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Musings and Meanderings
Saturday, July 31, 2004
Just a few thoughts, some of which are more detailed in the blogs below.
I watched most of every night from 8 to 11, so that's a lot of speeches. The party was on message and on track. Even the much criticized Al Sharpton overtime speech had some very strong things to say. The party is wonderfully energized and united. Having all 9 candidates speak at the convention was a good touch, and Kerry mentioning them in his speech was masterful.
For the first time in a long time there seems to be a real difference between what the Reps and Dems offer to the country. For me (and I'm sure for you) the Dems offer the bright promise of the future, not the old tired ways of the past. It's a philosophical contest between this century and last. I know I've said before that I hope that the Bush Administration (be it one or two terms) is the last gasp of a blood soaked Century. We know the White House is staffed with leftovers from previous Republican Administrations, acting as if they still have a job to do. blah blah blah...
Barak Osama is a great rising star, but hopefully he will reach his potential and not burn out before hand. If you missed his speech, that's a shame, but take the time to read the transcript. You will miss his oratory style, but his words are powerful.
John Edwards' really rocked the house, with a refocused message from his campaign trail. I like his message and hope he can convey it well to the swing votes.
Pound for pound the genetic descendants of Heinz Kerry and Kerry are amazingly telegenic, probably more so than the Bush kids. They are certainly better spoken.
Kerry's speech was just bloody amazing. He conveyed who he was, what he wants to stand for, and where he wants to go. If America doesn't know who John Kerry is, then they were asleep during the speech.
Bill Clinton is still the darling of the party. And he can deliver a speech better than anyone I know. His contribution was very powerful, but only for the "faithful". The Reps revile him and I'm sure most swing/independent voters still have some sort of "Clinton fatigue".
I know that it is "what they do", but I really disliked all the placards during the convention. Not the Name placards, that is expected. But the slogan placards completely took away the power of the "spontaneous" chanting during the speeches. If I was the marketing manager, I would have counseled that it looks better for people to be reacting directly to a speech, rather than prepared before it even starts. It's all a matter of inches, because of course they are prepared ahead of time. But it is all about appearances.
I was also bothered that there was so little discussion of Kerry's Senate record. This goes back to the swallowing by the Democrats, that "liberal" is somehow a dirty word. We are all libs here so I wont sing to the choir, but I'd rather see them stand up and say "Yea I'm a liberal, this is what I have accomplished, and this is the history of liberalism in the Democratic party." (Although as I type this, I do realize without specifically saying that, there was much painting of the history of the great social movements that the Dems have helped.)
So anyway a couple years in Vietnam were important, but 20 yrs in the Senate are just as important. A mild criticism but there none the less.
The talk of "bounce" is all about expectations, and there just isn't that much room in our 50 50 America for bounce. We are not going to see one of these 15 point bounces, just won't happen. I would consider 5 points a home run.
And now the next month ahead will be tough. It's easy to appeal to the faithful, lets see how he does on the trail now.