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The Happenings In Boston

From the left.

by Richard 'Mr. Moo' Moore
August 1, 2004

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Well, the Democrats are finished with their party and I have time to digest what they were feeding the American public. I do not have indigestion but I have faithfully continued my daily dose of Nexium. Let’s look at the highlights and the low points of the convention. 
 
Highlights: 

1.    Barack Obama, the keynote address to the convention showed me that this guy would wallop just about anyone running against him in IL for the US Senate seat even if the GOP is scandal free or an ex-NFL coach. That would be true if his stump speech and appearances are anything like his speech to the convention. I predict the national party will not be able to keep this young man down. Nor should they. He could be national ticket material in under a decade. 

2.    Ilana Wexler, the founder of Kids for Kerry for her line of giving the Vice President a “time out” for his language. Way to go, little girl. I don’t want to beat a dead horse regarding the language but a time out is in order. 

3.    Dennis Kucinich gave what I thought was the best speech of his campaign. He was animated, passionate and pointed. If he had spoken like that at his campaign stops, beginning in Iowa, it could have been his convention. Best line, “There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq… I tell you have seen weapons of mass destruction – in our cities. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Racism is a weapon of mass destruction. Fear is a weapon of mass destruction.” Kucinich is right. All of these “weapons” are destroying our country from within. Whether all of this is the job of the federal government to fix is debatable based on your politics but the statement was memorable.  

4.    Ron Reagan’s speech regarding embryonic stem cell research was excellent. The description of how the procedure works was simple enough for the majority of folks to understand. The follow-up interview with Joe Scarborough on MSNBC showed Reagan’s passion for the issue and his humbleness. 

5.    Alexandra Kerry’s speech introducing her dad and the story of Licorice, the pet hamster of sister Vanessa, was good comedy relief. If you recall, Licorice had fallen into the water and was saved thanks to mouth to mouth resuscitation by her dad.  If the visual image isn’t worth a laugh, I’m not sure what would be. Colin McEnroe’s Op-Ed in the New York Times on Saturday was an account of the feared drowning from Licorice’s point of view.  It is worth the read. 

Low Points:

1.    During Sen. Kerry’s acceptance speech he said: “I ask you to judge me by my record”. When I heard that line, I heard the ad people for Bush chomping at the bit to get working on a serious of ads. It is what the Republicans were hoping to hear. Put that quote at the beginning of a Bush-Cheney 2004 ad and show his voting record. A big boo-boo for the Kerry speech editors.  

2.    Teresa Heinz Kerry’s speech was billed as a “see the softer side of the nominee”. It was very disappointing, as it was not about the personal side of the nominee but a speech about her and not a great one at that. But how do you censor the speech of the nominee’s wife if you are on the speaker’s committee? Anyway, I wasn’t impressed. Kerry’s daughters did a better job at the softer side of the nominee. I know Teresa; I can “stick it”.

3.    The two phrases heard over and over were “God Bless America” and “3 Purple Hearts”. You could hear at least one if not both in every speech. It was too predictable.  The use of the “3 Purple Hearts” over and over again reminded me of the “This Land” video at www.jibjab.com. If you haven’t taken my suggestion to see it, log on. It is, as we say in the heartland, a hoot. 

4.    After watching John Edwards for the last 10 months and at the convention, I’ll say again they nominated the wrong John for the top of the ticket. But the convention didn’t have the freedom in that issue. 

5.    Kucinich delegates that didn’t vote for him on the first ballot should be scolded. I know Dennis withdrew and asked his delegates to support the nominee (actually he said “vote your conscious”) but a true supporter of Kucinich would have stood behind him for another few hours. Shame on you if you switched, especially after his presentation Wednesday night.

6.    The convention was too predictable. I guess gone are the days of the 1976 GOP convention when Reagan and Ford fought it down to the last delegate. Gone are the days of 1968 when Sen. Abraham Ribicoff, during his nominating speech for Sen. George McGovern, accused Mayor Daley of using Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago.  
 
As for a bump, there will be a little bump out of each convention but not more than 5%. There are not that many people undecided in the race to get a bigger bump.
 
Well, there you have it. I enjoyed the week as I watched and re-watched the convention on C-SPAN. I know few, if any changes will come on future conventions. The timing and scripted ness of everything for the sake of the networks is the reason. I am a realist. But I miss the unpredictability of the past. And with this week over, what am I going to do until the doings in NYC?

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