Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sugar, spice and everything nice

Well, I'm no Democrat but I must say, they have had two Broadway smash nights.

Like "The Producers," they were all set up to fail - the Republicans laying out a red carpet of doom, soaked in rumors, banter and attacks. As CNN put it, "The GOP succeeded in lowering the bar so much that the only thing Democrats had to do Tuesday was look into the camera without drooling."

They didn't just look into the camera - they blue steeled it, and everyone watching.
Let's start with Tuesday...
It might be hard to argue with an empty chair, but it is impossible to argue with the ghost of Ted Kennedy.
Ted's nephew Joe introduced the Ted Kennedy video as an almost noble knight-like saga of passing the torch from one Democratic behemoth to a budding young senator "who embodied the change our country sorely needed."
The video went on to show footage from a Kennedy/Romney debate in 1994 where Romney claims to uphold a woman's right to abortion based on Roe v. Wade. Kennedy retorts with a well known present day complaint: that Romney's just "pandering for votes." He went on to say that he was pro-choice, his candidate, "multiple choice."
Granted, a debate from 1994 isn't exactly current events but as anyone holding or running for political office will tell you, a debate you had in 4th grade is just as 'up-for-grabs' as what you said yesterday.
And tying a memorial into the Republican debasing task at hand was a brilliant draw.
It put Romney's shortcomings in the harshest of light without dirtying any current players. It wrapped the whole accusatory game in a nostalgic haze that placed Democrats on a gentlemanly pedestal while further amplifying Romney's weak points - like a sugar coated dagger...

Tuesday wasn't all sequestered to sweet looks back. In fact, Strickland showed that the old can out-rock the new on this political stage.
Slightly reminiscent of a wily grandfather who says what he wants, Strickland accused Romney of just outright "lying" about Obama and turned the mirror on the out-of-touch high roller.
Centering much of his pointed poison on the economy, Strickland boomed, "Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport. It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands, and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps."
And as any grandfather, he threw one in for the kiddies: "if he [Romney] was Santa Claus, he'd fire the elves and liquidate the inventory."
And there you have it. The arena in Charlotte went nuts - it was just the kind of spice the Dems needed to avoid yawn-worthy, spineless rhetoric.

But the appearance of the night that everyone is talking about came from First Lady, Michelle Obama. Quotes from her speech last night cascaded over Facebook and Twitter, earning her more than just female brownie points. In fact, unlike Ann Romney, much of her speech was focused on the humble beginnings of her husband and how he won't give up on the American dream, "because he lived it."
She put Obama's life in sharp perspective, allowing people to relate to him as a person, something most Americans eat up. Even though I don't, I have to say, it was a great speech, and it seemed to come from the heart - something Romney's camp has a really hard time with.
Saying that Barack stays up late to read letters from struggling Americans, she painted a picture of Obama that people wanted to see, and she did so with grace and eloquence.
She did of course, have to mention the "women's vote" and did so with more personal anecdotes about Barack's relationship with his two daughters and his avid belief in protecting their rights, as well as all women's.

As for Wednesday, well, it was all about Bill. The two have a speckled history at best but last night it was all in for Bill and he rocked the house. I'm actually bummed that he can't ever run again. He has the air of confidence, almost arrogance, knowing how much power he still wields, but at the same time, a leader-like calm that draws people in, even with the thick Arkansas drawl.
He was entertaining but a fact-filled powerhouse, including stirring numbers on job growth since the 60s (that check out with fact checkers). As the BBC put it, "he excites Democrats, informs and attracts independents and undecideds, and infuriates Republicans."
Bill did what you'd think most campaigning politicians need to do: avoided the choir. He spoke over the heads of the already staunchly Democratic delegates and into the living rooms of America, explaining without patronizing, what the issues were and why Obama needed to take them on.

Today, media is saying, with this foundation, Obama needs to close out the night tonight with a strong, spirited speech and he will be "on the road to re-election."
It seems that game of golf really smoothed out the rough edges around Clinton and Obama's relationship history.
Some memorable quotes from Bill's speech:
"We focus on solving problems and seizing opportunities and not fighting all the time."
"Poverty, discrimination, and ignorance, restrict growth."
"Unfortunately the faction that dominates the Republican party ... they think the government is the enemy ... and compromise is weakness."
"We simply can't afford to give the reigns of government to someone who will double-down on trickle-down."

After these past two nights, viewers and delegates alike left with a sweet and savory helping of politics - a balance between the bitter left/right banter and the sweet glaze of entertainment coupled with looks back and nostalgic musings.

Again, I'm no Democrat, but if today goes the same way, Romney will need more than that one point jump to counter the swell from the DNC.
For Dems, it would be well worth a fist bump or two...


For people like me, well, I enjoy the show, but know, once the curtains close, it's more of the same, a tired two-faced game.
But don't let me rain on the parade - the confetti and sparkle will fade, in time - and down the line, maybe all of this sugar and spice - will be more than money can buy...

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