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Democratic Convention, Tuesday

On Tuesday I missed the first three hours or so, alas. Here are the notes from the couple of hours I watched.

Janet Napolitano. Magenta Nehru jacket, black pants. Nehru jackets must be the thing. She’s giving the business about the AZ politicians who lose presidential races. "I wanted to say something positive tonight about Senator McCain." "He doesn’t understand the policies he has supported." "can’t afford more of the same" use of specific name, which doesn’t thrill me, but is one of the Accepted Political Speech bits. "Green-collar jobs" is a nice phrase though, and I think we’ll get it into the public discussion.

Town hall. Gov. Jennifer Granholm hosting. Better hair than Brown or whatever his name was. This panel is just as dopey as the other one, though. No back-and-forth, no discussion, just a prepared question and prepared speech. If you’re going to do that, just have them give speeches, and give up the stools and hand mikes. A. Cline over and rhetorica and I have been amusing ourselves coming up with the ground rules for the debate. Rule one: panelists may not speak to each other or look at each other. Rule two: panelists will be given the question in advance, and may give only the prepared and approved answer. Rule three: the Moderator will lead, or rather feed. With a great big spoon. Rule four: the debate will go on as long as the networks need to run ads or have their pundits blather about other things.

Jim Whitaker, Mayor of Fairbanks. Republican. Endorsing Barack Obama. "realistic and resulting wisdom"? I like his fifties necktie and brown suit. Suits him. Shifts and whims of the marketplace which are subject to shifts and whims of dictators.

Gloria Craven, described in the on-line schedule as "Laid-off North Carolina textile worker with huge medical bills" I was kinda figuring this would be bad, but it’s actually great: plain-talking woman, very matter-of-factly talking about how awful the Republicans are, and how the Democrats actually have different ideas and priorities. With a nice class hostility (although not hostile enough for me).

Nancy Floyd, energy tech money. Wasn’t paying much attention, I’m afraid.

Kathleen Sebelius, Gov. Kansas. Starts with Barack Obama’s Kansas roots. Ad astra per aspera, which is nice and the Kansas motto. Best Reader points out that she’s a good speaker, but she’s not having much fun. My Best Reader misses Ann Richards. Gov. Sebelius is very dull.

Federico Peña, former Mayor of Denver, former Sect’y of Energy. More energy coming in. Crowd still wandering around chatting. "America is on a liquid leash" Back to man on the moon.

Nydia Velazquez: Now, that’s a jacket. And emerald necklace? Jet? Jade? Awesome, whatever. She’s going after Sen. McCain. I’m glad tonight has shown a lot more willingness to go after McCain. It hasn’t coalesced into a clear caricature, though, which is what we need.

Robert Casey, Jr. Gov PA. A slight reference to his father’s refusal to endorse Bill Clinton in 1992, and the refusal to let him speak at the convention about his anti-abortion position. Just a slight reference, though, and no reference (yet) to his own anti-abortion stance. Pushing how comfortable Sen. Obama really is with working-class Pennsylvania voters. "He’s one of us." "Native son Joe Biden!" Now talking about Hillary Rodham Clinton in glowing terms. "When she endorsed Barack, she called on all of us to do whatever we can to get Barack Obama elected President of the United States." Another Abraham Lincoln reference. Now an explicit reference to his anti-abortion opinion, and saying outright that his present tonight shows blah blah blah. I suppose it’s a good thing for Sen. Obama, and he can scarcely get up there and say his dad was a prick.

Four more months! Four more months!

Lilly Ledbetter: Very serious looking. Jaw locked. She’s the one in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, where the Supreme Court shut down the rights of more people to use the courts for redress. She’s a good prop for pointing out that the Supreme Court, and thus the Presidency, is important. Bad delivery, though, and bad gesturing. The audience is good to her, though, and I don’t grudge her the time. I wonder if CNN or the others showed her at all.

Musical interlude: "I’m So Excited". There are many men in the crowd who know the words. To the verses. I’m just saying. And there were two bull-dykes who didn’t know the words even to the chorus but who waved their rainbow flags.

Mark Warner with the keynote: I took some separate notes so that I can write this up as an entry of its own. Maybe later today, or events may pass me.

Ted Strickland: Applause for Stephanie Tubbs-Jones. Then going into a speech of his own. kitchen table reference again. I like the kitchen table stuff. "more likely to lose a neighbor to foreclosure than to gain a neighbor with a mortgage" "John McCain is sleeping better than ever" Stuck in the past. I like stuck in the past. Particularly used as a modifying phrase: a stuck-in-the-past energy policy, etc. Started on third, stole second. Instead of some starting on third, giving everybody a chance at bat.

Deval Patrick: That is who we are. That is also what we stand for as Democrats. The poor are in terrible shape, but the middle class are one paycheck away, one serious illness away from being poor. The generation did all of that. I don’t get the focus on that. "A well-educated America will make things again." John McCain is one of those say one thing do something else guys. The same folks. "Democrats don’t deserve to win just because Republicans deserve to lose" This is not working. Lots of greatest generation stuff. "Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together". Lost the crowd, I think.

Gov. Schweitzer comes on in a bola tie and has lots of energy. I shut down the computer at that point, and was ready to head off to bed, but he grabbed me and didn’t let go. That was a fun speech. Clearly the highlight of the night. So far.

I’ll add Hillary Clinton to the list of Big Speeches that I need to go back and watch when I get the chance.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,