Now that I'm home (bummer!) and recuperated a bit (yay!) I have some thoughts swirling around that need to get out. In no particular order, here are some of the things I wanted to say over the last week, but didn't have time.
What an amazing feeling to be among friends at a national convention. I don't say that lightly either. One of my biggest complaints about being gay and political in Indiana has been how often we are treated as "backdoor friends" - as in, we'll let you in, but only by the backdoor and only if you sit in the shadows. Hell, many pols here won't even take money from us unless it gets funneled through another organization so it doesn't have the "gay taint".
That was absolutely not the case at the Democratic National Convention this year. Every major speech included a nod to the gays. Hillary, Bill, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, and even Barack Obama himself made pro-gay remarks in front of the entire convention (Obama said his in front of 80,000 screaming fans!) In fact, the pro-gay comments often elicited the most raucous applause from the crowd!
(More on "the gays", the Clintons, the Obamas and others after the jump...)
I have never felt so welcome and part of the process in my life. We had high-level Democrats at our LGBT Caucus, we had the next first lady give the keynote address at our luncheon, the DNC put out an official document of LGBT events surrounding the convention, we had a record number of LGBT delegates from the states, and the list goes on.
This was the most inclusive convention ever. In many cases, we were the only specific constituent group mentioned in some of the speeches and it wasn't just low-level, non-prime-time speakers throwing us a bone as in the past. I have never walked away from a political event feeling like a first class citizen until now. (I realize we still aren't, but it's nice to know that there is at least one party that doesn't want it to remain that way.) This is our time and it's obvious the Obama people get that.
(No, there wasn't a mention of trans-inclusion to be found in those speeches, but it was still a major step forward we can celebrate. Change comes incrementally and this is a big increment we should all rejoice in.)
I've re-watched her speech 3 times since seeing it at the convention. Each time I watch, I catch something new and unexpected. Last night, I watched again from the comfort of home and realized how natural and comfortable she looked. When she delivered the line, "No how, no way, no McCain!" (which is now a tag line in my email signature) she hit it out of the park. The smirk, the left-to-right-to-center way of the delivery was masterful. It's honestly too bad she wasn't more like this on the campaign trail.
I noticed that CNN ran a piece the day after saying her body language showed her heart wasn't in it. Too bad they didn't notice the tears in her eyes or the passion in her voice. I'm certain there is some left over bitterness from such a hard-fought campaign, but to think for a minute that she doesn't have the best interests of this country at heart is just stupid.
How can you not love this guy? Seriously. He has to be the best ad-libber in history. He's so adept at taking those small moments and turning them into gold. Take, for example, when the crowd started chanting, "Yes we can!" Bill ad-libbed the line, "Yes he can, but we have to get him elected first!" Brilliant beyond words.
Bill Clinton clearly made the case that Barack Obama is ready and able to be the Commander in Chief. The nay-sayers were attacking Hillary for not making this case, but it was FAR more effective coming from Bill as a former president. The crowd roared and proved once and for all that we Democrats still love us some Bill Clinton.
I didn't catch her speech live, but have watched it on repeat a few times. Not a bad speech, really, but I think she did far better at the LGBT luncheon where I did see her live. Sending the next first lady as emissary to "the gays" is a very bold step. Never before have we had such a large gathering of LGBT folk at the convention and I am pretty sure this is the first time the wife of the candidate has spoken to that gathering.
Michelle will be a force for equality and fairness. She won't be a wallflower like our current First Lady. I see her more in the mold of Hillary Clinton - not happy to sit pretty and play foil to her husband. She'll mark her own path and drive her own agenda and I can't wait to see it.
Many of his followers panned his speech, but I thought it was brilliant. Finally, Obama gave those of us looking for substance something to chew on. He hit the Republicans, Bush, McCain, and the state of our country dead on. He gave concrete examples of what he'd do differently. It was a policy wonk speech, but we Hillary supporters liked her because she is a policy wonk. This speech was for us.
I think the 3 act play that started Tuesday with Hillary, went through Wednesday with Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, and ended with Barack Obama on Thursday sealed the deal for all but the craziest of PUMA's. Hillary made it emotional, Bill made it logical, and Obama made the policy arguments.
I still don't think he's the second coming (neither Christ nor Camelot) but I think he'll be a hell of a president. We'll see a progressive renaissance in our country and maybe, finally, we'll catch back up to Europe and the rest of the world.
What a loser. I can't help it, but I used to respect this man. He's become a shell of a man in his desperation to become president. He spends weeks questioning Obama's experience, then picks the least experienced person possible to be his running mate.
This was nothing more than a shameless ploy to attract the straggling Clinton supporters who haven't quite made the jump. I think it may backfire on him because I heard a number of Clinton die-hards saying how offensive it is to them that he would attempt to compare an inexperienced, pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay, anti-environment, pretty face to Hillary Clinton. This woman is antithesis of Hillary Clinton in every way.
For a guy with a slogan "Country First" you'd think he would pick someone who can run the country should something befall him. He's 72. The cancer he experienced 8 years ago has a less than 20% 10-year survival rate. He has numerous other health problems. If McCain wins this election, she almost certainly will be president at some point.
Country First my ass, John McCain. McCain is putting his ambition above all else - period. He picked a pretty, young, but totally unqualified woman - a woman who Cindy McCain says is experienced in foreign policy because her state is the closest to Russia - to lead the free world should something ever befall him.
The only thing Maverick about John McCain is the audacity with which he can sell out and still look Americans in the eye and say he's a leader. He should be ashamed.
It's time to get out there and work. For all the rhetoric and ups and downs of the primary, this really is the most important election in a generation. We've seen what happens when the regressive, war-mongering Republican ideology can take hold of all branches of our government vs. when the progressive Democratic ideology can bloom. We cannot afford more of the same.
It's just over 60 days until the election November 5. How many people have you registered to vote? How many fundraisers have you attended or held? How many doors have you knocked on? How many people have you told about the Democratic Party platform?
Find your local Democratic Party headquarters and volunteer. The Obama campaign has dozens of offices in most states - find one and get to know the people there. Many states are approaching their voter registration deadline. Make it your duty to register 25 people between now and your state's deadline.
We need this change in our country and we can't do it unless everyone participates and does their part. We need to show the world that we are the world-class nation we once were. We need to send a message loud and clear.
Yes we can!