Part I is about last night’s Democratic convention. Part II is about Donald Trump’s latest brain dump.
Part I: It was another good night for the Democrats. The stage craft (except for the audience microphones picking up the various Sanders’ supporters' chants) was spot on. As were the speakers.
The most important speech of the night, not the best but the most important, was former Democrat, former Republican, former New York mayor and documented billionaire and Independent registered voter Michael Bloomberg’s. It was not aimed at the partisans in the hall but at the independents and swing voters watching on TV. He called Trump “dangerous demagogue,” told them to vote “not out of loyalty to a party but love of your country” and said, “I’m a New Yorker. I know a con man when I see one.”
The goal was to convince those leaning Trump or undecided to move to Hillary. As comic Trevor Noah said last night, worst case scenario is we elect Hillary and she is a bad president for four years. We have survived bad presidents but we likely will not survive Trump, he said.
Joe Biden was classic Joe Biden. He referred to the First Lady as “kid” and called the President, his boss, “Barack.” Not typical for a convention speech. But typical of “middle class” Joe, as he is known. He may have given the speech of his life. Because he was passionate about the subject.
President Obama was not his best but his very good is better than most. And he was very good. He made the case for “passing the baton” to Mrs. Clinton as only he can.
Highlights of the rest of the night:
Christine Leinomen, mom of an Orlando shooting victim, book-ended by friends of her son who seemed to be giving her strength when she needed it, was tear-inducing; Erica Smegielski, whose mom was gunned down along with 20 children and five other adults at Sandy Hook, began with the chilling statement “I shouldn’t be here;” Kristine Kavanaugh, a former Marine officer, had one of the best lines of the convention when she said: “ This isn’t only about Donald Trump’s judgement, it’s about ours.”
The various testimonials from “average people” throughout the convention have been quite effective. How does the average Joe and Jane stand in front of thousands of people and millions more on TV, something they’ve never done before, and give such effective talks, seemingly with no nervousness? Because, they are talking from their hearts, being real and honest.
It’s been a very well-produced convention with clear and coordinated messages – what a convention is supposed to be, to make the best use of the days of free TV time they are given.
And they’re all “with her.” Now it’s up to “her” to close the deal. It’s not a for-sure bet. She often seems forced when she talks and not real in contrast to the “average people who have spoken for her thus far. The table has been well set. Now, it will require, as it always does for a presidential candidate, her to deliver for herself.
Part II. Just when you think Donald Trump can’t say anything more outrageous he does. His appeal to the Russians to either hack the U.S. Government’s computer system or to release the thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails they already have stolen, has moved to the top of his Five Most Ridiculous Statements he has made thus far. And that is saying something because I’m betting most of us can’t even remember all the outrageous and untrue things he has said in the last year. And it played right into the Democrats planned messaging of the night: who can we trust on foreign policy
His campaign manager, Paul Manfort, in one interview called the allegation that Trump was inviting the Russians to try to manipulate an American election “absurd.” One thing I learned as a very young reporter years ago was that when someone I interviewed said something was “aburd” or “absolutely” anything, it was politican-speak for “what I’m saying is it’s true.” (Try it for yourself as you watch interviews. It’s proves itself true most of the time.)
As Trevor Noah, again, said on his show, absurd means “ridiculous” which doesn’t mean untrue. Flashing a picture of a platypus he said the platypus is “absurd” but he’s also real.
Out of the mouths of comics.