Jerame Davis

Convention Wrap Up

Filed By Jerame Davis | September 01, 2008 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Al Gore, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Democrats, DNCC, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Michelle Obama, Ted Kennedy

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.

The Gays

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.)

Hillary Clinton

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.

Bill Clinton

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.

Michelle Obama

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.

Barack Obama

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.

John McSame

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.

Conclusion

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!


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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | September 1, 2008 8:13 PM

Jerame,

How dare you refer to John McCain as a "loser!" Don't you know that he is a former P.O.W.?

Seriously though, we have two months left to do all that we can not just to elect Barack Obama as our next president, but to put the kind of elected officials in office that will help to advance our movement for LGBT civil rights. The McCain campaign is showed through his jaw-dropping VP pick that they are not concerned about what's best for the country. They are concerned only with winning the election and continuing the disastrous policies that President Bush has pushed for the last eight years.

LGBT voters can be real difference in the election if we get our friends, families, exes etc to the polls.

"This was nothing more than a shameless ploy to attract the straggling Clinton supporters who haven't quite made the jump."

I was appalled on Friday when McShame's VP pick was announced. I couldn't believe that the Republican party was so stupid to think that substituting 1 uterus for another was going to get Hillary suppporters to make the jump to McShame/Palin.

Although I have been an Obama supporter forever the audacity of McShame to think that this pro-life, pro-gun, anti-civil rights presumptive VP nominee would get any Hillary votes made me LMAO. Then anger set in as I realized the Republican party thinks that Hillary supporters are too stupid to realize Sarah Palin has no experience and completely opposite views from Hillary.

http://www.SayNo2.com
http://www.VoteNoOn2.com

"I can foresee the Negro vote becoming consistently the decisive vote in national elections." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

And it will be in this one. That's why the GOP has worked so hard to suppress it.

This is so very true, shockingly so. At every level of government, racism continues to blatantly pervert the political process.

Unfortunately, none of the politicians Jerame applauds for mention of the "g" word will move either the gay, equal, civil, or human rights agenda any further along beyond getting themselves re-elected, as their hollow convention platforms collapse before our eyes once again.

Our only hope is that McCain will loose, but let's just gird our loins for a term of office headed by one who not only regularly attends Sunday services but must also contend with a series of national and international problems that are by all accounts truly unique and realistically insurmountable -- such as our national debt in the face of a global economy dominated by China, and both internal and external political-religious campaigns that have only just begun to strike their terror in the hearts of everyone, everywhere.

Meanwhile, let's not fool ourselves into believing that giving our children the gift of a little hair straightening gel ever resolved anything.

It was an exciting week full of new experiences and wild emotions. I'm so happy that I got to experience it all with you. :)

Yeah, it was a well-run convention. That stuff from CNN about Hillary's navel was hilarious - they're going to go down with the "Democrats in Disarray" ship instead of jumping on the "shit, we were wrong" lifeboat....

Oh, this is why I don't use metaphors. I'm no good at them.

Wait - where the hell is Bill Purdue? I fully expected him to the 1st commenter! :)