Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thoughts on the Democratic convention

I've been watching, and thinking, about the events taking place at the Democratic National Convention for the past couple of days. First, I want to say that there have been some major speeches given by Democratic leaders that will have a profound affect on the party for this election. I want to first go with Michelle Obama's speech introducing her husband, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Michelle Obama had an important job, Monday night, to introduce the American people who Barack Obama really was. It was a speech to humanize, and personalize, Barack Obama to American viewers who have finished watching the non-stop Olympic coverage, and start looking into the general election race for the White House. The problem the Obama campaign has had is that Barack Obama is identified with some serious negative connotations, amplified by the GOP noise machine--Barack Obama is a Muslim! Barack Obama is a terrorist! Barack Obama is an anti-American! Michelle Obama hates America! Yes, the GOP noise machine have even gone after Michelle Obama with their negative attacks. So this was an important prime-time speech that Michelle Obama gave, and she really hit it out of the park. She introduced herself and Obama's lives as that of any middle-class American's lives. Michelle grew up in a blue-collar environment, dealing with the hardship of her father suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Both parents worked to send Michelle and her brother to college. Michelle talked about meeting Barack, and how Barack was raised by his grandparents, and how they shared common dreams, "that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them." In a sense, Michelle Obama's speech was instrumental in transforming Barack Obama from the anti-American, Muslim-terrorist-politician, as presented by the GOP smear machine, to a "Cliff Huxtable" image of a loving African-American father and family man. You can see Michelle's speech here:

But what really brought out the humanization of Barack Obama was at the end of Michelle's speech, was when the two daughters came out, on stage with their mother, and greeted Barack Obama via satellite connection from Missouri. The kids screamed in delight upon seeing their father, saying "Hi Daddy," and "I love you Daddy," multiple times. It may have been a scripted moment of having Obama beamed through satellite video at the end of Michelle's speech, to greet the convention, however the unscripted moments of the kids' delight was the closing moment in shredding the GOP's character smears on Barack Obama's image. It was the most important job Michelle Obama had to give for that first night of the Democratic convention--introduce America to Barack Obama. And she nailed it.

Next I want to talk about Senator Ted Kennedy's speech at the Democratic National Convention, Monday night. You can view the speech here through YouTube:

Back in May of 2008, Senator Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Doctors estimated that the median survival rate for this tumor, an aggressive glioma, is around 15 months for Kennedy's age of 76. The interesting point here to make is that Ted Kennedy came out to what may be his final Democratic National Convention appearance, and pass Kennedy's "Democratic icon" to a new generation--the generation of Barack Obama. That was the importance of Ted Kennedy's appearance at the DNC, and his endorsement of Barack Obama.

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