Thursday, August 28, 2008

2008 DNC Wednesday - Part Two

I’ve definitely watched too much convention - almost all the speakers from the last half of Wednesday’s convention put me to sleep.

I did listen to all of Robert Wexler’s speech. He was clear, forceful, and definite. He used “Israel” or “Israeli” twelve times in his speech so his role was to reassure Israel’s supporters that Obama’s government would remain a staunch friend and ally. At the end he said something to the effect that Obama would finally help engineer a two-state solution that left Israel a Jewish nation. I assume that means Obama would not support a right to return for Palestinians.

Madeleine Albright gave an excellent speech also and I would think getting her to speak for Obama (and Biden) was quite a coup. Her indictment of McCain as believing he knew everything there was to know and her statement that what we really need is a President with the ability to learn was an inspired recasting of the experience/inexperience issue.

Bill Clinton’s speech was uneven. I found him engrossing and energizing when he was speaking generally about how bad Republicans have been and how good Democrats are but rather draggy when speaking about Obama specifically. Of course, that may be because I am not enthusiastic about Obama myself. I very much appreciate his beginning by speaking well of his wife and her campaign and I liked his statement that the long primary fight had tested and strengthened Obama.

Bo Biden did a very good job introducing his father. I didn’t think Joe Biden’s speech was either particularly good or particularly bad.

Bill Clinton is the only speaker I heard raise the issue that makes me most uncomfortable about voting Republican: the increasing income inequity. Reasonable people can reasonably disagree about almost every issue and reasonable people can reasonably disagree about whether the country is, as a whole, heading in the right direction. But an increasing gap between have and have-nots is simply wrong. The problem is I fear the Democrat’s approach will not close the gap by making the have-nots better off but by attempting to make the haves worse off. That’s not helpful. On the other hand, if the Republicans approach simply widens the gap further that’s not helpful either.

I haven’t watched Obama’s acceptance speech yet tonight. I imagine I’ll get to it in the next day or so. Or I may just read it instead.

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