Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Countdown to Election 2012: Week Nine in Review

by Sunnyjane

Moving FORWARD Together!

Last week, the true heart and soul of America gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina.   Delegates representing their respective states and territories at the 2012 National Democratic Convention exemplified what the progressive party represents: inclusion.  When Democrats are assembled in one room with a unified goal, not one of them gives a flying fig about your color, national origin, religion, gender, salary, or sexual orientation.  

No peanuts were thrown, not a single delegate walked out in a rant, and no one talked to an empty chair.  T'was a thing of beauty. 

We're Picking Up Good Vibrations...

Michelle Obama has not only raised the bar for the role of First Lady, she has set a new standard for how a spouse presents a candidate to the American people: with honesty,  grace, and humor.  And in so doing, she peeled the thin veneer off Mitt Romney and his running mate, Ann Romney Paul Ryan, without ever mentioning their names. 

In a spellbinding twenty-five minute speech that garnered more online views than the entire Republican National Convention, Michelle Obama shared with convention attendees, the country, and the world exactly who her husband is and what he stands for: the opportunity for everyone in this country to achieve their dreams.  

Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it, and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we're from, or what we look like, or who we love.  And he believes that when you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you.  You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.

The media reaction to her speech was swift and overwhelmingly positive.  Never before known to gush over anything a Democrat utters, even Fox News was impressed. Chris Wallace called her speech masterful and Brit Hume stated that Michelle Obama was an extremely impressive and attractive woman, but hastened to add (naturally) that while the delivery was better than the speech, she effectively vouched for her husband.   Rachel Maddow at MSNBC had three words to say:  Oh my God!  Steve Schmidt, who knows a little something about this sort of thing, said the speech was brilliantly written and brilliantly delivered.  And from the truer-words-were-never-spoken category came this from Chuck Todd:  Michelle Obama owned this convention in a way that no speaker owned the floor of the convention in Tampa.  Perhaps the best reaction was from Wonkette's live blog: Some might say Michelle Obama ran over [her time], I say she made time stop.

In a rib-tickling display of sour-grapes hypocrisy, Ari Fleischer pouted that some speeches are much more effective in a hall of zealots.  You should know, Ari, you should know!

A Former President Nominates the Next One

Sir, it was my great honor to rip them a new one!

Because Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan don't intend to let pesky fact-checkers dictate how they run their campaign, Bill Clinton rectified that situation in his nomination speech.  He did it clearly, concisely and in front of millions of Americans on prime-time television.  While the Republican convention was terrified of having its last party president speak, the Democrats embraced not only former president Jimmy Carter, but gave Bill Clinton an extremely important role. 

From his opening sentence, We’re here to nominate a President, and I've got one in mind, Clinton grabbed his audience's attention and kept them captivated throughout what may be one of the most important speeches he has ever given.  The former president did an outstanding job of exposing the 2012 Republican ticket by raking through the ashes of their incompetence and revealing the two candidates as foul and hollow imitations representing the once proud Grand Old Party.  He told the country how he had worked with Republicans as president, and had liked them, but that the current Republicans are different -- they are hateful, angry, and partisan all the way down.

Using the Republican's tired old Are you better off than you were four years ago? meme, Clinton forcefully responded YES!  He spoke about the Recovery Act, the Affordable Care Act, and the auto-industry bailout. He carefully linked President Obama’s policies for education and job retraining to people's anxieties about how they could get a job in an economy where the remaining jobs required different skills.  

Clinton's It's Arithmetic assertion that Democratic administrations have created more jobs than Republicans sent the fact-checkers scurrying for proof.  Not a problem; they found it!


To gauge the effectiveness of Mr. Clinton's speech, we need only hear the comments made by Mitt Romney's former aide, Alex Castellanos, on CNN: ...tonight when everybody leaves, lock the doors. You don't have to come back tomorrow. This convention is done. This will be the moment that probably re-elected Barack Obama.

Biden Accepts the Vice Presidential Nomination

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a big fucking deal! 

OK, Vice President Joe Biden didn't exactly say that in  his speech on the last night of the convention. What he did say, however, effectively demonstrated the differences between Mitt Romney's and President Obama's views of America.  Speaking about the bailout of the auto industry, Biden said Romney did not understand what saving the automobile worker and saving the industry meant to all of America.  [Romney] saw it the Bain way...he saw it in terms of balance sheets and write-offs.

Biden also took on the despicable and racist meme that Democrats are constantly on the lookout for government handouts -- or free stuff, in Romney's words:  People who need government help for a college loan or job training aren't trying to become dependent, they are seeking their own path out of dependency.

The Democratic Party, Biden told his audience, sees a future where everyone, regardless of their financial or social status, has a part to play in the country's future, A future where we depend more on clean energy from home and less on oil from abroad. A future where we’re #1 in the world again in college graduation. A future where we promote the private sector, not the privileged sector. And a future where women control their own choices, health, and destiny. 

And on Romney's promised Jobs Tour after he's elected, -- presumably after he takes care of all those Day One issues -- Biden remarked, Well with all his support for outsourcing — it’s going to have to be a foreign trip.

Let All the Dreamers Wake the Nation

If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few...If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election.

Awash in enthusiastic chants of Four More Years, the President began his speech by saying that everyone was reminded on Tuesday night what a lucky man he is.  He also told his daughters that, yes, they had to be in school the next morning, and he thanked Joe Biden for being the very best vice president I could have ever hoped for -- and for being a strong and loyal friend.  [Did ya get that message, GOP?]

Talking about the GOP candidates' total ignorance of foreign policy, President Obama reminded us that George W. Bush was a Republican pro-business president who pushed the nation into two wars.   My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly, and then he went on to say, You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.  [Snort.]

The President promised he would never turn Medicare into a voucher system.  Yes, we will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, he told his audience, but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of health care – not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more ...  And not by turning it over to Wall Street.

He took on the Republicans' obstinate and obstructionist fixation with tax cuts.   They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan. And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescription they've had for the last thirty years: “Have a surplus? Try a tax cut.” “Deficit too high? Try another.” “Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!” 

It was a strong and inspiring speech that solidified the President's statement, I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the president.

[I hope Ann Romney hasn't started calling her favorite designer about an Inaugural Ball gown.]

The First Family

End Note

No comments:

Post a Comment