoria needed to be in Los Angeles, with the city named at the top of the screen, as opposed to taking the backdrop and star to Milwaukee or Pittsburg was seriously flawed.  It will be interesting to see if they make the same blunder on night two.

The Nielson ratings showed that viewership last night fell roughly 25 percent from 2016.  About 19.7 million people watched the proceedings on TV while four years ago about 26 million people tuned in for the Democrats’ first night in Philadelphia.

While watching Monday I had to chuckle to myself that mom would have been distraught had this convention taken place in 1976.

I recall how excited I was that summer for the political conventions to get underway.    I was coming into my own with an interest in politics, and with wall-to-wall coverage on the networks with the likes of Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, and Bob Schieffer there was no end to the excitement and real-time civics lesson to he had.  I was just then starting my admiration for Teddy White.  That summer I can still hear mom telling others that the conventions kept me ‘occupied” which seemed a nicer way of saying it kept me quiet.

While I am truly excited about Joe Biden, being a supporter of his since 1987, applauding him along all the years, he deserved a better production team for his convention.  While Michelle Obama was truly on-spot for the major address of the night the lead up to her shining moment was lackluster.

Let us hope for something much stronger tonight for production values!

Picture For The History Books—And Thankfully Not Ruined By Donald Trump

National Portrait Gallery Official Photos Of Obamas Unveiled

The images of President Obama and the First Lady for the National Portrait Gallery were painted by African American artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, who were chosen by the Obamas. The artworks manage to create compelling likenesses without sacrificing key aspects of the painters’ signature styles.

Michelle Obama Takes Fight To Donald Trump Over His Sexually Predatory Behavior

Michelle Obama is one of the most effective voices in Election 2016.  That is why what happened just a short time ago is most interesting.

Michelle Obama condemned Donald Trump today for his “disgraceful” comments and accused the Republican nominee of “bragging about sexually assaulting women” in the wake of the release of a 2005 recording that has rocked the 2016 campaign just one month before Election Day.

“Enough is enough, this has got to stop right now,” she said at a campaign rally in New Hampshire where she placed her speech aside and spoke from the heart.

The first lady said Trump’s comments had “shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted” and never referred to Trump by name, calling only a “candidate” or “Hillary’s opponent.”

“This wasn’t just locker room banter, this was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior,” Obama said.

Melania Trump Steals Words From Michelle Obama Speech

It is late.  I am punchy after a long day and then I read this news from Politico.

A passage of Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday night bore a striking resemblance to the speech delivered nearly eight years ago by another first lady hopeful, Michelle Obama.

As journalist Jarrett Hill flagged on Twitter, a portion of Trump’s speech in which she discussed the values instilled in her by her parents appeared to be largely the same words uttered by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

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“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect,” Melania Trump said in her speech. “They taught and showed me morals in their daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to many generations to follow because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

First Lady Obama Speaks Truth To Power In Commencement Address

First Lady Michelle Obama gave a fiery fascinating defense of her husband and his presidency yesterday in her commencement address at Jackson State University, a Historically Black University in Jackson, Mississippi.

I absolutely loved what she said, and want to post a bit of her remarks here.

When I hear words like dignity and excellence, I think about my husband. See, I know I’m biased — and I do think he’s cute, too. But as I’ve walked this journey with Barack, I’ve gotten a pretty good look at what it means to rise above the fray, what it means to set your eyes on the horizon, to devote your life to making things better for those who will come after you. I have seen how, no matter what kind of ugliness is going on at any particular moment, Barack always stays the course. 

And then there’s the countless times when that language gets personal and is directed at my husband — charges that he doesn’t love our country. The time he was called a liar in front of a Joint Session of Congress. The nonstop questions about his birth certificate and his belief in God. …In light of today’s 24-hour news cycle — in this era where our Facebook feeds are limited to the voices of folks who think exactly like we do, and our TVs and radios are exclusively tuned in to those who tell us only what we want to hear — it’s not surprising that our disagreements have become more personal, more intense.

I wish I could say otherwise, graduates, but the question isn’t whether you’re going to come face-to-face with these issues; the question is how you’re going to respond when you do. … [A]re you going to take a deep breath, straighten your shoulders, lift up your head, and do what Barack Obama has always done — as he says, ‘When they go low, I go high.’

That’s the choice Barack and I have made. That’s what has kept us sane over the years. We simply do not allow space in our hearts, minds, or souls for darkness. Instead, we choose faith — faith in ourselves, in the power of hard work. Faith in our God, … Our love for our country, which has given us so many blessings and advantages. …

And we choose excellence. We choose to tune out all the noise and strive for excellence in everything we do. No cutting corners. No taking shortcuts. No whining. We give 120 percent every single time, because excellence — excellence is the most powerful answer you can give to the doubters and the haters.

Video: President Obama On Kiss Cam

FLOTUS and POTUS put on ‘Kiss Cam’ in Verizon Center. POTUS had his arm around his wife, both smiled, didn’t kiss. Boos from crowd.  The they kiss and there is wild applause.

Video Of Wayne Newton and Michele Bachmann During Endorsement Statement

I just had to post this video.  In case you are wondering what was said–hold your stomach—and click here.