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Musings and Meanderings
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Day two was supposed to be all about Senator Kennedy, and his hometown speech; as well as, Teresa Heinz Kerry, who was supposed to tell us all about John Kerry.
Instead, completely missed by the National Networks, was the first ascendancy of a man who is not even a national leader (yet). By now you have probably heard of Barak Obama and his speech. Reading the words however does not really convey the power of the messenger. His speech was one part MLK, and one part politician. His message was of a true uniter, more than any of the other speakers up until then (and as of Wed night after then as well).
Briefly Barak Obama is a young(ish) democrat from Illinois whose father was a Kenyan, mother an American from Kansas, raised in Hawaii. He is a successful lawyer as well as married to a successful lawyer and has two children. His campaigns have appealed to all groups in a way apparently no one has in a long time in Illinois. He is apparently running unopposed for US Senate after his opponent self destructed.
What will probably be the most often quoted part of his speech was a call to those who would divide the country:
" Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America... there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America ... there is the United States of America.
The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we've got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.
We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?"
Powerful stuff. He has a great future.
As for the other speakers.... Oh there were other speakers....
I was disappointed with Teresa Heinz Kerry's speech. I like many of the pundits expected an insight into John Kerry the man. Instead we got more of the record, the accomplishments and achievements. Nothing wrong with that, but as his wife Mrs. Kerry was uniquely positioned to help America to LIKE John Kerry. This is of course what is missing in the campaign so far: John Kerry the man, the father, the husband. It's fairly agreed that the groudswell to remove the incumbent is there, but the voters need to want to replace him with someone they know. They don't yet. Maybe after Thursday they will.
Honestly I missed Ron Regans speech. Not that I'm not for embryonic stem cell research, but I just was not interested in what he had to say. It was a nice coup to get a "Regan" to speak at the convention, but this guy allegedly voted for Nader last election. So although his subject was important, I've read enough about it to not really need to see it.
Howard Dean also spoke tonight. He spoke eloquently and forcefully about what he believes, and about why he ran to begin with. It was he that originally energized the party, getting young "Deaniacs" to be political when they probably would not have been. One part of his speech really worked for me.
"We are not going to be afraid to stand up for what we believe in ever again. We are not going to let those who disagree with us shout us down under a banner of false patriotism. "
I will leave you with that thought.