Tuesday, July 27, 2004

DNC Notes -- Day 1

First of all, if you're going to watch the convention, you have to watch it on C-SPAN.  All the other channels, even the cable news channels, spend most of their airtime talking to pundits and commentators.  It's really a waste.  The real action is on C-SPAN.  That's the only place where you can see middle aged women dancing to "We Are Family" and ex-hippie men waving their arms to "Blowin' in the Wind."  It's good stuff.  Also, you have to watch C-SPAN if you want to see any speakers other than the keynote guys.  I think that it's the non-featured people that really show the most about the heart of a party.

Overall, Day 1 was not too stirring.  Jimmy Carter was very boring, as usual.  Al Gore was extremely calm, which is unusual and rather disappointing.  There was none of the Baptist preacher shouting that we've all come to know and love.  Sen. Hillary Clinton also took the stage on opening night.  Her speech was brief because her only role was to introduce President Clinton.  She wore a very fetching yellow outfit.  Perfectly suitable for a woman who is called upon to introduce her husband.  Hillary actually exceeded her designated speaking limit and discussed Kerry and Edwards and even Theresa Heinz-Kerry.  It was a spirited presentation.  Also, her skin looked really good.

Then came the star of the night, President William Jefferson Clinton.  Until last night, I never fully grasped what it was that drew people to Clinton despite his scandals.  It was pure, unadulterated charisma.  And, Clinton was extremely charismatic last night.  He did not disappoint the eager delegates.  He was extremely polished and skilled, and he effectively energized the crowd which apparently still longs to have a Clinton on the ticket.  It was easy to get caught up in the energy of this man despite the fact that most of his speech was devoid of content.  Actually, Clinton spent much of his address reminding everyone how rich he is now and how much of a tax cut he got thanks to Bush.  It was kind of weird in a way.  Overall, I would say that Clinton did exactly what he was supposed to do.  He contrasted George Bush from John Kerry and made the faithful delegates proud to be Democrats.