It began almost as a sequel of the Republican Convention, streets packed with protesters – oddly, they are all supporters of a Democrat (Bernie Sanders) but not the Nominee (Hillary Clinton) – a convention floor filled with delegates some of whom who would have preferred the defeated candidate Bernie Sanders and ready to stir trouble, and others who felt betrayed by the Hillary’s choice of running mate, Tim Kaine former Governor of Virginia, current US Senator of the state. All things considered, everything pointed to a chaotic if not broken convention and the night to a messy end and a split of the delegates.
The news earlier of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails hacked – presumably by Russian hackers – and released showed that soon-to-be-former Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman favored Hillary Clinton (over Bernie Sanders) while she also worked to undermine the Vermont Senator, something which irritated Bernie’s supporters and flared the rumors that he could have been the nominee has he not been hampered by the DNC Chairwoman. Wall to wall coverage of the emails release prompted immediate reactions a) Bernie publicly commented that the Chairwoman should resign b) the Chairwoman offered to step down after the Convention. However, the pressure was much too strong even for a Chairwoman who’s used to constant criticism; in the end, Debbie completely removes herself from the Convention, an extremely wise decision to prevent further backlash on the convention floor. Debbie deserves credit for promptly addressing what could have completely derailed the prospect of a successful convention.
A rocky start it was for the Democrats but with an all-star line-up of speakers such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Michelle Obama, whether by sheer luck or planned, the Chairwoman should be praised for her forward thinking.
- Bernie Sanders was needed on the first day of the convention to quell any residual doubt as far as his stance on Hillary’s nomination; he needed to confirm he’s onboard with Hillary as the nominee but most importantly he needed to rally his supporters behind her. Upon walking into the podium, Bernie was cheered for a full three-minute by his supporters. When he finally could manage to speak, he dedicated a full ten-minute for what seemed to be a nostalgic reminiscence of the moments on the campaign trail during the primaries but he got around to provide FULL endorsement and support for Hillary Clinton, leaving no doubt that he too stands with her. It was quite obvious that Bernie worked out with Hillary the details of his agenda for the country. Among the most obvious were the minimum wage – which Hillary initially wanted to be at $10 – which is now $15 in Hillary’s agenda as president, the free college tuition which gave Bernie instant fame during the primaries and the forgiveness of student debts, all three of which are now part of Hillary’s agenda. Bernie seemed content with the deal he’s reached with the Clinton’s campaign and urges his supporters to help elect her as the next president of the United States
- Elizabeth Warren was needed on the first day of the convention as the person to stand up to the bully in the Republican Party, Donald Trump. No other surrogate is more capable than Elizabeth to make the case, and she did. She too made it crystal clear that she is with Hillary; she drove home for the audience that the prospect of Donald Trump as president could not possibly be something good for the country.
- Michelle Obama was needed on the first day of the convention to set a positive tone for the campaign, publicly “stands with Hillary” and dispels any doubt as to how Mrs. Clinton is viewed by the Obamas in particular, the White House in general. She made a flawless case for Hillary as president; she showcased her strength, her accomplishment and her ability to perform under pressure but what I did not expect is to watch a speech which not only transcends politics but would also pass in history as probably the best speech made by a First Lady. Mrs. Obama rebuked the bullying approach of Donald Trump, warned those who choose to follow a very unstable individual and reminded us all to ignore anyone who vilifies the country, all without using his name; “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great,” Michelle said in rebuke of Trump’s persistent slogan to Make America Great Again; Michelle continued “This, right now, is the greatest country on earth.” It is difficult if not impossible to accurately provide a perfect rendition of the speech without quoting everything in the speech; watch for yourself.
The night ended in a better note than it started; although I initially expected Bill Clinton – scheduled to speak on Day 2 of the convention – to make the best case for his wife, as he did for Obama in the 2012 elections, I now doubt very much he would be able to top Michelle’s performance.
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