Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 3 Preview

Just a couple thoughts, and then this can also be an open thread if anyone wants to comment during the convention. As I have the last couple nights, I'll be posting over at PP after they close up, and then most likely have further thoughts here after that. Oh, and I'll still be tweeting.

A couple things as the convention was just gaveled into order...

1. Kudos to the Democrats for doing the full roll call. Best moment: they passed to Ohio to put Barack Obama over the top. Because, you know, that's the thing that's really going to swing the general election. Especially since instead of doing it normally this afternoon or yesterday afternoon, they did it after Bill Clinton's speech last night, which as everyone knows ran a wee bit late. Also, it meant that I was trying to write my post-speech items during the roll call, and I got distracted and didn't hear whether South Dakota mentioned the Corn Palace or not. I did finished a bit before they did, and discovered when I looked up that the arena was practically empty by the time they got to Wyoming. So better to do it than not, but not exactly the best ever. Clear edge for GOP on that one.

2. As I check today's schedule, I notice that the most urgent choice they should make is to pre-emptively bump James Taylor from the schedule because they might run behind schedule later.

3. Oops. I'm writing this so slowly that he's already out on stage. I guess that nails down the PBS pledge break volunteers vote. Three songs? Weren't the guys from Tap available?

4. Anyway: if the Democrats asked me, my advice for the Joe Biden speech would be to have a foreign policy focus, and go as substantive and wonkish as possible -- bookending the Clinton focus on mostly domestic policy, and contrasting with the Republican ticket's historic lack of foreign policy and national security credentials.

So that's what I have for now. Oh, and apparently Gabby Giffords is doing the Pledge tonight, and Gabby Douglas did it yesterday. No idea who did it Tuesday -- who is the third-most-beloved Gabby, anyway?


  1. Eva Longoria? (Well, she plays a Gabby.)

  2. Anyone for Gabby Hayes?

    1. exactly. but I think he actually introduced Clint last week. At least, that's the way Clint saw it.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Wooah--you're hitting my demographic with the James Taylor crack. But by any musical standards JT is an American classic. There's no other voice like his.

    And he's had the best lines of the day (at least for my demographic.) He joked about his empty chair but promised to sit in it and not talk to it. And the quote: "I've been watching a lot of the coverage and I don't get it. I'm an old white guy-- and I love Barack Obama."

    As for Gabby Hayes, dagnabit that's a good idea.

    1. Plus he grew up in North Carolina, so there's the local boy made good angle.

  4. Kind of amazing no one attacked Mitt with that gun fee point that Schweitzer brought up during the primaries.

  5. Okay, so the most important question guys, how will the lack of balloon drop impact the bounce?

  6. Watching the President tonight, it occurred to me that this will be a very close election due to the following, simple fact: there is no compelling reason for any non-partisan to vote for either candidate. As a result, independents should break about 50-50, with the overall total thus being about 50-50 as well.

    Obama's got a vision, give him that. Had one in '04, had one in '08, maybe one of those fact-checkers can investigate how its changed. Beyond the ludicrously obvious fact that Obama's vision, plus about $5, will get you a latte at the Starbucks outside the next debt ceiling brouhaha, what about the vision itself? Community? Lifting each other up? Did I miss something, is it 1950 again? Does he have polls suggesting he can pull in downscale, small-town throwback white votes with that rhetoric? Sometimes, polls are just wrong.

    Finally, one other thought, on the recent topic of Joe Biden staying in the Vice-Presidency beyond 2016: from the slurred speech to the unusually inappropriate affect (even by his own, low-ish, Biden standards), I do believe that Father Time might be catching up with Joey B from Delaware. His shelf life may not be what the "extended VP" meme assumes.

  7. I think the extended VP meme was tongue-in-cheek, though I could be wrong.

    All in all thought it was a good convention week and good-not-best we've ever seen speech by Obama. Started slow, but built into the defense of a communitarian vision of America that has animated him over the last 8 years. Very solid close.

    And just anecdotal evidence, but a number of fence-sitting family members who watched both conventions off-and-on decided after Obama's speech to pull the lever for him. So, not sure if the campaign saw that language would be effective in the polls, but something is connecting.

  8. Thanks for the comment, Bryan, you may be right, I claim no special expertise, but in the spirit of open threads, here's one more:

    In certain important respects, a sitting President's speech at a convention is like an embattled CEO putting forth a 5-year plan to a restive board and major shareholders. To the extent Obama's speech can be seen in the CEO light, its pretty hard to imagine tonight's content justifying a contract renewal from a dissatisfied board.

    I was curious to see what Andrew Sullivan said, since that guy has as much invested in the idea that Obama's-way-better-than-you-know as anyone. Obama's lack of specificity (otherwise notable for a sitting Chief Executive) was "playing the long game".

    Returning to the CEO example, it makes one smile a little to imagine such a person telling a hostile board "Okay, the next couple of years will kind of suck, but trust me the back half of year 5? Gonna be awesome!"


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