Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Hillary Clinton's Night
Day Two of the Democratic National Convention offered few surprises. Again, it was a day in which the focus seemed to be on someone other than the nominee and it gave insight as to why one Vice Presidential contender was not picked.
The speech by Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius was as flat as the state she governs. I found myself dozing during it. I will admit I did not keep the notes I had planned to, because, well, she put me to sleep for a while. I understand now why she was not picked. I am sure people in Kansas are fond of her, and her speech will not define her career, but good grief she was boring. Almost as boring as Bill Clinton in 1988.
The other speakers said the same old tired stuff about McCain and Bush and about how wonderful Obama was. I could have written their speeches for them because I knew exactly what they would say. The general gist was, "McCain owns seven houses. The country has gone to Hell. McCain is a hero, but he wants to keep America in Hell."
Then came the star of the night, Hillary Clinton. I thought she did well for herself and not too much for Obama. When the camera cut away to Michelle Obama during some moments, Mrs. Obama's eyes were angry. Clinton talked about the progress of women in American politics, but failed the mention the fact that an African American was nominated for the first time. She had a few clever lines, but most of the speech seemed to be right from her campaign stump speech with a "oh yeah, now Obama can do that too," line or two.
Having Chelsea introduce her was a nice touch. My mother, who is the ultimate common sense voter who votes in every election but can not, despite my best efforts, be pinned down to one party, told me it was good to see Chelsea and how the stuff about women progressing impressed her. That said, my mother is still leaning McCain.
In other words, the night was all about Hillary Clinton and her life. Perhaps it should have been. Clinton did go farther than any woman in history in a Presidential race and she and her husband still command a great deal of respect with the rank and file Democrats who actually caste more primary votes for her than Obama.
But, in the realm of realpolitik it was another night of someone other than the Obama-Biden ticket being the star of the evening.
Wednesday night does not look any better. Like him or not, former President Clinton has the charisma to bring down the house. Why the Democrats have him sharing the night with the Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden is beyond me.
It seems that the Democrats and the Obama-Biden campaign are banking their convention bounce on Obama's speech in Mile High Stadium on Thursday night. Considering that the Joe Six Pack voters that actually make the difference in elections might be tuning into the start of college football season Thursday night, that is one helluva gamble. Take for example the state of North Carolina, one in which Obama-Biden seems to think they can win. How many Joe Sixpacks will flip from NC State-South Carolina to watch Obama speak?
I was prepared for Obama-Biden to leave Denver with a huge lead over McCain-Romney(or whomever), but now I am not so sure. The only inspiring speaker of their convention so far is the woman that they denied the nomination to.