The Republicans had their week without much interruption from the other side. Now it is the Democrats turn to put on their show and introduce their ticket to the nation. Much like the Republicans before them, we can expect some fireworks before the curtain drops in Philadelphia.
Before the gathering started in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton picked Senator Tim Kaine, from Virginia, as her running mate. Kaine, as you might remember, was accused of taking kickbacks in exchange for state contracts when he served in several state positions in Virginia. Kaine was never indicted or convicted so his political life goes on. The skeletons in his closet make him a good partner for the Democrat nominee. Hillary can control him to do her bidding and keep quiet about what he sees.
Kaine should help Hillary carry Virginia, a potential swing state, for the Democrats. Tim Kaine is a centrist in the Democrat Party. Hillary had been campaigning far on the left in her nomination fight with Bernie Sanders. Now that she has won the nomination, she can ignore what she has said for the past 2 years and reinvent herself as a centrist for the general election.
Wikileaks released emails that were hacked from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). These show that the national party was active to ensure Hillary would defeat Bernie Sanders for the nomination. Bernie won 22 state primaries but lost delegates to Hillary in most of those states. The DNC twisted the rules to be sure Hillary came out ahead in the delegate count. Although Bernie is steadfast in supporting Hillary, his supporters are upset.
Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, the DNC chair, has had her speech and other leadership activities removed from the Convention over the emails. She has now resigned her leadership position. The Clinton campaign has hired her to be a 50 state coordinator for Hillary. This is another example of someone helping the Clintons by falling on their own sword for the couple.
Those are the stories leading up to the Convention.
The Convention was called to order by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, filling in for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) gave a great speech attacking Donald Trump. This was one of the best attach speeches of the campaign season. Unfortunately, it was not heard because the Sanders delegates booed all the way through the speech. Some of the mainstream media choose to not show the protest and instead spent time talking to their own experts.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a former Bernie Sanders supporter, gave a speech supporting the Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton. During the speech, Bernie delegates started doing chants of “We trusted you.” Later in the speech another chant of “Goldman Sachs” went through the room. Warren, who falsely claimed to be a native American to get a teaching job, continued her speech over the outbursts. She was received well by the Clinton delegates.
Michelle Obama gave a very rousing speech for her “good friend,” Hillary. The two were not on very good terms when the Obamas entered the White House. Michelle made one major change since 2008. Back then she said she was proud of America for the very first time when her husband was nominated for President. Now, she claims America is the greatest country on earth. Before her speech, the operatives at the Convention, collected all the Bernie signs. Anyone showing a Bernie sign would have their credentials taken for the next night.
The signs were back when Bernie Sanders took the stage for the main address of the evening. Bernie received a 3 minute standing ovation at the beginning of his speech. Every time he mentioned Hillary, a loud boo went up from the Bernie delegates, some 15 times in all. Bernie played the good soldier and supported Hillary all the way.
At this point, there is still a major split in the Democratic Party. Democrats are always split at the beginning of their Conventions, but by the end they find a way to unify. This split seems worse than most.
In all, 61 people stepped to the microphone in front of the delegates. Not one mentioned ISIS or terror. There is plenty of time to discuss Islamic terrorism, but for Night One, it was not a topic of interest. There was also not an American flag in the hall for night one. Bernie had to settle for a digital flag in the background for his speech.
American flags were rushed in for Night Two. They were placed on the two edges of the stage. This was done only after some media outlets reported on the lack of flags on stage the first night.
This is the night when the candidates are nominated. Bernie Sanders was the first name put up for nomination. His nomination speeches were first. This was followed by the Hillary speeches. The roll call of States started with Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at the microphone. Hillary Clinton made history by being the first female candidate of a major political party.
The Sanders delegates continued their protest through the evening. After the vote, they staged a sit-in that was contained by security. Many left the hall after the vote. The Bernie supporters continued to demonstrate outside. Black Lives Matter also protested by burning American flags and doing their chants as they marched. Whites were told to go to the back of the protest march. They were not allowed to be seen up front.
The evening speeches highlighted the Black Lives Matters movement. The mothers of some of the people killed by police were given the chance to promote their cause. The widows or mothers of the many police who were killed recently were not invited. The Democrats only allowed one side of the story to be told.
Bill Clinton was the evenings keynote speaker. Although much older and more frail than most of us remember, he delivered a vintage Clinton speech. His speech lasted 43 minutes (most think too long) but his energy level was tremendous. Bill was trying to humanize his wife. It was a great speech. When I look back on it, it was a Hillary political speech that talked about her political accomplishments or wants but was very light on her as a wife and mother. The warmth of Hillary just wasn’t there on a personal level.
ISIS was mentioned maybe a half dozen times during the evening. I think it’s a shame it is not a more important subject for the Democrats.
The early evening was dedicated to the Obama Administration’s favorite topic: gun control. The Democrats want the good citizens to disarm themselves and leave the guns to the government and the criminal element. This was done early in the day so the coverage was very sparse.
The weather continues to be hot and dry in Philadelphia. For that reason, added to the attempt by the Democrat establishment, the size and number of outside demonstrations was reduced from the first 2 nights. Still, a demonstrator caught himself on fire as he danced over a burning American flag.
Joe Biden was the first big speaker of the evening. It started out as a goodbye speech to the party loyalists. Joe can be a very inspiring speaker and this was one of his best. He spent much of the middle part of the speech trying to humanize Hillary. Then it was a strong attack on Donald Trump. By the end of the speech, Joe had everyone on their feet as the crescendo built to a fever pitch. Joe delivered one of those old time political speeches that I used to love listening to. He did a terrific job.
Tim Kaine was the next big speaker. He accepted the Vice President nomination. Kaine kept repeating himself, repeating himself, which I found very annoying. He is not a very dynamic speaker and I question his value on the campaign trail. Maybe this is because he followed Biden, who was a very good communicator. Tim Kaine spent some time also trying to humanize Hillary Clinton. He spoke about how they worked together on various projects over the years. He also went on the attack against Trump.
The keynote speaker of the evening was President Barak Obama. The President did not take the stage until 5 minutes to 11 eastern time. This was a shame because he did a very good job, and it was probably missed by many who were in bed because they had to work the next day. Obama, who also was doing a farewell address to the party loyalists, spoke about the Administrations accomplishments and the started but uncompleted tasks that will be left to Hillary’s Administration. It was 15 minutes before he mentioned Hillary by name. The President praised Hillary for the job she has done for the country. The President also tried to humanize the nominee (see a pattern here?). Not to be outdone by the other speakers, Obama attacked Trump with vicious attacks on his character. Finally, the President ended his speech with a unifying plea. Why hasn’t he done that the past 8 years?
The Democrats responded to Republican criticism by including families of fallen police and soldiers. Unfortunately, their attempt to draw in some more conservative voters fell short. When families of fallen police asked for a moment of silence, it was interrupted by a “Black Lives Matter” chant. This disrespect stole the headlines. When Marine Four Star General John R. Allen spoke on why he was voting for Hillary, he was shouted down with chants of “No More Wars.” Later when a decorated amputee soldier, U.S. Army Captain Florent Grobert made his speech supporting Hillary, many delegates turned their back to him in protest. This is a bad way to start the evening.
Chelsea Clinton did what all the other speakers failed to do. She humanized her mother, Hillary Clinton. Chelsea told stories that only could be told by a child. She is not a flamboyant speaker. She had a slow delivery, much like her mother, but delivered beautifully in an area where the other speakers fell short.
This is the speech everyone has been waiting for all week. Hillary Clinton took to the stage to accept the nomination for President of the United States from the Democratic Party. She is the first woman to make that acceptance.
Tonight they had American flags everywhere among the delegates. Quite a change from the first night when there were none in the building. The Democrats again responded to Republican criticism.
Hillary spoke as long as Trump last week. She welcomed the Sanders voters to her cause. She also went after disenchanted Republicans to join her in defeating Donald Trump. Hillary hit all the campaign talking points and tried to modify some positions she had taken in her fight with Bernie Sanders. She picked up on some of Sanders positions such as free college education for the middle class, and debt relief for those with college debt. Hillary promoted a massive jobs program to rebuild America’s infrastructure. Hillary claimed she does not want to end the Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms. Instead, she wants “common sense gun law reforms to keep guns away from criminals.” Hillary said she would defeat terrorism. She really punched most of the Democrat positions. As expected, Hillary took her swipes at Donald Trump. She had some good lines like Trump should start making things in America again.
All things considered, the Democrats had a good week. They partially did what they needed. Democrats have a way of healing and coming together. This week they began that process. Hillary has more work to do but she does have a chance to unify her party.