Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Democratic National Convention

Obama about to Take the Stage

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Obama about to take the stage.

Here’s the speech, as prepared for delivery.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 29, 2008 at 2:00 am

Return of the King

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Return of the King: Whoever would have thought, way way back in the year 2000, that I would someday come to admire Al Gore this much.

Here’s the text.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 29, 2008 at 12:59 am

More Convention Scuttlebutt

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More convention scuttlebutt: Brian Schweitzer’s well-received speech on energy was largely improvised after the Montana governor felt that the crowd hadn’t been revved up enough.

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer said his show-stealing speech Tuesday night, which brought the crowd in Denver to its feet and made him the talk of the convention, was a last-minute improvisation that departed from the prepared remarks he’d agreed on with the Obama campaign.

“We had a convention that went through the first day and didn’t get anybody fired up,” said Schweitzer, who spoke on the second evening after keynote speaker Mark Warner of Virginia. “We didn’t have anybody stand up, and we didn’t have anybody get excited,” he said.

“Sometimes you go to the line and you say, ‘Let’s go,'” he said in a brief interview after appearing on a Politico/Yahoo!/Denver Post panel at the Denver Athletic Club.

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August 28, 2008 at 8:29 pm

A One Night Stand with an Ex

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Lots of well-deserved praise on the blogotubes for John Kerry’s speech last night.

Steve Benen
Matt Yglesias
Ezra Klein
Josh Marshall (and again)

But the best is from Jason Zengerle, who writes in The New Republic on “the strange resurrection of John Kerry”:

For those who remember Kerry as a lackluster and ham-fisted presidential candidate, this emergence has come as a surprise. “There’s a wholeheartedness to [Kerry speaking about Obama] and a total lack of hesitancy and calculation that he always seems to have when he’s speaking about himself,” says one Democratic consultant. “A year ago, if you had asked [Obama strategists] David Axelrod and David Plouffe if they thought Kerry would be an important surrogate, they’d have laughed. But he’s been fucking good.” Kerry is even winning compliments from across the aisle. “If Kerry had conducted himself like this four years ago,” says Republican strategist John Weaver, “he might have been elected president.”

Indeed, Obama’s “clean break” from the national past, as Kerry called it in his endorsement speech, seems to be a clean break for Kerry as well. Which is yet another surprise. Given the abuse Kerry took from his party following his defeat, one might have expected him this time around to sit on the sidelines and sulk. Instead he’s done the opposite, looking to Obama as a vehicle for his own rehabilitation. Which leads to the question: In trying to help Obama overcome Clinton and now McCain, will John Kerry at long last be able to overcome himself?

Written by gerrycanavan

August 28, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Or Maybe They’re Doing Everything Right

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Or maybe they’re doing everything right: PRINCETON, NJ — Democratic candidate Barack Obama has gained ground in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking average from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and now leads Republican John McCain among registered voters by a 48% to 42% margin.

Thus, the current three-day average would reflect any impact of Monday night’s speech by Michelle Obama, and Tuesday night’s speech by Hillary Clinton, but would not completely reflect Wednesday night’s lineup of speakers, such as John Kerry, former President Bill Clinton, and vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, nor the appearance on stage at the end of the evening by Barack Obama himself.

As fladem at Open Left points out, this bounce (if it holds) is already a larger polling bump that Kerry received at any point during or after the DNC Convention in 2004.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 28, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Repeating the Mistakes of 2004?

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Here is a chart of the RCP Poll of Polls from 2004.

The small, three-point jump for Kerry at the start of August was the Democratic National Convention, accompanied (oddly) by a concurrent small rise in Bush’s numbers.

The five-point jump for Bush at the end of the month was of course the Republican National Convention, accompanied by a three-point drop in Kerry’s numbers. You can see that gap start to narrow again almost immediately, but it was never enough.

Analogies between any two election years are almost always useless—but if I could link to the Three Guys politics blog I was doing in 2004 you would see how impressed I was with the Democratic National Convention, which seemed to quite literally do everything right. I left Boston feeling confident and completely energized, strongly behind a candidate who had been my third choice (at best) in the primary. But we lost, and we lost at least in part because the Republicans went to their convention, wore Purple Heart Band-Aids, and told the world what an asshole John Kerry is over and over again in every speech for four straight days.

The Republican Party may be a cancer in the colon of American democracy, but it knows how to win presidential elections. Democrats really don’t.

2004’s convention gave us Obama and a lot of hope and excitement and a lot of great speeches, but we lost. I think it’s fair to start to wonder whether we’re managing to lose again with an aimless, largely messageless, far too bloodless convention that in every respect but the prime-time speeches was significantly more lackluster than 2004’s. Only last night had any real bite, and even then I still heard in each of the major speeches that John McCain is an American hero we must all deeply admire.

I’ll be the first to admit that whenever I’ve questioned Obama’s strategy in the past he and his people have turned out to be right, or at least right enough—but suffice it to say a whole lot is riding on Obama tonight, and I hope to hell he’s able to deliver.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 28, 2008 at 11:35 am


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Here’s the Biden speech. I find that I’m happier and happier with this choice as time goes on, though I almost can’t listen to Biden talk for fear he’s going to say something stupid and completely ruin the election.

McCain VP selection said to be made, to be announced Friday morning…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 28, 2008 at 11:17 am