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7.28.2004

More Convention Observations... 

--Older gentleman – pretty obviously a vet, shaking his fist when Edwards talked about taking care of the vets who have taken care of us, then later, another shot of him, rocking out to Black Eyed Peas – I’ll damn well marry somebody like that someday.

--The children of the nominees/wives looking for all the world like Camelot Kennedys:  Cate Edwards, with the Jackie O hairstyle and the beautifully tailored, 60’s Chanel-inspired suit, and sounding like every American’s Southern Belle ideal.
The Heinz brothers, almost spookily reminding me of John F. Kennedy Jr.

--Edwards’ message – blending his “Two Americas” message seamlessly with the idea that we should only have one America, and I appreciated one passage in his speech in particular.  

I feel such an enormous responsibility when it comes to issues of race and equality and civil rights.

I have heard some discussions and debates about where, and in front of what audiences we should talk about race, equality, and civil rights. Well, I have an answer to that question. Everywhere.
 
This is not an African-American issue, not a Latino issue, not an Asian-American issue, this is an American issue. It's about who we are, what our values are, what kind of country we want to live in. 
--The Alabama delegation – I was glad to finally see them on camera!  Hey Jack!

--The convention secretary, coyly wishing the mayor of the District of Columbia Happy Birthday.

--Poor Mississippi: they came right after Michigan, who put Kerry over in the delegate count, and “Celebrate” just ran all over them…but he got to speak (eventually).

--Someone (I won’t name names…mostly ‘cause I can’t remember) got sort of caught up and changed Kerry’s middle name to Fitzgerald. 

--Uh, calling Walter Mondale “the greatest statesman our country has every known” might be hyperbole.  I’m just sayin’.

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7.27.2004

If you can't read, just shove it. 

From Media Matters
In her remarks at a Massachusetts Statehouse reception July 25, Heinz Kerry had referred to "un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics." But as she pointed out, McNickle asked her afterwards what she meant by "un-American activities"; Heinz Kerry explained that there was a great deal of difference to her between saying "un-American activities" and "un-American traits." "Un-American activities," she said, "has a very different connotation. It's a political connotation of [Senator Joseph] McCarthy implications, which I would not use unless it was very specific. And I would use it if it was correct, but that's not what I was talking about."

Yes, she said "un-American" but go Cheney yourself if you really think that she didn't remember what she said. Someone said that to me today. I hate that I don't find stuff like this until after I've been challenged and only been able to come up with a line like "somehow I'm betting Fox News didn't get all their facts straight." Of course the facts weren't complete - but this kind of clarification is inconvenient to report, huh? Jerks.

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Somewhere between Clinton and Obama 

I'm tongue-tied.  I'm amazed.  I'm...oh, good gravy, still feeling teary-eyed after that. 

Of course Clinton, yesterday, was masterful, his usual self.  I loved how he began the "send me" refrain:

Here is what I know about John Kerry. During the Vietnam War, many young men—including the current president, the vice president and me—could have gone to Vietnam but didn’t. John Kerry came from a privileged background and could have avoided it too.  Instead he said, send me.

If we want an image of strength, I'm not sure it gets better than this. 

But Obama.  My gracious.  I can't even think of words to really get to what he made me feel.  I'm so proud to be a Democrat.  He articulated so clearly the things that make me passionate: real support for our troops, the idea that individuals are important but that it somehow makes us less if we only think of ourselves, that different political beliefs don't mean we don't all belong in one America.  He gave me hope that that vision is achievable - he confronted head-on the overarching criticisms of ol' bleeding heart liberals, i.e., that we think government alone can solve everyone's problems - and he convinced me that he is committed and able to help our party and our country achieve it.  I'm inadequate. 

I thought of families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or with nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were reservists. When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

Now let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued and they must be defeated. John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure. John Kerry believes in America. And he knows it's not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga.

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief-I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper-that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America-there's the United States of America.

There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

So freaking proud.  Thank you, Bill Clinton.  Thank you, Barack Obama.  I'm overwhelmed.

ETA: Mistyped something.  Fixed it.


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