The DNC is Showing the Way Forward

Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention is complete; by sane accounts, it was a success. The mood was positive and full of excitement; the energy levels were high, and those in attendance didn’t look like they would rather be watching an episode of Honey Boo Boo.

Fired up and ready to go!

And here’s the biggest difference between the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and last week’s Republican National Convention (RNC): Other than the obvious racial, religious and ethnic diversity of the audience, Day 1 was energetic and hopeful — and it focused on the American people, not the speakers who, at the RNC, appeared to be priming themselves for their own presidential bids.

Colour me biased but, from an outsider’s view, the RNC felt seethingly miserable; it was like a funeral at which nobody really cared about the deceased but they’re hanging around awaiting a cut of the inheritance. The mood at the RNC didn’t feel as though they actually like their guy, it felt more like they hate the other guy — and the guy they hate is nothing more than a well-crafted negative image that doesn’t exist. Ask Clint Eastwood. Or the chair.

Highlights?

‘Women for Obama’ signs all over the convention center. They’re smart; rational women know who does not want ownership and control over their uterus. As Secretary for Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, stated, “Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition.” Go Obamacare!

The cameras captured maaaaaaany images of Sikhs and Arabs and Latinos and Asians and African-Americans. Hmmm…where were they in the GOP’s big tent? Unless they were speaking, sorry, I just didn’t see them well-represented at the RNC.

The human touch. Real people with real challenges spoke — none more awe-inspiring than Illinois congressional candidate and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth. She’s a true fighter, and she showed her fighting spirit when she noted that Mitt Romney not once mentioned the nation’s military troops during his speech. ”Barack Obama has lived up to his responsibilities as Commander in Chief,” she said.

Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland strongly reminded the crowd that the POTUS had the midwest’s back by saving the auto industry, the very industry Mitt Romney would have been content to walk into bankruptcy court. Strickland pulled no punches when he said,

“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:

“MittRomney never saw the point of building something when he could get the profits from tearing it down.”

Well said.

Speakers talked about their respective backgrounds but what was notable was that they did not fail to mention how their experiences fit in to the vision for the country’s future that President Obama has laid out. As Newark mayor, Cory Booker said,

“But we all know — it’s common sense — that for an economy built to last we must invest in what will fuel us for generations to come.”

And there was this gem: a tribute to the late Senator Edward Kennedy. It was great to hear the “Lion of the Senate” roar once again…but it made my night to see the footage of Senator Kennedy in debate with then governor Romney during their race for the Massachusetts senate:

.
San Antonio, Texas mayor Julian Castro. He’d get my vote and I’m nowhere near Texas. Don’t judge me; brains and humility are a great combination. In addition to his family’s compelling story that speaks to the hopes of many immigrants, Mr. Castro discussed an event attended by Mitt Romney at which Mitt responded to a group of entrepreneurial college students that they should simply “borrow money from [their] parents” to start a business.  Mr. Castro was on point when he succinctly stated,

He just has no idea how GOOD he’s had it.” 

I don’t believe truer words were ever spoken. And, at the RNC, Mrs. Romney’s speech, sadly, reinforced that.

And the final speaker? Mrs. Obama.

Well worth the wait.

Michelle Obama gave us the classiest take-down of every point Mitt Romney has ever fumbled made. From her husband’s stance on affordable education, support for the troops, healthcare, marriage equality and women’s right to make decisions about their ow reproductive health the First Lady made it clear that the choice should be easy, especially for those of us who believe we have an obligation to not shut the doors of opportunity to others because we are fortunate enough to have achieved success.

Yes, Mrs. Obama — may sanity rule on election day.

I’ve got his back. And yours too.