Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Democratic National Convention - First Night Recap

I spent part of my evening watching the DNC's convention being held in Charlotte. The speech of the evening belonged to Governor Deval Patrick, from my home state of Massachusetts, who gave the audience the gem that Mitt Romney, as governor, was "more interested in having the job than doing the job."

I thought Governor Martin O'Malley, who was Mayor of Baltimore when I was a law clerk at the Federal Court there, was good, on point, and got his message across that America should move "forward, not back," a message that was reinforced by convention goers wielding placards.

The keynote was delivered by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who was the first Latino keynote speaker at a Democratic National Convention and was introduced to the convention by his twin brother who is running for US Congress.  His performance, with a touching tribute to his immigrant grandmother and mother wasn't as strong as I had expected. While his focus on investments in education as a necessary condition for future economic growth in America is on point, he didn't have the depth to really move the convention. That said, he was better than many of the speakers at least week's RNC convention in terms of audience response.

The last big speech of the evening belonged to First Lady Michelle Obama, who spoke passionately about the President and her role as a mother and First Lady. I thought she humanized both the President and the basis of his decision making, suggesting that his was a personal cause not a political one. Her tribute to her father and her emphasis on her roll as "mother in chief" as she called it, was moving.

I agree with CNN analyst and former advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton, David Gergen, that the Democrats showed up ready for prime time and are on track to handily beat the impact of last week's RNC convention if their performances continue at the current pace.  Not hard to agree with Gergen given how bad some of the RNC speeches were, including the bizarre one from Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood.

Stay tuned.

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