My daughter told me that when a major newspaper invites you to blog, protocol is to do it. Invisible blogging is so five minutes ago,she said.
I've just returned from Denver which I thought was a very successful convention for the Democratic ticket. Senator Obama and his campaign did all the things they needed to do. They introduced Michelle and Barack to all those voters who are just tuning in, they united the Party behind Obama-Biden, they outlined what an Obama administration would mean to the average American and they began to define John McCain as a continuation of where George W. Bush has led this country.
They delivered some more subtle messages, like framing patriotism in terms of working to improve America, not just saluting the past.
I was especially impressed by Hillary and Bill Clinton, the patriots that they are for the way they rallied Senator Clinton's supporters to support the Obama-Biden ticket. They know what is at stake in this election.
There were several magical moments like the appearance of Senator Kennedy on Monday night. He is simply one of a kind. Nothing could have kept him away from this convention. He has such a sense of history. He knows he is passing the torch to the next generation, and he knows that he has gathered his family on the right side of history. I hope the people of Massachusetts appreciate what a gift it is to have Ted Kennedy as our Senator.
I must say it was moving seeing John Kerry play such an important part in Ted's video, and for those who missed it, John gave one of the best speeches of the convention.
I also want to give a shout out to Governor Patrick for the great speech he gave. Behind the seens, I got a chance to host a lunch for the Governor with some of my colleagues from the Obama campaign around the country. The lunch was way oversubscribed, and the Governor was a huge hit. I was able to report, in the words of a wise observer of Massachusetts politics, that the Governor had just completed the most successful legislative session of any first term Governor in two generations.
The climax of this convention was Thursday night. The campaign took a big risk setting expectations so high but as Barack has done so often when the pressure was on, he hit it out of the park. Remember the Jefferson/Jackson dinner in Iowa or the speech on race in Philadelphia. Barack Obama is as great a clutch player as Tom Brady, David Ortiz or Paul Pierce.
Perhaps the highlight of the convention for me was the presence of so many members of the New England Steering Committee of the Obama Campaign. There were over 100 of us who have been working for Barack Obama since he announced his candidacy in February, 2007. This band of partisans are a diverse and passionately committed group, many of whom were attending their first national convention. It was more than inspiring to share this experience with a group of people so committed to taking our country back and repairing the disastrous consequences eight years of George W. Bush has wrought.
Speaking of which, how shocking the VP selection John McCain has made. Maybe she is a compelling personality and maybe she is a reformer from outside of Washington, but what does it say about the 72 year old nominee that he would select someone to be a heart-beat away from the presidency after two meetings, someone whose preparation consists of two years as Governor of a state with a population one tenth that of Massachusetts and mayor of a city smaller than the number of people who gathered at Invesco Field to hear Barack Obama's acceptance speech. David Gergen on CNN could hardly disguise his shock. The American Presidency is the most powerful and most complicated job in the world. How could any national leader in his right mind make such a selection with as little due diligence as the McCain campaign excercised. I don't know what scares me more, McCain's impulsiveness, Palin's lack of preparation or the fact that she believes in teaching creationism alongside evolution. Are we going through a reverse enlightenment?
I hope my daughter feels I've redeemed myself with this entry.
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