Tim Kaine

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Wrapping Up the Democratic National Convention

Clinton and Kaine
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine on the last night of the Democratic National Convention. /photo courtesy Hillary Clinton-Facebook

Here, in order, are  my comments about the Democratic National Convention published in the Orlando Sentinel‘s online Daily Convention Edition. Each day the writers who comprise the Central Florida 100 answered the questions who won, who lost and added a quote or tweet of the day.

In another post I’ll analyze more closely the Democratic National Convention.

˜˜Maria Padilla, Editor

Day One

Who won? Bernie Sanders won the night followed closely by Michelle Obama.

One moment Sanders can come off as a sap and another moment a superhero. “The revolution will continue” past Election Day, he said to great applause, a reflection of the affection his supporters have for him. But Sanders continued his speech as if he were at a campaign rally, as if he hadn’t lost the primary campaign — which is exactly what his supporters wanted to hear. He eventually and sporadically pivoted to Hillary Clinton.

Sanders was clearly glorying in his moment, talking of future generations, as did Michelle Obama, who mentioned by name only Hillary Clinton and took several swipes at Donald Trump, including the Republican’s penchant for reducing policy and politics to 142 characters. Michelle Obama rarely disappoints, delivering good speeches during previous conventions and Democrats clearly love her.

Who lost? Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was booed and booted in a spectacular loss of power and prestige that was a long time coming. Wasserman-Schultz is a bulldog, and attack dogs make enemies. Lots of them. Attorney John Morgan, with whom she had a run-in over medical marijuana, did a happy dance on Twitter at her fall. It is surprising Wasserman-Schultz lasted as long as she did as Democratic National Committee chair. The Demos should have taken seriously Bernie Sanders’ earlier advice to ditch her, which would have avoided the pre-convention mess. For a split second, the convention threatened to become unglued, but miraculously quieted down as the night progressed.

Quote of the day “@DWStweets are you still against #MedicalMarijuana? Clinton and Trump aren’t. Nor is your opponent @Tim_Canova! #YesOn2″ — Attorney John Morgan.

Read what others had to say: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/central-florida-100/os-a-big-hunk-of-bernie-love-as-dnc-chair-booed-booted-cf100-convention-watch-20160725-htmlstory.html

Day Two

Who won? Hillary Clinton won the night as the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major political party. The moment harked back to 1984, when Minnesota Democrat Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro — also representing New York, by the way — as his VP on the ticket. It was a big deal then as now, except the silliness of 1984 — will Mondale and Ferraro hold hands? Yes, that was a real concern, believe it or not — has been replaced with gravitas.

The nomination process also got a boost as each state voted during the roll call, making it clear to Bernie Sanders’ supporters that Clinton won not only the popular vote but also the delegate vote. Sanders was classy in defeat. The Mothers of the Movement were powerful in their testimony, reminding all that it’s not about politics it’s about pain. The Man from Hope, Bill Clinton, spoke of a lifetime of memories, a former president supporting a potential future president and they happen to be spouses. Historic.

Who lost? Bill Clinton’s health. His hands trembled throughout his speech, raising questions about whether he’s OK. And time was a loser, because Bill Clinton’s speech ran a tad longer — about 43 minutes total — than it should have, a perennial problem. At one point, he even glanced down at his watch.

Read what others had to say: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-bernie-goes-all-in-spouse-in-chief-bill-laudss-his-change-agent-20160726-htmlstory.html

Day Three

Who won? Face it: President Barack Obama was the star of the night. Democrats love him. Everybody else was just a warm-up act, except maybe Vice President Biden, whose regular Joe persona had just the right touch of anger and exasperation. Obama was generous in his praise, stating there has never been anybody more qualified for president than Hillary Clinton. He said of Donald Trump, “The choice isn’t even close.” Obama is still seeking “a more perfect union,” which is what got him elected president. He didn’t have to say much else. Meanwhile, it seemed to take a while for vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine to warm up. Then he hit his stride with “believe me” and “not one word.” Artists with celebrity power provided a kumbaya moment, singing “What the world needs now.”

Who lost? In a spectacular stumble, Donald Trump, always eager to grab a headline, asked Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, probably the first time a presidential candidate has invited a foreign power to commit a crime against the U.S. and interfere in a domestic election. It doesn’t get any worse than that. On another note, not sure if Tim Kaine is Hispandering by speaking Spanish — unless he speaks Spanish on a regular basis. Felt bad for former CIA chief Leon Panetta who was hit with the chant, “No more war!” But that’s the way it goes.

Quote of the day: How about word of the day? That would be “malarkey.”

Read what others had to say: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/central-florida-100/os-pride-passion-and-party-no-malarkey-prose-cons-and-dems-in-philadelphia-20160728-htmlstory.html

Final Night

Who won? Hillary Clinton, of course, is the first woman to be the presidential candidate of a major political party. It was her night. Period. I must add that the eloquence of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama, is a hard act to follow. Hillary campaigns and, if elected, will govern in prose. But hand it to the woman, she’s got plans — lots of them! — and appeared to be having fun.

In an attempt to round out Hillary’s edges, it appeared she also might be running for Mother in Chief.

The Democratic Party won because it would have nominated a black man and a woman in succession for the presidency. Yes, these things matter. It’s 2016, after all. And because Donald Trump’s and the Republican Party’s vision is so dark, the Democratic Party has become the party of “morning in America” versus “midnight in America.”

America won because it is one of the few industrialized nations that has never had a woman nominated or elected to the highest office of the land. Cultural diversity won because America in all its varied hues was present in Philadelphia, a refreshing counter to the disproportionately white delegation of the Republican convention.

Celebrities won because the A-list was out in full force at the convention. It was fun but, seriously, people shouldn’t base their vote on celebrityhood.

Who lost? Chaos lost because, after it threatened to upend the convention on its very first day, it slinked away after it was allowed to vent. Its presence and absence made the convention stronger. The Republican Party because the Democrats put on a better convention with ideas.

In some ways political conventions lose because they really are long, carefully calibrated infomercials, not always short on substance but focused on glossed-over substance. Daily life lost out to our attachment to convention viewing. And now back to reality.

Quote of the day: “We are called upon by our democracy to be the moral defibrillators of our time.” Rev. William Barber, president, NAACP of North Carolina

Read what others had to say: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-hillary-for-mom-in-chief-smoothing-her-rough-edges-20160728-htmlstory.html