Political Weekly: Live-Blogging Denver
Written by Bwog Staff
Bwog’s Political Columnist Jim Downie returns to live-blog some random speech.
No doubt 2012 is wondering why Bwog is employing a political columnist, and why he’s live-blogging alongside almost every other political website in the country. I can’t answer the first question, but, since I’m here, I might as well live-blog the first presidential nominee with a Columbia undergraduate degree.
9:18: Dems have trotted out 25 retired generals onto the stage. Subtle.
9:25: At the bottom of its graphics, CNN has a Nantucket Nectars-inspired “Facts” box. It’s wonderfully distracting.
9:30: Joe Biden introduces a parade of random people to attest to Obama. So far, we have a union man from Michigan and a teacher from Ohio. Again, subtle.
9:33: These are some of the most animated speeches we’ve seen, actually. Though, in fairness, following Al Gore would make anyone look animated.
9:35: A woman with a graduate degree is shouting “¡Buenas noches!” Lou Dobbs’s head just exploded.
9:37: While the “average Americans” ramp up the Denver crowd, CNN is talking about John Lewis, MSNBC is trying to shout over its background audience, and FOX is on commercial. Only PBS and C-SPAN are actually showing the speeches.
9:41: MSNBC has been feeding Rachel Maddow lots of questions in advance of her own show. No problems with that here – she’s the rare pundit that gets away with rambling.
9:45: The stadium is packed, and so is Times Square.
9:50: For those of you who don’t know who John Lewis is, he is the only speaker from the 1963 “March on Washington” still alive (which finished with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech 45 years ago today). The New York Times wrote about him today.
9:51: Fox News claims McCain has made his VP pick, but it won’t leak tonight. Why they would want it to leak is unclear.
9:52: The cable networks have no idea what to do with themselves right now. It’s the same questions they asked each other an hour ago.
9:55: According to Fox, the people who set up this stage say it was much harder to do than the one they did for Britney Spears. Now they’re talking about Oprah’s feelings on this night.
9:57: Speaking of Fox, I’ve seen Brit Hume in person, and I can confirm he looks just as grumpy without the TV makeup.
9:59: Dick Durbin, senior senator from Illinois, steps up to the podium. T minus 15 minutes or so. Also, the wind is moving his hair quite dramatically.
10:04: Obama intro video plays. Normally, you’d only see these on C-SPAN, because the networks see these videos as free advertising (and, more importantly, very boring). But he is the nominee.
10:06: Michelle and Barack are talking about the courtship. Apparently Barack’s the oratorical equivalent of Hitch.
10:08: Now we see the smiling family. Nobody saw that coming…
10:10: Nice choice of David Strathairn as the narrator. After all, he was Edward R. Murrow.
10:12: As usual, he enters to U2. WBAR and WKCR were clearly not consulted.
10:14: It’s a 16-thank you level of applause!
10:16: Takes care of the Clinton tribute right away. Shockingly, John Edwards goes uncongratulated.
10:17: Sitting behind the Obamas are an African-American, a Hispanic, and an Asian-American. Totally by accident, of course. (UPDATE: Apparently, I offended some commenters by leaving out the fact that they were actually members of his family, and that the description of his half-sister as Hispanic was incorrect. I apologize for that – it was a poorly-executed attempt to describe what most Americans would think when seeing the people sitting around Michelle Obama. I knew it was his family, since that’s where they would sit, but I failed to add the context in the rapid pace of live-blogging).
10:20: “America, we are better than these last eight years.” The message has been economic-heavy so far.
10:22: Now pivoting to attack the Republicans. It’s got to be the first time that the VP has been mentioned as a boogeyman eight years later. Heck of a job, Cheney.
10:26: Clearly the plan for this section is to bring back all the slip-ups McCain’s made over the summer (“nation of whiners” etc.). A lot of viewers are hearing these for the first time.
10:28: It appears the “Debbie Downer” part of the speech is wrapping up.
10:30: We know that 80,000 are in the stadium, but the sound setup doesn’t make it sound much louder than the 19,000 who saw him win in Minnesota. Also, the sheer size of the stadium prevents the standard cheering in unison.
10:34: He’s just launched into the “I Promise” part. Still heavy on the economy.
10:37: To quote Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic, it’s “a stump speech, but a good stump speech.” It’s about specifics right now.
10:39: “Now is the time” has to be an intentional echo.
10:41: “While Senator McCain was turning his eyes to Iraq after 9/11…” Obama rakes McCain over the coals of Baghdad.
10:46: The foreign policy section is either considerably more vague or soaring, depending on whom you support.
10:48: The “Uniter” section begins – the make or break section.
10:52: Ramping up to the big, parallelism-filled finale…Sounds like he’s “seen” a lot.
10:55: “Our universities and culture are the envy of the world.” Woohoo!
10:56: And now the specific mention of King to close it out. It’s a powerful parallel, and he’s incorporating it perfectly. Hard to be cynical at the end.
10:59: And that’s it. The country tune “Only in America” plays in the background, as he’s joined by his family and Biden and fireworks explode in the air.
11:00: So one party has an official nominee. Tomorrow, the spotlight moves to John McCain as he announces his VP, but, for tonight, Barack Obama made a strong case to the viewers at home. The need for specifics, particularly on the economy, prevented it from being the oratory from 2004 or even this past January, but it ended on a strong note.