I've been watching the grandsons, the youngest takes some significant hands-on feeding, burping, holding. So I've been a bit distracted but here we go. Sorry for my last post where I got a little intemperate about stupidity and religious grand-standing.
I did see Gabby Giffords lead the pledge of allegiance. That was a tear jerker.
And then Caroline Kennedy came on. She and I are about the same age. While from vastly different backgrounds, there's still a connection there. I think it comes from 1963.
Former Governor, and former Republican, Charlie Crist is explaining that he did not leave the Republican Party, the Party left him. He doesn't agree with everything about President Obama but he was able to work with him. Admits that "the hug" cost him with his party.
John Kerry speaking on American Exceptionalism, bashing Gov. Romney and praising the President. [This is a real political convention. I didn't see these kinds of impassioned, ringing endorsements at the Republican convention.] Promises kept: Iraq, Afghanistan (coming home), focus like a laser on Al Queda, "Ask Osama bin Laden if he's better off now than he was four years ago." Israel and Iran. Netanyahu said our relationship was just fine. [This is a foreign policy speech. Kerry wants to be Secretary of State.] Says the opposition candidates are the two most inexperienced in foreign policy in decades. Invokes "before he was for it he was against it" on Romney's flip-flopping foreign policy positions. "Better finish that debate with yourself before you debate the President." [Why couldn't Kerry give a speech like this when he was running for President?]
[I think it was a pretty smart move on the Dems to go after the Republicans and only one week after. Romney had a bit of a bump in the polls with the Ryan pick. Then he dropped in the polls and I don't know if it was people getting to know Ryan or the 'legitimate rape' guy. And his convention bump was rather slight and is now gone with this booming success of a Democratic convention.]
Dr. Jill Biden is up. Talking about her son going to Iraq. Declares the War in Iraq over. Been a teacher for more than 30 years. Still teaches at a community college in Northern Virginia. Praises Joe. [Good family values again.]
Now it's Joe the Movie. I was looking forward to some entertainment and gaffes with the VP. I think we may have been down-playing him a bit much. This might just be another barn burner. Yet, there's still bound to be some entertainment value.
"You're Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher." -Jackie Wilson. Man, they've had some good music!
Joe complimenting his wife. He is somber and serious. And now lovingly, joyfully humorous about his love for her. His kids. [Boy, it's family values flowing out the pores.] He accepts the nomination. Four years ago a battered nation turned from the past and turned to a new leader to lead out of the crisis. A journey we have not finished yet. This generation has proved itself as worthy as any before it. We will complete the mission. His friend Barack Obama. [OK first slip, he said Michelle spoke last night but he caught it.] We were on the brink of a Great Depression. Takes us in the White House to see the President. Serious talk about the financial crisis sledge hammer on the middle class. [Serious talk and demeanor.] The President had to restore the confidence of the nation and the whole world. One false move could make it so much worse. One gutsy decision after another to stop and reverse the slide. Profound concern for the average American. [The crowd is somber and quiet.]
We learned a lot about each other. He learned the enormity of his heart and he learned the depth of Joe's loyalty to him. Our own families have gone through similar struggles. Barack sitting on his dying mother's bed while she was fighting with insurance. Joe's dad taught him the importance of a job - dignity, respect, place in the community, telling your kid "it's going to be OK." There used to be an understanding of a fair shot and the values of that are Barack's same values. How is this going to affect the average American?
The other side brings a vastly different vision. Wants to talk about two crises. 1) Rescue of the auto industry. [serious, somber, sober] Said Romney wasn't wasn't a bad guy, but he tried to solve it like a Bain problem like a balance sheet. You can't run the country that way. It's about people. 2) Bin Laden - biggest national security challenge. It was about so much more. Righting a wrong. "If you attack innocent Americans we will follow you to the end of the earth!" Unyielding faith in our soldiers - the finest warriors in the history of the world [This is not funny Joe. This is serious Joe.] "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."
We know we have more to do. But our President has the courage to make the tough decisions. Republican convention said they would make the tough calls, but they didn't tell them what calls they would make. Now he's on to Medicare, rehashing some of Clinton's arguments. They're on a new plan, it's called "vouchercare." They talked a lot about the debt and to act now, but they didn't tell you they rejected every plan we put forward or Simpson-Bowles because they won't allow one dollar or one cent of new taxes for millionaires. Fundamentally different visions. For Gov. Romney it doesn't matter where businesses put their money - overseas. His jobs tour will have to be a foreign trip.
[missed a little]
We Americans have faith in the American people. We were hit hard in the financial crisis, but as Americans we didn't lose faith you got up and did what you could. "You Americans never quit on America and you deserve a President who will never quit on you." "America is not in decline." Republicans are wrong. Never been a good bet to bet against the American people. [This is populism - but maybe in a good way.]
The President's whole life is a testament to that dream. We see a future for everyone, rich and poor does their part. More on clean energy at home than oil from abroad and a bunch of other stuff. A future where "no one is forced to live in the shadows of intolerance." "America leads not by the example of our power but by the power of our example." Acknowledges the debt we owe those fallen angels and the thousands wounded who will need our help for the rest of our lives. We must never forget their sacrifice. [choking up.] [The crowd is serious.] "The journey of Hope is not yet finished but we are on our way!" "America's best days are ahead"
[Yikes! That was a speech!] Sign in the audience "Together We Built It!" Yeah, that's it!
The Obama Video. And Bill Clinton again! Joe, Michelle. Now the President's grandparents who came out of the great depression. Bill, Joe, Michelle, the witnesses. Reading letters from people [very Lincolnian.] Bill, Michelle, Joe. Michelle explaining how he was driven to get the Health Care bill passed because of his mom and regular Americans. Bin Laden. Bill, Joe, Bill- "I hope that's the call I would have made." Narrator "We have a long way to go." The American people don't give up.
Michelle to introduce the love of her life. The father of their two girls. The President of the United States of America.
Uhm. This crowd still looks like Grant Park on election night.
Loves Michelle. The other night all were reminded what a lucky man he is. Malia and Sasha have to go to school in the morning. Thanks to Joe Biden the best VP he could have ever hoped for -strong and loyal friend. Accepts nomination.
The first time he addressed the convention, he was a younger man, hope in the face of difficulty in the faith of uncertainty [He's going back to 2004] Eight years later this hope has been tested. Campaigns can seemed small and trivial. Truth gets buried under avalanche of money. If you're sick of hearing him approve this message, so is he. When all is said is done, you will face a clear choice. Big decisions will be made in Washington. Decisions that will have a big impact on our lives and on our children for decades to come. A choice between two fundamentally different visions. Ours is a struggle to rebuild the middle class and the strongest economy ever with the values of his grandparents learned in WWII. Everyone shared in that pride and success and business success. His grandparents able to fulfill the bargain that hard work pays off. Everyone plays from the same rules from Main Street to Washington DC. Ran for president because he saw that basic bargain slipping away. With the economic crash many lost. We are still fighting for recovery. His friends in Tampa talked about what is wrong in American but not what their plan is. Everything is try a tax cut. Feel a cold coming on - take two tax cuts and call me in the morning. He doesn't believe another round of tax breaks for millionaires will solve our economic problems - or firing more teachers or kicking out more college students. We've tried all that. We are moving forward.
The path is not quick or easy. You elected me to tell you the truth. It will take more than a few years to solve problems built up for decades. FDR took a while. It's not all about Washington. Our problems can be solved. The path we offer may be harder but it leads to a better place. Goals in manufacturing, Education, National Security and the Deficit. That's what we can do and why I am running. We can chose a future where we outsource less and build more jobs. We are making things again. Building cars. We reinvented a dying auto industry that's back on the top of the world. We work harder and smarter than anyone else. He signed trade agreements to sell goods stamped "Made in America." Half a million manufacturing jobs in the past two and a half years. We can give more tax cuts to corporations shipping jobs overseas or we can help create more jobs here. We can create a million more manufacturing jobs [next 4 years?] We can solve our energy problem [all of the above] we cut oil imports more than any administration in history. Do we reverse this or build on it. I will not let energy companies write our energy plan or destroy our coastlines, etc. Clean coal, bio-fuels, build green homes & building, develop natural gas. Cut oil imports in half by 2020. Reduce climate warming it's not a hoax or a joke.
Education for opportunity for Michelle and him and so many. The gateway to a middle class life. Everyone needs to have chance to go to college. Government has a role in this but teachers must inspire, principals lead, parents instill desire for learning, students do homework. Add more Math & Science teachers. Cut tuition costs. You can chose leadership that has bee tested and proven. He ended war in Iraq. Challenged terrorists that actually attacked us. Afghanistan will be ended. Al Queda is on path to defeat and bin Laden is dead. Pay tribute to the Americans who still serve. We will never forget you. We will serve you when you come home to get a job a roof, etc. We've strengthened alliances around the world, strengthened human rights. Terrorist plots must be disrupted. Commitment to Israel must not waiver and neither our pursuit of peace. Iran must be met in a united way. My opponents are new to foreign policy. They want to take us back to bluster and trouble. You don't call Russia our greatest enemy (not al Queda) without going back to cold war. You don't stand up to China if you go to the Olympics and insult our closest ally. [This is a tough political talk like a state of the union and attacking the other side.]
Time to do nation building right here at home. Working with Congress to cut deficit. Reform government to be leaner and more responsive to people. Reform the tax code so that it's fair - >$250K pay more just like with Clinton. Still wants to work plan of debt commission. But the other side isn't serious if they want to cut deficit by cutting more taxes. Calls on Clinton's arithmetic. Doesn't want to cut students out or headstart to give millionaires more tax cuts. [He's going all populist- "class-warfare" -Trumanesque on them] He will never turn Medicare into a voucher. Yes, we will reform and strengthen. We will reduce the cost of welfare not asking elderly to pay more. Won't turn over power to Wall Street. This is the choice we now face. Fighting against tax cuts and cutting regulations. Since government can't do everything, then do nothing.
[Hard and tough on Republicans]
Certain inalienable rights. We are not entitled to success we have to earn it. But we also believe in something called "Citizenship." A word at the very heart of our founding. The idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to each other. We have to give opportunity to little girls to be Steve Jobs or the President. We don't think the government is the solution to all our problems but we don't believe it is the cause of all our problems. "This democracy is ours" We the People have responsibilities as well as rights. [This is the core of the sentiment and power of the choice the President offers us. If you read this blog, how could I not like it? And it was presented not in the usual soaring rhetoric but in serious sobriety. I will find this portion of the text of the given speech and check it out.]
You helped made things possible when people get help. College kids. Dreamers who don't get kicked out. Soldiers who served. You did that. You did that. [We the People are the government]
If you give up then others will fill with their voices. And their money. Who you can marry. Your health care choices - only you have the power to move us forward.
"Times have changed since I first spoke. And so have I. I'm no longer a candidate I'm the President." He has shared the pain of families of soldiers and those who have lost their homes and their jobs. If he based everything on polls, he's not doing too well.
Lincoln quote: "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere to go." [still looking for original source Harper's Monthly of July, 1865, quoted in Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (Scribner's, New York) p. 340 ]. But tonight he is still hopeful because of YOU. The success stories of people give him hope.
Soldier he met at Walter Reed - inspiring others. "He gives me hope." He doesn't know what party they belong to but they are what give him hope.
Reminds him of scripture. Ours is a future filled with hope. If you still believe in hope then he asks for your vote. [I think it's Romans 8:24-25].
Government's not for the highest bidder. New schools can provide opportunity. New energy. He never said it would be easy. But it leads to a better place. Road is longer but we don't turn back we pull each other along. Providence is with us. Citizens of the greatest nation on earth.
Well, that was a speech too. Grittier. Hard hitting on the opposition. No holds barred on the opposing visions. Invoking Lincoln, not just in the direct quote but in the invocation that "Providence is with us." or at least Lincoln asked whether it was. And there was linkage to his "Yes we can" when he said when the government does good to provide opportunity he said "You did that." And he reached back to the Hope theme. It's serious, it's hard, he's still committed and wants us to be too. It sounds like the crowd in the building is. They are sticking around. This was not the best speech of the convention (as James Carville just said) this was a serious and mature and tough speech. Gergen says he's "Presidential." Moved from Hope and Change to Hope and Faith (Gergen).
No balloons because they didn't have the time to blow them up when they moved indoors. And there's a music glitch. But the crowd is sticking around and with him.
It was a serious and sobering speech.
The first two night were soaring. The last night was serious, sober, and stern. Not a lot of specifics, but a call to arms. Lincoln, the War President.