Well, it wasn’t boring, at least not if you’re a Democrat. I’ve been watching the political conventions for 24 years now and I was not expecting the emotional night that the Democrats put on last night in Charlotte. Yes, yes, I’m a fanboy, guilty as charged, but I’m not suggesting that last night was the best convention night I’ve ever seen or anything, just that I was pleasantly surprised by the excitement that the Democrats in the hall showed and the quality of the speakers.
I think it was probably because last week’s RNC kind of lulled me into thinking that these conventions are usually pretty boring, or at least the first couple of days usually are. Sure, the RNC did get pretty, um, unusual, there at the end, but the first couple of days before (and the hour after) that bizarre moment were pretty boring.
Everyone is talking about the Michelle Obama speech, and I will too, but first I want to point out what I think is the biggest campaign development that we learned about last night: the Democrats are embracing Obamacare. They aren’t running from it; they’re not playing some kind of “well it’s better than nothing” game with it; they are calling it “Obamacare” proudly and not just defending it; they are campaigning on it.
Here is Stacey Lihn, a mother of a little girl born with a congenital heart defect explaining how the regulation in Obamacare that prevents insurance companies from capping lifetime payments is allowing her daughter to get the care she needs to survive, and keeping the family from bankruptcy.
That’s the reality of Obamacare. This is the woman who Republicans would like to tell, “sorry, those regulations that are keeping your daughter alive and your family from bankruptcy? Yeah, we’re repealing those on day one. Good luck on the Free Market!”
Democratic Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick tore it up last night, showing everyone why they think he might be a contender in 2016. As the man who succeeded Mitt Romney in MA, he had the devastating line of the night:
As governor, Mitt Romney was more interested in having the job than doing it.
Keynote speaker and Mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro was also brilliant, telling his wonderful life story and making this observation that perfectly illustrates the difference between the GOP vision and the Democratic vision for our country:
We know that in our free market economy some will prosper more than others. What we don’t accept is the idea that some folks won’t even get a chance.
This is a point I have tried to make dozens of times over the last 20 years since I first voted for a Democrat named Bill Clinton. Contrary to the dishonest straw man position that conservatives always attempt to assign to us, liberals are not seeking equality of outcome. We aren’t even really seeking perfect equality of opportunity. We are just trying to ensure some adequate level of opportunity for all Americans so that everybody has the best shot possible of reaching their potential.
But the star of the evening was our wonderful First Lady Michelle Obama. I’m a fan. I’m a really big fan. She had the entire audience in the palm of her hand and on a night that had already seen some very good speakers making very good speeches, she showed everyone why she might actually be the best speaker in her family. The line of the night, for me, was this, which a friend of mine sent me:
Michelle Obama didn’t have to yell, “I love you women!” as Ann Romney did, because everyone already knows. If you missed it for some reason, then
why do you hate America? do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing:
Just a great evening.
Michelle Obama generated over twice as much Twitter activity during her speech on Day One of the DNC than Mitt Romney did in his acceptance on the RNC final night. What does that mean for November? Probably nothing. But I still thought I’d share.
I’d love to say that a great speech like that seals the deal and that Obama is sure to get reelected, but it’s not the case. (Nor should it be, obviously. Policy matters more than speeches.) Last night on Facebook one of my conservative friends was posting about how the entire night made her ill, and another of her friends posted this delightful screed:
That’s the kind of vitriol that conservatives have for the president and his family. Just completely unhinged and lacking any link to reality. It’s going to be a tough election. Still, I’m glad I don’t have to work myself into a hate frenzy for the opposition and his family in order to get myself in to the ballot box this November. It really really helps when you actually like the candidate for whom you are voting.