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!