Democratic Convention - Day 1

Final Update: Did anyone convince me tonight there was any reason to vote for Joe Biden other than getting rid of Trump? No. Not by a longshot. But it is what it is.

Update: Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama were both excellent. I preferred Bernie (Video and Transcript here) because he was more concrete and focused on policy. He spoke to all Democrats who are willing to listen. He gave specific examples of positions Biden has promised to take. (My advice: Don't throw out your salt shakers yet, i.e., take them with a grain of salt).

Saddest line: "For as long as I am here" I'll work with progressives...." On the other hand, he seemed younger and more spirited tonight, and got every point across without being bombastic. He didn't have trouble breathing. He didn't stumble over words. He looked robust and healthy, even his hair was neatly combed.

Shorter version of Bernie: Vote for Biden and then we'll raise hell and have a better chance of success because Congress will have more Democrats than it does now. [More...]

Bernie was beyond gracious to Biden. His best line: "Nero fiddled while Rome Burned." I think he would have crushed it had he been the candidate, and we'd have truly moved the country in the direction of progress.

Michelle was all emotion. (Video and transcript here). She barely mentioned Biden until the end. I don't recall her mentioning Kamala Harris. At the end she talked about Biden's character and what he wants for all of us. But she gave no examples of specific policies he'd endorse. She just said "he's got plans".

Michelle's line that resonated most with me: "There is no perfect candidate. Joe Biden is not perfect." She was also great in calling Trump out as incompetent as not up to the job.

Her lines that resonated least with me: Joe Biden has "clear headed judgement". The Democrats (aka Hillary) lost because too many people didn't vote or voted for a third party who had no chance of winning. The difference between Hillary and Trump came out to 2 votes per precinct (so you all better vote). Personally, I don't think that's why Hillary lost. But that's for another day, I'm so over that debate.

Update: Springsteen's "The Rising": Finally, a photo montage which actually resembles America. A nice patriotic gesture by Bruce, but I'm not sure how it applies to Joe Biden. As a reminder, here is what Trump's America looks like: a sea of mayonnaise.

Update: That might have been my favorite national anthem ever. Perfectly orchestrated, fabulous faces.

If you aren't by a TV, here is the official live stream links.

Tonight's speakers:

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Rep. Jim Clyburn, Convention Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, Rep. Gwen Moore, Former Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Doug Jones, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

I'm looking forward to Michelle, Bernie and Andrew Cuomo.

Here's a thread for convention related thoughts.

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    I don't think it's worth it (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 08:12:48 PM EST
    to give Democratic Convention time to Kasich, an anti-choice, anti-labor, anti-minimum wage reform reactionary, just because he comes across as a "nice guy" and there are a lot of Republicans who are even worse.

    You are not (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 08:16:58 PM EST
    The target audience

    There are others (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 08:35:52 PM EST
    Along with Mr Kasich, three other high-profile Republicans are on the schedule for the convention's opening night.
    They are California businesswoman Meg Whitman, former New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman and former New York congresswoman Susan Molinari.

    I think it's good.  Especially the women.  For the same reason the Lincoln Project is good.


    I agree (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 08:53:13 PM EST
    IMO the time would have been better allocated to Julian Castro. Better target audience with a larger payoff.

    I believe (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 09:05:15 PM EST
    No one who wants to see Castro needs to be convinced to vote for Biden.  Convincing you is not the point.

    And while there may be fewer "swing voters" than other times there are plenty of republicans, I know some and I'm related to some, who can be convinced to vote for Biden.

    That is the target audience.  If I was giving them advise I would suggest as many republicans as they can do without making you want to stay home.


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 09:29:40 PM EST
    Latino outreach is very much needed in several key states. They need to see that Biden is actively working to get there vote.

    Trump's relative resilience with Latino voters can be easy to overlook because he is losing these voters by a large margin (39 points, according to the New York Times). Still, he is losing them by less than he did in 2016, which is strange at a time when his numbers are otherwise falling.

    Democrats' baseline assessment is not that this reflects a sudden rightward shift in Hispanic opinion, so much as the fact that Sen. Bernie Sanders was by far the Latino community's choice in the primary, and former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign has not thus far made the kind of major investment in the community that Latino Democrats would like to see.



    Both (none / 0) (#10)
    by MKS on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 09:47:59 PM EST
    The tilt of the white college voters to the Dems is real, and playing to them works too.

    And, it is not a zero sum game.    Outreach to Latinos can be done too.


    Yes, it CAN be done (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 10:53:20 PM EST
    but from everything I've read and heard, Latino activists think Biden's and Democratic outreach is lacking.

    With so many of the other Democratic 2020 candidates being highlighted at the convention, Castro's absence is being noticed and commented upon.

    Latino votes are really key to success in several important states.


    I expect Castro (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 09:56:23 PM EST
    To speak.

    Just not in prime I guess (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 10:00:24 PM EST
    Only three Latino speakers have their own speaking slot in the Democratic National Convention's primetime lineup: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada.

    The four-night convention begins Monday with a 2-hour primetime program.

    Julián Castro, the only Latino to run for president in 2020 and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary, was a keynote speaker at the 2012 DNC and this year will be speaking on a panel with other 2020 presidential candidates. However, other presidential contenders also will be speaking during the primetime event, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Cory Booker.

    Castro in 2012 was great (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 01:40:19 AM EST
    See here

    In 2016 (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 09:39:06 PM EST
    Wooing Republicans took precedence over shoring up support among black and Latino voters and usual Democratic leaning voters. That didn't work out real well. Republican voters went home to Trump despite their grumbling and neglected probable Dem leaning voters either stayed home or voted for Trump.

    Look at Orange County (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by MKS on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 09:51:58 PM EST
    Now a solid Dem. County.  All House Reps are Dems.
    Registered Dems outnumber registered GOPers.  

    Katie Porter, Progressive Champion, represents an Orange County district that was very white and very Republican. She is now considered safe and the GOP will not mount a serious challenge to her.

    Just a few minutes to the GOP defectors is not a betrayal....


    Demographics are changing in Orange County (none / 0) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 10:16:58 PM EST
    Population is getting younger and more diverse.

    In part, true (none / 0) (#17)
    by MKS on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 10:20:03 PM EST
    But it is not just Anaheim and Santa Ana....But Coastal Orange County, including Newport Beach, that is now represented by Dems in Congress.

    It is young(er) college educated whites.....leading the way....


    My Rep., Mike Levin, (none / 0) (#18)
    by MKS on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 10:27:09 PM EST
    who represents the Coast, (the land of white bread Beach Boys) won by 13 points.  13 points.  Just unreal.  

    Not so much betrayal (none / 0) (#21)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 10:58:10 PM EST
    IMO just not the best choice of prime time real estate.

    Apples and oranges (none / 0) (#28)
    by Yman on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 06:32:46 AM EST
    2016 involved a complacent Democratic electorate after 8 years of incumbency.  2020 has a base that's already fired up at 4 years of Trump disaster.

    Sure hope you are right (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 09:41:56 AM EST
    Giving Kasich a platform to trash the left, as seen in his Buzzfeed interview, might just fire up some Republicans. Exactly how, I'm not sure. Doubt adding additional elements to trash this element of Democratic leaning and young voters will do much to help Biden and down ticket Dem candidates.

    Not sure how "fired up" many other than hard core Dems are about voting for Biden. From what people who spend their lives working with the Latino community are saying, there is not enough outreach currently being done to convince them to vote for Biden in the percentage needed.  Currently there are large segments of young people and "left" leaning Independents who the party would do better by pursuing their vote than by discounting or trashing them.


    IMO (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 10:03:17 AM EST
    We are way past "fired up for voting for Biden".

    If you know someone who is you should put them on a tee shirt or something.


    I'm not the one (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by MO Blue on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 10:19:13 AM EST
    claiming people are "fired up."

    A lot of reluctant voters out there and some that really need to be persuaded by more than token outreach to make the effort to either risk their health by voting in person or find ways to overcome the obstacles that are being put in place on voting by mail.


    FWIW (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 10:21:46 AM EST
    I think lots of people are fired up.  But not for Biden.

    Most Biden votes IMO will be anti Trump votes.  


    Lots of people are not fired up (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by MO Blue on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 11:33:29 AM EST
    Latinos are one of the largest growing demographics in the country, and their support is essential to ensuring a win that cannot be challenged or litigated - especially in key battleground states like Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

    However, according to a new survey conducted by the Voter Participation Center in partnership with Voto Latino and Latino Decisions, less than 60 percent of eligible Latino voters say they definitely plan to cast a ballot in 2020 and demonstrate a low enthusiasm about the candidacy of Vice President Joe
    Today, Biden's support is down seven points from 67 percent back in February. By comparison, during this time in 2016, Hillary Clinton enjoyed 73 percent support among Latinos.

    A big issue is outreach. Most Latinos say they haven't even heard from Joe Biden's campaign nor the Democratic party. Just 32 percent of low-propensity Latino voters say the Democrats are doing a good job of outreach while only 27 percent of Latinos ages 18-29 agree.

    Op-ed: Joe Biden has a Latino voter problem. Here's how he can fix it

    They have been pretty vocal on the fact that the Dems are in their opinion doing more to get the support of Republicans than members of  their community.

    Charlie Pierce:

    On Monday night, both of these people--former Congresswoman Susan Molinari and former Governor John Kasich--will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention. Julian Castro will not be speaking. Neither will Beto O'Rourke, to name only two actual Democratic politicians

    Everybody's gone all realpolitik on this, just as everyone suddenly developed a sweet-tooth for the likes of Bill Kristol and David Frum over the last three years as the prion disease for which they were primary vectors became full-blown. Big tent and all that. Which would be fine if Kasich hadn't gone out of his way Monday morning to throw a ring-and-run elbow at one of the Democratic Party's most prominent young voices. From Buzzfeed News:
    ... Who's John Kasich to decide where the "extreme" lies in Democratic politics? He still supports the damn Balanced Budget Amendment, not only an extreme idea, but also the worst one in American politics. He signed a bill that would imprison doctors for performing a common abortion procedure. Now, that's extreme.

    John Kasich Should Shut His Gob About What Qualifies as 'Extreme'


    Well, that's the way (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Zorba on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 11:39:35 AM EST
    it is for me.
    While I am tired of voting for the "least bad alternative," that's the way it's been, and I won't vote for a Republican.  Especially not Trump.
    OTOH, as I have said in the past, I didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.  I still always vote for them, and I acknowledge that at this point, I am quite a lot to the left of most Democrats, but I am realistic enough to realize that most Democrats are not where I am on the political spectrum.

    My understanding (none / 0) (#42)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 05:07:43 PM EST
    was Hillary's problem was with African Americans specifically African American men. She exceeded Obama's Hispanic vote in places like Florida. However Trump's white numbers were enough to overcome that.

    Agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 09:57:30 PM EST
    Republicans and Independents should be welcomed to the fight to remove Trump.  They surely know their governing ideas differ from those of Democrats and understand those ideas will not be subsumed in Democratic policies.  They should be recognized for their patriotIc.duty---a duty that not only adds votes but also may work to undermine Trump's campaign to discredit election results as a leftist or demonic movement.

    And (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 10:02:49 PM EST
    As everyone says we have to drive up those margins to make questioning the outcome more difficult.

    Miles Taylor, (none / 0) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 10:39:30 PM EST
    Trump's Former DHS Chief of Staff, statement of his first hand experience of Trump's vindictiveness and incompetence and Republican ads against Trump are powerful, Kasich at convention, IMO not so much.

    I don't think (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 01:34:05 AM EST
    non-Dems are the target audience. This convention is geared towards Democrats. Most people have long made up their minds about Trump and a DNC is not going to  sway them. This is about getting Dems, especially the young, to put aside their grievances and vote for Biden.

    It's about both (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 07:48:38 AM EST
    Clearly the organizers think so.  And so do I.

    I know for a fact there are persuadable republicans.  IMO it would be foolish to ignore the help beating Trump republicans offer.


    Ah, well, Bernie is not a Dem, either (none / 0) (#39)
    by Towanda on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 02:14:00 PM EST
    and he has done a lot more damage to the Dems -- and to all of us in this country and the world.

    I muted him.


    He got his plugs in before he (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 03:45:27 PM EST
    urged his bros to vote Biden

    I am liking the broadcast (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by MKS on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 09:07:52 PM EST
    more than I thought.  

    I also liked it, mournful (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Towanda on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 02:20:16 PM EST
    as I am that all of you are not enjoying my Milwaukee. And that we have a lot of bills for the convention, without the millionS expected iin income to cover them.

    I, like Jeralyn, especially liked the anthem, musically and visually. A lovely rendition, with well-laced pauses, and inclusive not only of race and gender and all of the states but also all of the territories, yay.


    Yes, I thought (none / 0) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 10:45:08 AM EST
    the first night went  very well.  The pacing was in step with a welcomed cadence.  The speeches were brief and pithy.  Michelle Obama was particularly good as was Bernie Sanders.

    With evaluation and needed modifications, the format necessitated by the pandemic may replace the old-timey, balloon dropping celebration kicked off with refrains from "Happy Days Are Here Again,"


    I have (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 10:52:54 AM EST
    hated conventions.  Always thought they were embarrassing and silly.  Like the musical theater numbers at the Oscars.

    I hope the stay dead.

    That's just me.  


    The point was (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 10:57:50 AM EST
    I thought last night was a perfectly acceptable maybe preferable to the silly hat meetings of the past.

    Been checking in and out (1.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 11:19:36 PM EST
    Haven't heard all of the speakers. Has any condemned rioting or looting?

    If even one person does so, (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 11:35:57 PM EST
    it will be one more person than the number of Republicans who will condemn the violent white supremacists , neo nazis and the KKK members at their convention.

    no, why would they? (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 01:34:40 AM EST
    This is a trollish comment, please watch your step.

    Why would they? (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by Yman on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 06:28:36 AM EST
    They're not responsible for it.  But if that's the road you want to go down, it's time to hold all gun owners responsible for school shootings, I guess.

    FOX is only carrying the convention (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 08:32:46 PM EST
    With Hannity voice over.  And I guess Tucker and Laura.

    I wonder if they will carry Biden's acceptance speech.