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August 28, 2008


these little regular-folks speeches are just great. si se puede!

and, i must humbly admit, i was wrong about the stage. it looks totally different on TV.

This is the most amazing political convention ever. I love this final night: part rock concert, part church witness meeting (complete with ex-GOP 'confessionals'!), part mega-block party... it's just outrageous, and I love it!

Damn, the run up to the speech on CNN international, which seems to be the same as the domestic one, was astonishing, If the campaign had had 100% control of it, I don't think they would have changed a note.

I've been watching on blessed, blessed, C-SPAN: no commercials and no bloviators.

I hear the coverage on MSNBC is beyond awful, which grieves me some (because I love KO). CNN's is supposed to be OK,though.

Uh, oh. Barack is angry. I don't think Republicans are going to like him when he is angry.

'If you're not angry, you're not paying attention' I believe is the cliche...

I glanced at the TV and yeah, the stage doesn't look anything like a Greek temple, which surprised me. So much for that "issue".

Slate writers are stupid:

From their

I really don't like the speech so far.

(1) I'm not sure the attack on Bush/McCain will play off well.
(2) The next forty minutes were a very standard Democratic grab bag of proposals.
(3) The whole "We should be a better country than we've been" line I think really unnerves a lot of people. To the people who dislike it, it has a whiff of shaming your own country, and they really don't like that.

I don't disagree with the substantive issues here. I'm just not sure the rhetorical stance will work.


The slate person wrote in their twitter feed

"He will follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell, but won't even follow him to the cave where he lives. Does anyone understand that line?"

"To the people who dislike it, it has a whiff of shaming your own country, and they really don't like that."

With 80% 'wrong track' numbers, I don't think this will be a problem this year.

As we like to say in my office:

Barack ain't afraid of it.

God, I hope this man wins.

Oh, man.
This guy is good.

They're playing him off to country?

Now that's an interesting choice.

Wow. Over at Bitch PhD, they live-blogged it, and it is interesting to compare. It came across incredibly well on the small screen and had my Japanese wife riveted to the screen.

Jon H, I think McCain said something about following Bin Laden to the gates of hell and Obama was contrasting his ignoring Afghanistan with that.

"Jon H, I think McCain said something about following Bin Laden to the gates of hell and Obama was contrasting his ignoring Afghanistan with that."

Yes, I know. My pet scorpions know that. And they're dead now.

But someone paid by Slate to live-twitter the convention had no clue.



What's with the music on C-SPAN? It's like the soundtrack for a commando infiltration scene.

wow. amazing.

that made McCain seem utterly irrelevant.

John H: "He will follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell, but won't even follow him to the cave where he lives. Does anyone understand that line?"

Simple: Bush and McCain have been so occupied with Iraq that, for lack of better phrasing at this moment, we have given Bin Laden "a free pass."

McCain's "I will follow him to the gates of hell" is pure rhetoric.

"If you're not angry, you're just stupid: you don't care."

bedtime: I was quoting a question posed by someone at Slate. I had tried to put it in the prior comment, but for some reason it was left out of the comment.

Oh, brother, it's on.

Ara: "I don't disagree with the substantive issues here. I'm just not sure the rhetorical stance will work."

Obama did what Gore and Kerry didn't: He challenged Republicans.

And he challenged voters.

If we want four more years of Bush's bullshit, vote McCain.

He put it right there on the table.

Or as Obama said:


Sorry, Jon.

I think everyone's on the same page -- that was a ballsy move -- and it had to hit McCain where it hurts.

i thought the "gates of hell" thing was related to the fact that Obama said he'd follow OBL into Pakistan, if OBL was "in his sights", and McCain & the GOP slagged him for daring to suggest the US would violate Pakistan's border. ?

wow. amazing.

that made McCain seem utterly irrelevant.

Cleek beat me to it. That was beyond a doubt Obama's best speech ever.

I admit I'm still a little teary-eyed. Just wow.

Great lines, great delivery, great force.

Hoping not to sound too cornball, but our Founding Fathers would have been proud of that speech.

That takes natural God-given talent to write a speech like that and, more so, to deliver it.

So many great lines.

"Patriotism has no party."

I found that to be an extremely unifying sentiment -- hopefully, so will Joe and Joan Undecided.

Move over, Bill Clinton.

Sort of feels like... coming home.

I just tried to listen to the speech from the point of view of non-Democrats, from the point of view of people who were mildly hostile to Democrats, and I'm not sure they heard much.

I just wished he had taken up a few policy proposals that weren't straightforward party platform positions. I think it would have really helped position him as a different kind of politician. Take the 30 seconds he spent promising people he'd kill old dead projects: if I had my druthers, I'd make spending hawkishness one of the defining issues of his campaign. It's important to moderates. It's important to Republicans. And the Republicans have always owned the issue, even after eight years of shenanigans.

Chuck Todd on MSNBC: "The Republicans don't know how to react to this yet."

His point, and mine: The speech had the pretty rhetoric but Obama displayed a toughness -- and, yes, anger -- that's been missing heretofore.

Obama clearly made this a race about the future vs. the past.

Which side are you on?

I've been dogging the Obama campaign for not going after McCain for a while now.

Well, today he went after McCain. And he opened the temperament front.

I said earlier that Obama will win if voters think that McCain is Mr. Magoo or the Manchurian Candidate. Frankly, I'm happy that the Democrats didn't go down the grimy Manchurian Candidate path that Rove blazed in SC in 2000. But tonight's vision of McCain was very Magoo.

Good work by team Obama!

he sold good ol'-fashion liberalism, unapologetically, and told McCain where to stuff his smears, without sounding defensive.


Olbermann just ripped the AP. Hard.

I have absolutely no idea how this speech will play with the undecided voters.

For me, it was less emotionally moving than his more unity themed speeches during the primaries (e.g. post-Iowa and post-North Carolina), but what it lacked in poetry compared with them it more than made up for with fire in the belly and steel in the backbone.

I think one of the reasons that Democrats have had so much trouble shedding the "weak on national security" slander, is that they've had trouble standing up against GOP bullying tactics here at home, and voters had reason to wonder: if you can't take on bullies here at home, how are you going to deal with the even larger and nastier ones abroad.

Obama made it clear tonight that he is not going to be that old style kind of Democrat. If the Republicans go after him he will throw their best attacks (drilling, celebrity) right back in their faces. This is a side of him we didn't see very much in the primaries, because of the greater deferrence and decorum given to an intra-party rival who after all might win and be someone you have to support in the general election.

Now, the gloves are off.

Anyone who, after this speech, doubts that this election is going to be about making a clear choice between different futures, is hopeless. Obama challenged McCain forcefully, directly, and personally, and he also called out the electorate and told us in no uncertain terms to step up to the plate, wipe the dirt out of our eyes and take a good hard look at what is at stake.

"This election isn't about me, it is about you"

"Let us not have a large election about small things"

If any candidate can get us to stop sleepwalking through our elections, Obama did it tonight. He made me proud.

"This election isn't about me, it is about you"

He copied my comment here from a couple weeks ago!

Just coincidence, but it made my heart jump a bit, I have to admit.

That was just nails.

Sorry, jonh, I misread that comment and thought you were asking. Apologies.

The emergency room had M*A*S*H on.

Just got home. Had to go back because they gave me the print-out about the prescription, and forgot to print out the actual prescription. Had to go through the whole set of procedures for another hour all over again.

Then got to the pharmacy, and found that the revised prescription switched 20 percocet to 8, which means I run out at noon tomorrow, if I take 2 every 4 hours, which means I can't, which means I'll have to wait to get a ride after 5 p.m., and go back to the hospital a third time. If I can get a ride. (It'd be $70+ by cab round trip.)

So much for my pleasantly remembering the night Obama accepted his nomination for the rest of my life.

Missed dinner, too. Plus a lot of other bad personal stuff.

Generally speaking, one of the suckier days I've ever had.

And just turned on C-Span in time to catch the last two sentences of the repeat of Obama's speech.


J. Michael Neal: How did Olbermann rip the AP?

Which side are you on?
I'm still with Captain America.
I'm still with Captain America.

Yeah, but he's still dead and Tony's in charge...

All the cool kids are with Barack America.

And as this is an open thread: the problems that a Christianized military are causing for non-Christians - both in officer training, and for the people who will be commanded by the Christianized officers.

Ara: "How did Olbermann rip the AP?"

It was only minutes after the speech and he was reading from his computer what he said was an analysis piece by the Associated Press -- by Bob Crabbington, I believe he said -- that basically said the speech didn't live up to expectations.

Since Olbermann himself noted the piece was labeled as "analysis" -- and since AP sends dozens of stuff out overnight -- I thought the MSNBC anchor was off base.

I know Olbermann has become a hero of the left wing but he has become a bigger bloviator on the set than his counterpart on FOX, O'Reilly. Worse: He simply does not welcome opposing views, evidenced when he threw GOP strategist Mike Murphy off the set the other night.

I feel he is losing his credibility.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.


Olbermann's complaint was more specific than that. The AP piece basically said it was another vague speech without any policy proposals. That was just objectively inaccurate. The piece, as read out loud by Olbermann, read as though it had been written before the speech on the basis of preconceptions, and I thought Keith was right to call it out.

And given that (I think) the piece appeared less than an hour after the speech, it probably had been written before the speech and then tossed out.

Though Olbermann thinks that AP is a dinosaur, and he probably feels he is just putting them out of their misery.


The "analysis" was up in less than 30 minutes, and was completely inaccurate compared to the speech. It sounds exactly as if someone had pre-written it for standard stump speech, hadn't paid any attention to the speech given, and fired it off.

If you feel differently, perhaps you could show how Keith's description of the AP piece was incorrect?

Knowing how tight AP deadlines are, much of that story probably was pre-written, then changed as the night went on.

It did sound like a misrepresentation of the speech. And while the AP isn't as influential as it once was, I can see where Olbermann thought it was newsworthy.

I guess my reaction was on more of a knee-jerk level, fed up frankly with the way Olbermann expresses outrage at anything anti-Obama. I find it insulting, the way Sean Hannity plays to the lowest common denominator to his audience.

Chris Matthews takes a lot more flak -- and is a strange, strange bird -- but he is far more objective.

Also, I like hearing the "other side's" perspective -- as, I think, Matthews does. We know what lense Pat Buchanan sees things through but he was as impressed with Obama's speech as any Democrat.

In fact, I think Buchanan, having been a speechwriter, like Matthews, appreciated the speech more than most of us.

I haven't been able to find the thread I read earlier -- before Palin's selection -- but byrningman expressed the same dismay I had when Olbermann cut off Mike Murphy, one of the few Republican strategists who doesn't seem to be selling you the whole time he is on the air.

The great thing about TV is the on/off button. I usually check to see if Olbermann has Howard Fineman on and, if not, click.

Can someone explain to me why anyone watches cable "news"?

Gary, I occasionally look at it to get some idea what a large number of people are seeing. Most of what I hear about cable "news" comes from blogs, and that's likely not a representative sample.

KCinDC, I've been living in a house with a guy who runs Fox near constantly, save for when MSNBC is on, and so far as I can tell it's commentary by morons for morons.

The amount of actual text spoken in an hour is a couple of thousand words, or what one could read in a few minutes. I don't get why anyone would sit through it unless they can't read, and are fascinated by really stupid opinions.

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