The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities

I've been watching the Democratic National Convention, and I have to say the energy is so different in Charlotte than it was at the GOP Convention in Tampa. Where the first night in Tampa had Ann Romney striving to prove that her husband was more than an automaton (and, to be fair, she was perfectly adequate), in Charlotte, Michelle Obama dazzled, filling the same role, but then going beyond, linking the private Obama to his policies and his performance. And, in fact, creating a viral internet sensation in China (!)

Chris Christie's keynote was a long, loving tribute. . . to Chris Christie. Christie "waited until he was about 16 minutes in until he finally said the R word — Romney — leading to TV images where the GOP candidate and his wife looked less than thrilled."

Bill Clinton's keynote? Oh, my:

A full throated, folksy, fact-laden, defense of Barack Obama as a man, as a President, but, most of all, a defense of his achievements and policies.

Clinton showed grace toward Republicans--he got the Democratic National Convention to applaud George W. Bush, for heaven's sake! (Which is more than the RNC did for their last president)--and Romney personally. Which made his indictment of the GOP and Romney on policy grounds all the more devastating.

Paul Ryan gave us a master class in mendacity. Joe Biden--who, I admit, sometimes reminds me of Storage Wars' Barry (I say this with love--I have a helluva lot of respect and affection for the man la Caterina and I call "Joey the B")--did something nobody at the RNC did--he spoke for American soldiers. But he did more than that, he laid out in passionate, emotive terms, the Administration's achievements as a reflection of the President's character. And, my God, Biden has, after all his years in DC, not lost touch with middle class voters.

And, where the odd at the RNC was brought by "old man yells at cloud, er, chair," the Dems' closest thing to oddity was what I can only describe as the weird charisma of Jennifer Granholm.

I succumbed, I admit it.

To the main event: Mitt Romney was passable. Overshadowed by Eastwood's strange interlude, Romney gave a rather drab speech, which pictured Republicans as having yearned for the President's success, a vision of an alternative universe that I can't even picture. If only we lived in that world. More to the point, no policy specifics, no clarity, just "trust me."

As for the president, what can I say. Sober, careful start, a little deft humor, and a build to a clarion call for engaged citizenship. Keynote: "A freedom which only asks what's in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense."


We are in a fight.

Abigail Bartlet might say, "Game on, boyfriend."

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