Democrats Kick Off Virtual Convention

The official campaign to oust Donald Trump is off to a good start.

I did not watch the opening night of the Democratic National Convention. The events have become increasingly compact in recent cycles and being forced to go virtual by a global pandemic surely rendered it surreal. Still, it set the right tone, for my tastes anyway.

Washington Post (“On Democratic convention’s first night, speakers blame Trump for America’s woes“):

Democrats kicked off their virtual nominating convention Monday with a focused denunciation of President Trump, showcasing dozens of testimonials that culminated in lancing criticism from former first lady Michelle Obama, who cast Trump as incapable of meeting America’s needs and said Joe Biden would usher in racial justice and ease the coronavirus pandemic.

In the centerpiece speech of the night, a searing indictment of her husband Barack Obama’s successor, Obama declared that Trump has mishandled the pandemic and failed to respond to outcries over the deaths of Black Americans. She warned that the nation would suffer more if he is elected to a second term.

“Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can: Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us,” she said, before quoting a line Trump used about covid-19 deaths in a recent interview: “It is what it is.”

[…]

Other testimonials against Trump’s stewardship ranged from democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to Ohio’s Republican former governor John Kasich, both of whom have pleaded with the country to set aside ideological differences to defeat Trump. The daughter of a covid-19 patient angrily blamed her father’s death on Trump during the broadcast, which repeatedly showed victims of the coronavirus.

The unprecedented virtual convention program, without crowds, floor fights or sign waving, reflected the extraordinary limits of current public health guidelines, as the country continues to keep socially distant in the face of a pandemic that has killed more than 167,000 Americans this year. Occasional live shots of Democratic delegates watching at home were cut in throughout the night to replicate some sense of a normal event.

In a truncated two-hour format, organizers sought to showcase a united front in support of presumptive Democratic nominee Biden, who appeared frequently in the program through speaking clips, still photos and prerecorded video. Borrowing heavily from the tropes of live cable television, he hosted a brief roundtable discussion with civil rights activists, including Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died in police custody in New York in 2014.

Most speeches lasted just a couple of minutes or less, leaving Obama with the longest address to close out the night. She acknowledged that voting might be even more difficult this year for some.

“We have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown-bag dinner and maybe breakfast, too, because we’ve got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to,” she said.

Obama repeated and expanded on her 2016 convention plea for Democrats to “go high” when their opponents go low.

“Going high means standing fierce against hatred,” she said. “Going high means unlocking the shackles of lies and mistrust with the only thing that can set us free — cold, hard truth.”

New York Times (“Democrats Begin Virtual Convention, Hailing Biden and Denouncing Trump“):

Democrats opened the most extraordinary presidential nominating convention in recent history on Monday night with a program that spanned the gamut from socialists to Republicans, from the relatives of George Floyd to family members of those killed by the coronavirus, in a two-hour event that was a striking departure from the traditional summer pageant of American democracy.

Truncated and conducted virtually because of the coronavirus crisis, the presentation at times resembled an online awards show, and it offered a vivid illustration of how both the pandemic and widespread opposition to President Trump have upended the country’s politics.

[…]

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, speaking before Mrs. Obama, gave voice to what he described as the historic stakes this November, arguing that “this election is about preserving our democracy” and alluding to his own family’s experience with Nazi Germany.

“This is not normal,” he said, “and we must never treat it like it is.”

Kicking off a four-day conclave during which they hope to both win over moderates who are uneasy with Mr. Trump’s divisive leadership and energize liberals who are unenthusiastic about their own nominee, Democrats reached for the recent past.

They showcased Mr. Sanders, the leader of the left and their reigning presidential runner-up; a handful of Republican defectors, including former Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio; and the most popular figure from the previous administration, Mrs. Obama.

They hailed Mr. Biden, the former vice president, who will formally accept his party’s nomination on Thursday, and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California,and made clear their deep apprehension about the country’s future if Mr. Trump were to win a second term.

This strikes me as the right strategy: highlight the range of support for Biden and opposition for Trump. Having a disaffected member of the opposition party in Kasich highlights how awful Trump is. Having Sanders, the symbol of the progressive wing that has not quite managed to win the nomination the last two cycles but is surely the party’s future go early makes sense, too. And closing with Michelle Obama, quite likely the party’s most popular, least divisive figure, was shrewd.

Not everyone agrees, of course.

Rebecca Traister, who has made a good living being angry, is, well, angry. She titles her column “Sixty Seconds to Self-Sabotage.”

When the Democratic National Committee released its schedule for its big socially distanced convention this week, we learned that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, inarguably among the party’s most dynamic figures, would have just sixty seconds to address the nation.

[…]

But the relegation of Ocasio-Cortez, who electrifies multiple parts of a Democratic base, to one meager minute, a segment that—unlike speeches by some other presenters—will be pre-recorded, isn’t just a snub. The failure of a major political party to showcase one of its most talented politicians, a young person whose communicative reach and facility positions her to be among its leaders deep into our future, is self-sabotage. The error was underlined on Sunday when the convention announced that its Tuesday keynote slot—usually reserved to spotlight young politicians imagined to be the party’s up-and-coming leaders-would this year be an address offered by seventeen people described as “rising stars“: sixteen young lawmakers whose major star-making distinction seems to be that they lent their support to Joseph Robinette Biden early and also Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate (who herself did not endorse Biden until May).

Abrams—who was tapped to deliver the party’s response to the 2019 State of the Union (a usually thankless job that she aced), who in her bid to become the first Black woman ever to be elected governor increased youth turnout in her state by 139 percent, and who since her contested loss has launched a massive multi-state initiative to battle voter suppression, among the greatest threats currently facing democracy (and Democrats)-is most assuredly already a star. In fact, she shines brightly enough that Biden’s team whispered about him hitching his then-floundering primary campaign to her last year. That at 46, Abrams is being sat at the kids’ table is insulting, shortsighted folly.

But at least she and Ocasio-Cortez have prime-time speaking gigs, while many of their peers—the energetic new thinkers and voices of America’s liberal and left politics, many of them from diverse backgrounds, with perspectives and experiences fresh to the party—have not been given featured berths at all.

Where will Julian Castro be this week? What about Katie Porter? Pramila Jayapal? Lauren Underwood? Anna Eskamani? Jennifer Carroll Foy? How about Wisconsin’s Lieutenant governor Mandela Barnes or Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman? Some of these people will be speaking to afternoon caucus meetings and doing small-potatoes participation that gives the DNC plausible deniability against accusations that they excluded them, but why the hell isn’t, for example, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley being put in front of a big national audience, perhaps as the Tuesday keynote speaker? She is one of the party’s best orators, a genuine rising star (albeit one who endorsed Elizabeth Warren over Biden, which I guess was determinative). If Abrams had been (correctly) given her own slot, and a full chance to bring her fight against suppression to the national audience, Pressley could have blown the roof off of whatever room she’d be speaking from, and the convention would have held a lot more promise-not just for entertainment, but for inspiration, vision and a view of a path forward-than it currently does.

Traister’s lament seems silly. Ocasio-Cortez is indeed a gifted politician. It’s quite plausible that she’ll be the party’s presidential nominee one day; certainly, she’s likely to be a contender for years to come. While I don’t quite get the hype over Abrams, she’s also quite popular in party circles.

But this is not like the party conventions of my youth or, indeed, my early adulthood. The Democrats don’t have sixty hours of airtime to fill; they have eight. Why would they devote time to Castro, who was a nonfactor in his bid for the nomination, much less a bunch of people even most political junkies have never heard of?

Traister and I ultimately view the strategy differently, as we have different theories of victory.

My sense, which is congruent with the longstanding conventional wisdom of American politics, is that the contest between now and November 3 (and, really, less than that given how many people will vote early this year) is one of persuading the persuadables. Traister seems to be relying on a revisionist theory that has gained currency of late that elections are simply about turning out the base.

Traister, presumably, would argue that there are very few persuadables out there. Therefore, the Democrats needed to spend these four days energizing young voters and alienated progressives.

If I’m right, the people who would prefer that AOC got an hour-long speaking spot last night and that Bernie Sanders, or at least Elizabeth Warren, were going to be accepting the nomination Thursday instead of Joe Biden, are already in the bag. Conversely, people who wish John Kasich were on the Republican ticket rather than Trump may well be persuaded to vote for Biden if Kasich himself tells them it’s okay—but may hold their nose and vote for Trump if AOC and The Squad is the face of the alternative.

Given that Trump’s ceiling seems to be around 40 percent and that Biden has maintained a sizable lead over him since becoming the presumptive nominee, it seems that my theory is the safest. It doubles down on Biden’s brand as the safe choice, a responsible, calm leader who can guide the ship of state back to safety after four years of being captained by a madman.

UPDATE: Stephen Colbert liked it.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    “Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can: Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. [..]”

    That’s not really true.

    Donald Loser Trump is the wrong president for every country.

    16
  2. An Interested Party says:

    Another highlight of the evening was the video of the people who encountered Biden on Amtrak, talk about a contrast! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone say that they had a nice interaction with Trump, where he was ever kind or nice…

    10
  3. Joe says:

    Repeated from today’s Forum thread:

    I made the mistake of watching the whole 2 hours of convention last night. It was reasonably well produced with some pretty good segments, but that is waaaay too much television for me. One personality who stuck out was Cedric Richmond, the Congressman from New Orleans. Just a good engaging speaker with a good strong thesis statement about the importance of community over stock markets in measuring the economy. I think we will see this guy again.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @An Interested Party: I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone say that they had a nice interaction with Trump, where he was ever kind or nice…

    Obviously, you’ve never watched a recording of a trump cabinet meeting.

    14
  5. gVOR08 says:

    It’s not so much that it isn’t a turnout election. Rove was right, they all are now. It’s that Ds can afford to go after whatever persuadables there are and leave it to Trump to drive D turnout.

    4
  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I have to admit I did not watch it nor will I watch any of the speeches (I hear Michelle’s was very good) and I barely skimmed the news of it simply because it’s always the *same speeches* trying to do the same thing to varying levels of success. It’s all very predictable and boring.

    I do have one request tho: If Biden gets the nomination, will somebody let me know?

    ** I will not watch anything coming from the GOP clusterfvck either, but for entirely different reasons. I won’t be avoiding boredom so much as a stroke.

    4
  7. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Michelle Obama…

    So let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.

    If it get’s better, I’ll be surprised.

    2
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    UPDATE: Stephen Colbert liked it.

    Thanx for that James. The giggling in the background cracked me up.

    2
  9. Teve says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: There’s no apostrophe in gets. You’re welcome!

  10. Teve says:

    While I’m at it, if Bill Gates has a motorcycle it’s not Bill Gate’s motorcycle.

    1
  11. mattbernius says:

    It doubles down on Biden’s brand as the safe choice, a responsible, calm leader who can guide the ship of state back to safety after four years of being captained by a madman.

    There’s an idea floating around political twitter that I’m really coming around to–that there is virtue in voting for a “safe” candidate that you’re “not it love with.” Perhaps this is an opportunity to take a step back from trying to select the most charismatic option and then having to try to sustain that love affair for four to eight years no matter what actions they take.

    6
  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius: In all my years only once did I get to vote for the person for president that I voted for in the primary, but I voted anyway and not some protest vote either.

    4
  13. Joe says:

    it’s not Bill Gate’s motorcycle.

    Your observation is a concrete rule, Teve, but there is some debate on whether it’s Bill Gates’ motorcycle or Bill Gates’s motorcycle. I follow the rule that if you pronounce the possessive s you add the possessive s. Even then, I could go either way on the possessive form of Gates.

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: I don’t care what you say, Bill Gates would still be the owner of his motorcycle.

    1
  15. CSK says:

    @Joe:
    That could be the difference between apple’s and orange’s. 🙂

    2
  16. Kathy says:

    The answer to the Former First Lady’s speech by the Unstable Moron seems to boil down to “I am rubber and your glue!”

    Yes, I can hear he misspells the words he speaks 😛

    3
  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: Not if I have it, possession being 9/10ths of the law and all that.

    Ps: he can have it back when he’s pried it from my cold dead hands.

  18. CSK says:

    ABC News has a transcript of Michele Obama’s speech. Sorry I didn’t provide a link, but if I do, I’ll end up in moderation.

    2
  19. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: Yeah, the guys a nerd. If he has a motorcycle, he’s just posing with it.

  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    I thought the whole thing was surprisingly good, given what conventions are usually like.

    2
  21. Kingdaddy says:

    I watched most of the convention last night, minus Bernie Sanders and a couple of other speakers. I was most impressed with the average American segments, including the disappointed Trump voters. The whole affair was well-produced, compelling, and coherent. The positive tone — let’s roll up our sleeves and fix this mess — seemed unfeigned.

    Every Democratic convention, I start out expecting to be bored, and then get sucked in. Moments like Jesse Jackson’s barn-burner speeches really stand out. It’s a moment to get motivated, organized, and mobilized. We all need these moments.

    The national anthem, sung by a choir of people in all 50 states and the territories, was especially good. Without having to say it overtly, it was a good way of expressing, “This is who we are, as Americans, in spite of our current hardships. Or because we overcome our hardships.”

    6
  22. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Joe:
    Gates’

  23. Scott F. says:

    One can safely ignore Rebecca Traister’s anger. Her rant was comparable to the music critic’s annual bitching about the Grammy Awards not giving enough performance slots to up and coming bands.

    On the other hand, attention must be paid to the anger from Kristin Urquiza, who lost her Trump-supporter father to the coronavirus. Her anger was righteous and palpable and authentic.

    7
  24. ImProPer says:

    Beyond the painfully obvious of send Trump packing, I was struck by the resolve of the party to coalition build against a threat that should concern us all. Inviting Kasich, against the desires of the far left reactionaries, was a powerful statement of sincerity towards national unification. Fingers crossed for a continuation.

    “But the relegation of Ocasio-Cortez, who electrifies multiple parts of a Democratic base, to one meager minute, a segment that—unlike speeches by some other presenters—will be pre-recorded, isn’t just a snub. The failure of a major political party to showcase one of its most talented politicians, a young person whose communicative reach and facility positions her to be among its leaders deep into our future, is self-sabotage.

    My initial opinion of AOC, was less than enthusiastic. Electrification of the electorate was well past the point of diminishing returns prior to her arrival on the political scene. It has been a gaudy substitute for visionary inspiration for some time now. I do agree with James’ assessment; “Cortez is indeed a gifted politician. It’s quite plausible that she’ll be the party’s presidential nominee one day; certainly, she’s likely to be a contender for years to come.” She does appear to have the talent to transition from electrifier to visionary inspirer, and even become a great leader. Only time will tell.

    4
  25. inhumans99 says:

    This virtual convention is what the GOP should have set-up in the first place instead of trying to move forward with holding a traditional convention filled with adoring crowds. I get that they were trying to placate President Trump who needs his crowds (as we have all noticed he is a bit unmoored when he is not attached to his security blanket) but man…it feels like they could have avoided quite a bit of embarrassment if the GOP made a decision earlier this summer to go virtual.

    From what little I have clicked on regarding the virtual DNC stories on Politico it seems that the Democrats did good and did not screw things completely up. The GOP could be the recipient of similar feedback if they also manage to hold a good virtual RNC.

  26. ImProPer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly

    “Obviously, you’ve never watched a recording of a trump cabinet meeting.”

    That was very charitable of you to throw the president a bone, and allow for Pavlovian conditioning.

    1
  27. Gustopher says:

    Rebecca Traister is wrong. Relegating AOC to a minute, prerecorded, means that Republicans cannot plausibly attempt to paint the entire convention as being radical left and create a controversy that overshadows the rest of the convention. The Republicans will try anyway, but it will have little traction.

    Sucks for AOC, a bit, but she will have other opportunities elsewhere. She’s great at getting her message out, and she’s likely the future of the party… but the party isn’t there yet, and sending a message to low information voters that even a Republican like Kasich thinks the country would be in better hands with Biden is far more important right now than AOC firing up the left.

    The key part is “right now”.

    16
  28. Kathy says:

    @ImProPer:

    She does appear to have the talent to transition from electrifier to visionary inspirer, and even become a great leader. Only time will tell.

    She has her own enthusiastic base, but the rest of the party’s sentiments, IMO, can best be summed slightly paraphrasing part of a quotation about Grover Cleveland: They love her most of all for the enemies she has made.

    2
  29. ImProPer says:

    @Kathy:

    Agree, and if she is to transition into an actual leader, she’ll have to risk loosing some of that enthusiasm, develop the art of compromise, and coalition building. Skills that are currently unfavorable, but perhaps ready to make a comeback, in light of our recent history

    2
  30. EddieInCA says:

    @Gustopher:

    Rebecca Traister is wrong. Relegating AOC to a minute, prerecorded, means that Republicans cannot plausibly attempt to paint the entire convention as being radical left and create a controversy that overshadows the rest of the convention. The Republicans will try anyway, but it will have little traction.

    Sucks for AOC, a bit, but she will have other opportunities elsewhere. She’s great at getting her message out, and she’s likely the future of the party… but the party isn’t there yet, and sending a message to low information voters that even a Republican like Kasich thinks the country would be in better hands with Biden is far more important right now than AOC firing up the left.

    @ImProPer:

    Inviting Kasich, against the desires of the far left reactionaries, was a powerful statement of sincerity towards national unification. Fingers crossed for a continuation.

    AOC is proving to be a very good politico, by focusing on building coalitions rather than going full Leftist and alienating alot of people.

    Gustopher and ImProPer are right on both counts. If you want to win NOW, be where the party is NOW. It’s not a progressive party, yet. But it will be. Win now. Take the Senate. Control all levers of power, and start making the changes you want. That’s a much better strategy than losing. What the Biden campaign is doing is masterful. Truly. They’re ignoring the extremists on both ends of the party and focusing on where the most votes are. Except for the true believers, people are tired of Trump. People are tired of the drama. People are tired of all the winning.

    Biden’s campaign is projecting…. normalcy.
    Biden’s campaign is projecting… boring competency.
    Biden’s campaign is projecting… We will help you. All of you.
    Biden’s campaign is projecting… We are all in this together.

    The country could use a bit of all of those right now.

    18
  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Joe: The more interesting thing to me is that I started teaching composition before “s’s” became a “permissible” thing. Students where I lived seemed to get confused about why “isn’t it *s’s*” until it became optional. After which, I stopped seeing the “s’s” configuration most of the time.

    Although, I will admit that it is possible that I stopped looking for it. (I was an early adopter as a teacher–functional grammar, do what’s logical, and all that.)

    @CSK: Boom! 🙂 😀 Love it!!

    2
  32. SKI says:

    AOC doesn’t seem all too bothered…

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC·1h
    US House candidate, NY-14

    If I can regularly roast Trump sycophants in 280 characters or less, I can speak to progressive values in 60 secs (& maybe filibuster a few extra ).

    Meanwhile, you’re supporting GOP sabatoge of people’s medicine, votes, etc by mail bc apparently democracy means nothing to you.

    Gov. Bobby Jindal @BobbyJindal · 2h
    Dems only giving @AOC 60 seconds to speak tonight. GOP should give her more time at their convention to show voters how crazy Dem ideas are.

    5
  33. An Interested Party says:

    @SKI: She is very good, and her political opponents, particularly Republicans, underestimate her at their own peril…along those same lines, here’s a description of someone else who is very good…

    …nowhere in Trump’s inner circle is there anyone with the gravitas and grace of Michelle Obama, because someone like her wouldn’t last a nanosecond there. Trump would find the example of her too threatening, the yardstick of her too diminishing. She’d find his ethical ecosystem uninhabitable: the cold, dark surface of the moon without a spacesuit.

    2
  34. Monala says:

    @EddieInCA: Julia Ioffe, who has done some excellent work documenting the Trump administration’s authoritarianism and corruption, had this weak sauce comment about the convention on Twitter:

    I think a lot of political journalists are feeling frustrated because this American schlock was always the bread and butter of political conventions, but we were too busy schmoozing and reporting to pay attention until the keynotes. Now we have to watch everything. #DemConvention

    She got a lot of pushback from others pointing out that this is why people find pundits so irritating*, and that the “schlock” she so disparages is inspiring to many of us, especially when we have had few reasons to feel pride in our country or hope for its future in recent years. I’ll admit that was me, too. I cried during the National Anthem with all the kids from each US state and territory singing together.

    *One of the most frequent comments I’ve seen on Twitter is how nice it was to watch the convention on platforms without all the talking heads and their incessant commentary.

    6
  35. Monala says:

    @Monala: one telling comment on Ioffe’s thread:

    Don’t worry, you can refresh yourselves when Trump’s gang does blood-curdling American carnage soon. They’ll have murders & tear gas & deride most of us Other Americans as horrible scary socialists.

    1
  36. al Ameda says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I thought the whole thing was surprisingly good, given what conventions are usually like.

    The proceedings had some pace.
    Without the usual breaks {{{routine pauses for expected applause}}} each speech moved right along. A very pleasant surprise.

    1
  37. EddieInCA says:

    I enjoyed it. I watched most of it in the background as I worked on a budget, and LOVED the lack of pundit interruptions.

    Of course the pundit class is going to hate it. They can’t tell people what they are actually hearing and watching. People can do it for themselves.

    Anything the Biden campaign can do to present a sense of competency, normalcy and lack of drama is a good thing. So far, the Biden campaign has done two things very, very well.
    1. The VP rollout was almost perfect. Pretty damn close to perfect.
    2. The Convention, so far, is almost perfect. It’s early still, but they’re on the right track.

    5
  38. An Interested Party says:

    So…on the one hand, this virtual convention has produced leftist tears, but on other, it has also produced right-wing tart anger…one group is sad because not even their leader can convince them that Biden is the hero needed at the present moment while the other group continues to perpetrate the ridiculous idea that Biden is some kind of Manchurian candidate for the left…these reactions match the schizo feeling of watching John Kasich and Bernie Sanders speak back to back…these duel reactions also tell me that Joe Biden is probably the right man to defeat Trump…

    2
  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @ImProPer: I’m not being charitable. There have been 2 cabinet meetings recorded (the opening statements anyway)(that I know of) where the camera pans around the table as each cabinet secretary praises trump in the most disgustingly fulsome and glowing terms possible. These people have absolutely no self respect.

    2
  40. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I recall seeing one of those. And yes, it was nauseating. But given that Trump had to force those people to say what a privilege it was to work for him, I don’t think it had quite the effect he intended. It was quite obvious that everyone there wanted to puke.

    As I recall, all James Mattis would say was that it was a privilege to work for the American people.

    Trump’s need for adulation is so blatant that all you can do is sigh at how utterly, desperately pathetic he is.

    2
  41. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    These people have absolutely no self respect.

    Neither does Trump the One Term Loser. This only makes things worse.

    But, as I recall, not one of them said Trump had ever been nice.

    1
  42. Joe says:

    It seems a little late in the thread, but did anyone else notice the absence of Pete Buttegieg from the defeated but happy primary candidate montage? I know he has his own speaking spot, but so does Harris and she was included. So did Klobuchar as I recall. Perhaps it was the timing of the spot assignments in relation to the VP announcement, but it seemed odd not to include him, since he was fairly prominent for a while.

  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    Started to read Traister’s essay yesterday and got about 3 paragraphs in closed the window, muttering how much I loathed leftist pundits. She doesn’t get or maybe accept that the reason there is a convention it is to remove the Former Reality Show Host from the WH, not promote some leftist vision of a future Dem party. And by the way, that hoped for progressive future for the party, may only be a white liberals wet dream, since mainstream of the party, particularly members of ethnic and racial minority groups are far more conservative on a host of issues than the Berniecrats. (BTW Bernie gets it and his endorsement of Joe was unequivocal).

    The R’s nativism and racism, has destroyed any opportunity that the party had to make inroads with minority groups and by default they became Dems, but they’re not buying in on the leftist fever dream.

    4
  44. EddieInCA says:

    @Joe:

    I saw Pete on MSNBC recently. He’s all in for Joe. It was a good segment. He is also making the rounds on satellite radio. Heard him on POTUS, and Urban View. Yesterday he was on PBS, as well. He’s a very good surrogate. His PBS appearance is on YouTube.

  45. ImProPer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I realize that, and I wasn’t either. I loved your comment, and hope that one day they develop a deep enough conscience to feel the grief that they deserve.

  46. ImProPer says:

    @Joe:

    He is slated to speak on Thursday evening. I look forward to hearing him speak. During the primaries, I thought he started off sounding like the oldest and wisest in the room, and kept it up all the way through. It’s intriguing to see what the future has in store for him.

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: I have to admit that I never watched the whole thing. After the 3rd speaker my gag reflex kicked in.

    @CSK: As I recall, all James Mattis would say was that it was a privilege to work for the American people.

    That is my recollection as well.

    1
  48. EddieInCA says:

    For those of you who haven’t seen it, watch the DNC video about Joe Biden and the Amtrak conductors. It’s only two and a half minutes.

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/08/18/joe-biden-train-amtrak-dnc-2020-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/democratic-national-convention-2020/

    2
  49. An Interested Party says:

    @EddieInCA: Another example of the enormous contrast…this young lady will, tonight, be the first person to put Biden’s name into nomination for president…meanwhile, this gun-toting trash will be speaking at the Republican convention…

  50. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The more interesting thing to me is that I started teaching composition before “s’s” became a “permissible” thing.

    You can’t possibly be that old. Strunk and White says that adding apostrophe-s to a noun that ends in s is not mandatory but is never wrong, and that was written nearly a century ago.