Final Night of the DNC

There were two things about the conventions that I think were definitely true. Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama needs to make the sales pitch speech of their lives. Mitt Romney did, and Barack Obama droned on with the same crap I’ve been hearing for the past four years. He was definitely upstaged by Bill Clinton. Hell, he was upstaged by Joe Biden! Biden actually delivered a much better speech than I thought. Fortunately for the Democrats, when Biden is scripted, he’s good. It’s when he goes off script that all kinds of stupid crap come out of his mouth.

I can remember a co-worker of mine back in 2008, one who is not particularly conservative and did not come from this country, say “That guy is an empty suit, if I ever saw one.” I can remember back to the DNC in 2004, thinking he delivered a great speech to the convention, and wondering why the Democrats were running Kerry instead of this Obama guy. But Obama is an empty suit. His talent is delivering one speech well. Sure, there are variations on that speech, but once you hear a few of them, they all sound the same.

15 thoughts on “Final Night of the DNC”

  1. Politics are now like pro wrestling.

    It’s all about name brand recognition, not substance.

    That’s why World Wresting Entertainment events sellout before they even know who’s gonna appear. And just like how people will vote Blue regardless of what Obama does, or doesn’t do. Just like WWE, it’s all sizzle, and no steak.

    As for the Republican party? They’re like Sgt. Slaughter and the Iron Sheik going at it for a low rent wrestling promoter in a VFW hall in any dumpy town USA.

      1. I didn’t follow these conventions closely at all, but from what I could tell, the RNC was all about Romney, while the DNC wasn’t about Obama. The RNC needed Romney, while the DNC could’ve had anybody. Obama wasn’t the star of the DNC, the Democrat party in and of itself was the star.

    1. Now that I think of it, was politics *ever* any other way?

      I was going to say, well, probably in the days of George Washington…but then I realized that, even then, the *only* reason why we didn’t have such problems then (and actually, if I remember correctly, there were conflicts between Hamilton and Jefferson, even then), was because Washington himself had such great name recognition that the entire nation was willing to unite behind him.

      1. Arg, I accidentally posted before I finished my thoughts!

        I meant to add that this would be funny, and perhaps a little sad, if so much weren’t at stake! At the same time, we may have even already lost, due to Woodrow Wilson, with the final nails being driven in by the likes of FDR, LBJ, and even Nixon…it may only be a matter of time before everything comes to an end.

        Even so, the reaction to phrases like “You didn’t build that” gives me much hope, indeed!

  2. Having scanned an eclectic set of blog and comment sites, I have made the following, totally unprofound observation: People who lean Blue and people who lean Red each think the performances at their respective conventions scored brilliantly, while their opponents’ performances fell flat. The perceptions are really quite remarkable as a study in mass “cult” psychology. But, I think that explains why the final weeks will be dedicated to reaching and misinforming the “low-information” voters. The misinformation will really incense the fans of its targets, and seal their votes more firmly than ever, but those votes were going where they were going anyway.

    1. I get that impression. It was fascinating to watch Kal Penn fluff the celebrity flock last night. Cults of personality all around. Lots of weeping and yelling and chants of USA.

      Judging from reactions on Twitter and Facebook (because that is the measure of our society ;)) Obama delivered a rousing speech if you were already aroused. And to be fair, so did Romney. You already had to be in the mood. I guess that’s what these conventions are for?

      I don’t see anything new from either of them. Insert some folksy heartfelt stories, say mom/dad a few times, thank a vet or two, let out a few good sounding no-details platitudes about the future, finish with a god bless. Yey.

      There really isn’t much difference between any of the speeches (though Clinton was in his element for sure). Ben Stein had an interesting take on Obama’s speech in that it was, if you’d just pulled it out of context and read it, a fairly conservative, safe, let’s give this one more try speech.

      The thing the DNC did a bit better job at than the RNC was the fist pumping use of “you” “us” and “we” rather then the emphasis on a singular “I” or “them” of the RNC. A sort of illusion of unity and support rather than the singularity and division the RNC seemed to stress. That’s a big thing with the “youth vote” who want to feel like they belong and are “understood”. Or something.

      Also, the Dems really know how to fire up the Hollywood cotillion dance party. Lots of that last night. The primary feed at many points was “actor and political activist” Kal Penn interviewing other Hollywood stars on why they love Obama. This was the Main Internet Feed. Behind them and down in the hall, stuffy politicians did their thing on stage for the Camera 2 Feed.

      The whole thing was at times as inane as Clint rambling at a chair, slurred speeches, and songs built on out of context statements. But then again, most of this convention dog and pony show is inane.

      1. Make that ‘stuffy politicians and nobodies’ There was a couple of students/youth speakers, low level party members on Camera 2.

  3. I missed most of the convention last night, due to a function I attended, but got the middle half of Obama’s speech (before the radio station cut him off). The first part I snorted quite a bit, because of the half-truths Obama was saying; the second part, I actually felt inspired.

    But then, I haven’t listened to Obama’s speeches much, and I didn’t even get to hear his entire speech this time; so in a way, this is my “first” time listening to Obama speak.

    Immediately after Obama’s speech, I got to hear Dave Ramsey rail against debt. He came down hard on the $16 trillion debt we now have…and while he came down hard on both parties (as he rightly should), it was a little ironic to have that counterpoint to Obama’s speech!

    (That was just a local thing, though, because Ramsey’s show is tape-delayed in Utah.)

  4. This is still an election where each side thinks they will win through their base, rather than the middle. Romney opened a door to Obama making a middle-run, but the Dem Platform shows he didn’t take it. Hell, maybe he couldn’t – Team Obama spent a fortune on technology that aims micro-advertising at their base. Not sure they even have developed the databases for the middle, and without it, a full-on run for the independent vote would require the kind of advertising they apparently can no longer afford.

    Five weeks. History suggests Obama will be in serious trouble about 5 weeks from now. That’s when a number of things come together at once: proof the economy is seriously in the toilet and that the refrain of “things are getting better” is not true. Also, the latest monthly funding numbers will be out and although Obama will be up month-over-month post-convention, they will probably continue to show they won’t have enough to compete toe-to-toe in swing states. Obama has been spending furiously these last few to tread water, but the Republicans have been holding their wallets during the same stretch. That changes over the next 14 days as the GOP start pumping outreach using their considerable cash reserves.

    Other factors to watch later this month: trend-lines on presidential approval have been heading down. The convention will bump them, but by October we could see a continuing trend downward. By mid-October, the differences could be non-trivial. Team Romney is aiming for incremental changes every week until the election. If they get it, we’ll see them galvanize by week two of October. The election will still be called “close”, but if the existing trends continue, than only the wishful will be surprised in November. Obama has to not only stop – but also reverse – the trend. That’s tough with MSNBC talking right now about how the economy “slowed even more last month.”

    Then again, this election is about gays, abortion and birth control. At least, it will be if the party of stupid cannot restrain themselves.

    Again, by the numbers Obama has right to be concerned. His only response now is to go hard for his base and hope the GOP bites the social-policy bait. The GOP has never avoided a chance to wax poetic about how rugged individualism means a smaller government to tell other people how to live. Silly season is going to get real silly, real soon.

    1. Nobody cares about the economy, that’s why Obama and the Dem’s are focusing on social issues.

  5. My social media feed was fill of two things yesterday; entertainers gushing over President Obama’s speech, and everyone “literally” mocking Vice-President Biden’s speech. take that for what you will.

  6. I’m just thinking out loud a bit here; maybe someone with some poll statistics could fill in some blanks:

    I’m not necessarily convinced that “slipping economic data” will have the impact people seem to expect it to. For one thing, a good portion of the voter base (independent of ideology) is people largely insulated from the economy, other than inflation and “middle class taxes.” I include people like myself, who live on SS and pensions, and only “feel” the economy when our IRAs/401(k)s take a nosedive. If our kids and their mates are working, the economy looks OK to us, at least at the emotional level.

    I’ll also add that in my extended family, not many people have been unemployed, and those that were never reached a level of desperation.

    Maybe we were extraordinarily lucky — and I’m not discounting the experiences of those who weren’t — but I can’t help wondering if the economy is really the compelling factor in the election that people feel obligated to tell pollsters it is.

    1. In the same spirit as the old joke about how to tell the difference between a recession and a depression. When your neighbor loses his job, it’s a recession. When you lose your job, it’s a depression.

      1. Quite a truism.

        However, returning to the importance of “emotional” reactions to things, I remember (and absorbed) my parents’ emotions at the memory of having lived in a squatter’s shack down by the Philly dumps, when they married in mid-Depression; and at that, counting themselves lucky because they had a roof, while they saw black people sleeping in oil barrels, with their legs out in the rain, and eating rotten chickens dug out of manure piles and cooked in tin cans filled with filthy water dipped out of dump puddles.

        The point being, those of us who were born right after that, or perhaps actually lived it, have an oral-tradition connection to what “Depression” really meant. It was not just an economic abstraction. We know that nothing we’ve seen in our lives has approached Depression, by a country mile.

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