OPINIONATRIX…because my opinions dominate

The Democratic Convention last night ended with a buzz of energy, and marked the beginning of the wait for Barack’s big speech tonight at Mile High Stadium.  Will he pull it off? Will it live up to the expectations? Only time will tell, but so far this convention has been hot and cold.  It will be interesting to see what the state of the Democratic party will be coming out of this; will we be unified or divided?

Hillary Clinton gave a good speech, not great, surely not phenomenal, but it was good and it energized the base of the party.  She went on a little too long about herself and her own campaign, and while she did talk a lot about Democratic party ideals, she didn’t talk enough about Barack Obama.  I will admit that she had some great lines, and whoever helped her write that speech should be commended.  It was just the right length, funny and motivating.  I just wished she had gotten to Obama a little bit faster.  Also, a bright orange pantsuit? What look was she going for?

Hillary’s speech aside, the highlight of the night was seeing Bill Clinton at the convention.  He looked like a kid in the candy store, a look of awe on his face almost the whole evening. I know he’s been to a convention before – so what was he so awed by?  He looked so innocent, it was almost cute. Additionally, the pride he had in his wife was so genuine it made me smile.

Wednesday evening, in my opinion, has been the best night so far.  I thought Bills speech was just what it needed to be.  It was delivered powerfully and genuinely – I thought he hit it out of the park.  I loved that he spoke about how he too was dogged with attacks of being “too young”… that was golden. Bill spoke of policy, he talked about where the country needs to be and how the Democrats can get us there. He stated simply that he felt Barack Obama is the man for the job and that Obama is ready to be President.  I was thoroughly impressed by both the content of his speech as well as his delivery.

However, the real winner of the night was Beau Biden. His introduction of his father was so heartfelt, and Senator Biden has such a compelling story it would be hard not to be moved by its account. Even Michelle Obama had tears streaming down her cheeks! I have always liked Joe Biden but the more I learn about him the more I admire him, and the more I think he is definitely the perfect VP choice.  Did you know he is one of the poorest senators? I certainly didn’t.  I thought he gave a good speech and look forward to seeing more of him as the campaign continues.  I have to say that when he and Obama were onstage together at the end of the evening, all I could think was: this is the “smily-est” presidential ticket ever!

All in all I think the Democrats are doing well.  I think the Clintons’ speeches helped to bandage the wound in the party, but I fear the scars will still remain.  I also love watching the “Big Dogs” interact. It seems like Michelle Obama and Jill Biden truly like each other and get along well.  I love seeing them in the moments when they don’t realize the camera is on them.  A picture says a thousand words and the general feel I get from these families is that they are genuine “salt of the earth” people.

Mile High Stadium is already packed, and anticipation of Obama’s acceptance speech is surely hanging in the air. I cannot wait to watch this evening play out.


{August 26, 2008}   And We’re Off…

The Democratic National Convention began yesterday in Denver, Colorado and it started with a bang! I was truly worried that the Clinton’s and the division in the party might steal the show, but last night gave us a plethora of speeches that centered on the Obama’s, the Democratic ideals and the potential of our country. The media did devote some time to Hillary Clinton and her supporters, but that had to be done because unfortunately that is an issue that continues to percolate below all the merriment of the convention.

I thought the majority of speakers were absolutely wonderful.  The only person I found stilted and somewhat boring was Jesse Jackson Jr.  I’m not sure if he had problems with the teleprompter or if that is his way of speaking but it didn’t seem as genuine when compared with the other speeches of the evening.

It was also a little odd that Jimmy Carter was not given a speaking role.  I understand that he has been viewed as controversial lately (due to his recent trip to the Middle East), but having a video centered on him and his (fabulous) work in New Orleans already brought him front and center so why not let him speak?  Best guess is the Obama campaign didn’t want to alienate voters by featuring Jimmy Carter – although I would argue that the video did that.  Perhaps he didn’t want to speak or maybe there just wasn’t time, but whatever the reason I found it weird.

The beginning of the night was mostly fluff, but the video tribute to Senator Kennedy followed by “Teddy’s” speech is what really kicked off the evening for me.  First of all, the video was extremely well done – no surprise since it was directed by Ken Burns. It made me want to travel back in time and journey along the Senator’s career with him.  I had always known he was a powerful Senator, but I never realized just how much he has accomplished over the course of his life and how greatly he has affected the lives of everyday people in a personal way.  Secondly, the fact that this man who is undergoing chemo for a brain tumor that will eventually lead to his demise was able to deliver such an effervescent and strong speech without any hint of self pity was inspiring. What a man! Seriously, the Democrats are lucky to have someone like that in their corner.

And now we come to the highlight of the night – Michelle Obama.  I thought her brother (and lookalike) did a great job of introducing her and offering a personal account of Barack and Michelle as people rather than candidates.  Michelle’s speech exceeded all my expectations. I have always admired Michelle Obama, but last night I was in awe.  This was a woman I want to meet. Her performance last night made me want to get to know Michelle Obama as a friend.  She seemed so genuine, passionate and strong.  I for one would be proud to have her as our First Lady.

All in all, I thought the night went well, and I look forward to seeing what else is in store for us. Hopefully there will be more focus on the issues and policies.  I think that’s what the public is yearning for – answers. For now though, I am pleased.

Lets make these two our next First Couple!

In a week filled with Olympic triumphs and athletic inspiration we have seen so many examples of gracious winners and losers. Athletes who have worked so hard to win the gold medal have been able to put aside their disappointment and move on – you’d think Hillary Clinton supporters would learn something from this!

I understand how disappointed Clinton supporters must be that their candidate is not the one on the campaign trail at the moment. For many, especially older women who viewed her campaign as a symbol of change, it must be heart wrenching. I get it – losing sucks. It’s hard and disappointing and no one out there will tell you any different.

However, the hard core, “we want our way,” members of P.U.M.A. have me annoyed, angry and even a little embarrassed on behalf of the Democratic party. P.U.M.A (which stands for party unity my ass) continues to argue that Clinton should be the nominee, and even goes so far to recruit people to their mission which includes not voting for Senator Obama! This is just ridiculous. Most members of the group say that they will not vote for Senator McCain, but rather will stay home on election day. I’m sorry, are we in grade 3? This is so childish. It smacks of “I didn’t get what I want so now I refuse to do anything.”

The most ridiculous part of this, is that most P.U.M.A members are Democrats! These aren’t Independents who just wanted a woman in the White House, this is a contingent of people that by their own admission agree with the vast majority of Senator Obama’s policy ideas and political views.

This wreaks of selfishness and self aggrandizement. It’s just so angry and bitter. P.U.M.A is potentially sacrificing Senator Obama’s campaign and perhaps the country in order to prove a point. I am sorry but this is childish, selfish and unreasonable! Anyone can see that this is doing nothing for nobody. Clinton is not the nominee, P.U.M.A. needs to accept that and move past it. Personally, I think Clinton should come out and address P.U.M.A, and put all this unnecessary fighting to bed. It needs to be done and at this point if anyone can help heal the situation it’s her.

As someone who has never been into sports, it has really surprised me how intrigued I have been by the Olympics. It’s just so exciting! Between all the triumphs, scandals and news you’d have to be living under a rock to not get at least a little sucked in. However, as much as I am enjoying the games – and I am enjoying them – one thing has me a little peeved. Michael Phelps.

I get it, he can swim. But what about sharing the spotlight ? Last time I checked it was the US swim team we sent to Beijing – not the Michael Phelps show. I am not putting down his abilities. I realize what an amazing athlete he is and by no means want to take that away from him, but what about all our other swimmers? Dara Torres, Katie Hoff, Jason Lezak, Peter Vanderkaay and countless others – all of whom have medaled in the 2008 games.

And yet, all we seem to hear is Phelps, Phelps, Phelps. Even his mother is now recognizable to anyone who has been watching the games due to the constant footage of her cheering in the stands. We have been subjected to news story after news story about him – down to his diet! I’m not saying forget about him but let’s give it a rest for a while. I mean honestly, how many medals does one guy need? That cheering mother of his should have taught him about sharing (if not the medals, at least the spotlight).

I will admit it. I have been sucked in by Olympic Fever, and I am not just talking about gymnastics! I have discovered a ton of Olympic sports that I didn’t even know existed. For example, bet you didn’t know about Olympic level canoeing, shooting and field hockey. However my favorite “discovery” so far has been Synchronized diving.

This sport is so random, yet so beautiful and intriguing to watch. I wonder how one even gets into synchronized diving? I mean it’s not the usual “hmm I think I’ll sign my kid up for little league, ballet and synchronized diving” (at least not where I grew up).

The best part though – and seriously this is so great – is the 2008 gold medalists. China! Of course a communist country in which everyone is used to doing the same thing would win a synchronized competition… I mean duh! Conversely, the USA has never medaled in this sport – I guess we’re just too individualistic a society!

I don’t know why I’m surprised. I really shouldn’t be. After all, John Edwards is just another in a long line of politicians to cheat on his wife. Now a days it seems that political affairs are just part of the Washington DC landscape. All that being said, I am still shocked. Honestly, I don’t know what surprises me more:

A) that John Edwards, the seemingly genuine and honest son of a mill worker, betrayed his wife and family


B) that the National Enquirer actually broke a real story!

Maybe I’m naive, but I really believed Edwards when he claimed that the rumors were just tabloid trash. What angers me more is Edwards’ arrogance and outright dishonesty. In his statement yesterday he claims he had been “99% honest.” 99% HONEST! I didn’t know honesty worked on a continuum! Oh thats right, it doesn’t. Either you are telling the truth, or you’re not. What if he had been the nominee? He would have lost the election for the Democratic party, and for what? Because he couldn’t keep it in his pants?! He knew this skeleton was in his closet, yet he was arrogant enough to think he wouldn’t get caught. He sold us all a perfect, all American image – and now I feel stupid, because I bought it!

Edwards claims that he is outright positive that Reille Hunter’s child is not his. He has not taken a paternity test – so there is not way to be truly sure. This man has lost all credibility with me… I don’t know what to believe. Furthermore, even though someone else has claimed paternity, Reille Hunter and her family think Edwards is the father. At this point… this all remains up in the air.

It is Elizabeth Edwards who I really feel sorry for in this scenario. This poor woman! Not only has she had to contend with the loss of a child, a grueling battle with cancer and fertility issues, but now she has to face public humiliation. She has done nothing but support Senator Edwards. Even when told her cancer was terminal she pushed on, helping to run both a political campaign and a family. She deserves a medal.

John Edwards has seriously disappointed me, but I think the best thing to do at this point is to leave this story alone. He has ruined his reputation. Now instead of being know as a 2 time presidential candidate and American Senator who rose up from nothing to become something, he will be remembered as “that sleaze ball who cheated on his wife while she was dying of cancer.”

My mother taught me long ago that your reputation follows you everywhere, and that trust has to be earned. Senator Edwards has now lost both in the eyes of the American public. I hope it was worth it.

Politics is a dirty game, so it comes as no surprise that despite vows and promises to keep the 2008 campaign focused on the issues, that when push came to shove, the candidates began swinging the mud. This really doesn’t shock me. Disappoint and annoy me? Yes. But shock? No – most certainly not. In fact, it would be naive to think that the fight wouldn’t get dirty sooner or later.

I think what I find almost humorous though are the types of things being said by the McCain campaign to diminish Barack Obama. Instead of the usual political allegations of misrepresentation, drug use, dishonesty and a litany of other negative onslaughts, opponents of Obama claim he is too elitist, arrogant, slim, fit, healthy and popular. Really? I mean seriously?

Maybe I am missing something here but what is wrong with a president who is smart, well spoken, healthy and liked abroad as well as at home? Isn’t that the goal? Personally I want a president who knows what he is talking about, looks healthy and gets along with foreign nations. Right now these are some of the major concerns that we as a country are facing; a downturn in education, a rise in obesity and negative relations with foreign countries. It seems to me that these are attributes to be admired in Barack Obama, not criticized.

Furthermore, I am so sick and tired of John McCain’s games. First he goads Obama into taking a Middle Eastern trip, only to later criticize him for leaving the country. Then he takes statements garnered from Obama’s town halls (like the tire guage comment) and misrepresents them making Obama look idiotic. Lastly the Britney Spears/ Paris Hilton advertisement scraped the bottom of the barrel. McCain is playing dirty and immaturely. Whatever credibility he had previously is slowly diminishing with each low blow he delivers. Doesn’t he realize that in the end he is only making himself look bad?

If everyone could see through this game, I wouldn’t be so angry. It is precisely because there are people who are buying into the McCain rhetoric that I am worried and dismayed. I think both politicians vowed to play this game clean and fair. That does not mean they cannot criticize each other – just that when they do, they should stick to the facts!

I am not a fashionista, nor am I the arbiter of taste, but how the hell did gladiator sandals become the shoes of the summer?! I surely cannot be alone in thinking that these shoes do not flatter even the most fantabulous of legs. Seriously, not even the gladiators could pull them off.

This summer, everyone from friends to Hollywood starlets have been sporting these, and I am truly confused. This is not just a shoe that I personally find unappealing, this shoe is universally unflattering… so what is it about gladiator sandals that has people going gaga?

The only plausible explanation I can think of is that some designer decided to try and fashion the ugliest footwear ever just to see if he could make it a trend. Well, the joke’s on us, or rather you, since I wouldn’t be caught dead in these. Not even if you paid me.

et cetera