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Convention Cheat Sheet: Ted Kennedy's Night

DENVER -- Hours before he was to appear on stage, many here wondered whether the cancer-stricken Sen. Ted Kennedy would be able to stand, let alone speak before a massive crowd on the first night of the Democratic convention. Just in case his strength gave way, a stool was set aside for him to sit on.

But as he moved to the podium, Kennedy pushed aside the stool. And the liberal lion of the Senate proceeded to deliver a stemwinder that stole the evening -- and overshadowed the subsequent speech of Michelle

Kennedy, laid low by brain cancer, traveled across the country to speak on Barack Obama's behalf and, in doing so, symbolically passed the torch to a new generation of Democratic politicians.

The image of Kennedy, the last remaining figure from the most prominent Democratic political family of the last generation, bowed but not beaten by cancer is a powerful and potentially enduring one for a party still riven by a protracted primary whose wounds are yet to heal.

Tonight's speeches should tell us whether the example set by Kennedy will be followed -- particularly by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the night's most-anticipated speaker. In all of her public appearances since formally leaving the race in early June, Clinton has been -- in the words of the Post's Dan Balz -- pitch perfect in her praise of Obama. If Clinton can repeat that performance tonight, it could well get the unity ball rolling in the right direction for Democrats.

Among the other highlights/lowlights of the night:

OUTSIDE THE HALL: The arrest of four men possibly plotting an assassination attempt of Obama on Thursday night served as a sobering reminder of the perils of presidential candidates on the campaign trail.

INSIDE THE HALL: Michelle Obama's speech drew mixed reviews in the spin wars that began seconds after she finished her address. The best moment of her speech? When she brought out the couple's two daughters on the stage to say hi to their dad who was at a campaign event in Kansas City. The image of Obama as loving (and loved) father is a powerful one.

BEST GIVEAWAY: Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse stopped by the Post/post.com media space to pitch what he called "the hottest button" at the Democratic convention. You be the judge:

A DNC button

WORST TAKEAWAY: It probably seemed like a good idea to give former Republican Congressman Jim Leach a prime time speaking role. After all, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is speaking at the Republican National Convention and turnabout is fair play. Or not. Leach, a dull speaker, neutralized the excitement and energy created by Kennedy. If convention nights are meant to build to a crescendo, Leach's speech delivered a thud.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Daddy Yankee endorses John McCain.

SPEECH TO WATCH: Former Virginia governor Mark Warner delivers the keynote address of the convention tonight. While the media coverage will likely focus heavily on Clinton's speech, make sure to watch Warner. He is almost certain to be elected to an open Senate seat in November and from there it's only a matter of time before he is making a presidential run of his own. Expect Warner to focus heavily on his demonstrated ability to work across the partisan aisle in Virginia and his call for politicians in the party to follow his lead in coming elections.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 26, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Convention Cheat Sheet  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Michelle Obama's Message: We're Just Like You
Next: VIDEO: Convention Wrapup Day One

Comments

"If convention nights are meant to build to a crescendo, Leach's speech delivered a thud." ...build to a crescendo??? Look it up: Crescendo is a term in music meaning a passage which gradually increases in volume (it comes from an Italian word meaning 'to increase or grow'). So there is no such thing as 'build to a crescendo'!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

what a bunch of hypocrites! majority of people in politics have many homes, big deal! anybody who dares to wear that pin at the DNC had better not have more than one home. let's face it, if you're in politics, chances are, you can AFFORD to be in washington because you have made financially sound investments in the private sector and everyone knows that public office pay is peanuts, so why is everyone trippin' on the homes that Mccain has? He married a wealthy heiress, and everyone should be so lucky. big deal. move on to more important things.

Posted by: tameron | August 26, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Chris -- I really don't think Warner will run, ever. As you know, word is he and his family decided to drop out last year because they didn't want to go through it, and he refused Obama vetters' overtures. I think he stays in the Senate for a long, long time.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I see the IgnoRANT coward has returned. How special.

Posted by: drindl | August 26, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

WHAT SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW HIM BEST SAY ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN.......

"He is a vicious person"
Former representative Charles LeBoutillier R-NY
---------------
"An embarrassment to the party"
Arizona GOP state senator Susan Johnson
---------------
"There is nothing redeeming about John Mccain...he's a hypocrite"
Former house GOP whip Tom DeLay
-----------------
"The thought of him being president sends a chill down my spine. He is erratic"
Senator Thad Cochran, R- MS
------------------
"Hard headed is one way to say it. Arrogant is another way to say it. It's a quality about him that disturbs me".
Larry Wilkerson, former chief aide to Colin Powell
------------------
"What happens if he gets angry in a crisis...? It's the presidents job to negotiate and stay calm. I just don't see that he has that quality".
Former Arizona GOP chairman John Hinz
-------------------
"His temper would place this country at risk...and the world perhaps in danger. In my mind that should disqualify him"
Former Senator Bob Smith, R-NM
-------------------
"I decided I didn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger."
Senator Pete Domenici, R-NM

-----
Any man who calls his wife a c*nt is not electable to anything. McBush has no honor!

Posted by: tchanta | August 26, 2008 12:51 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Those people are just idiots who are caught up in some kind of power trip. They don't care at all about Hillary or Obama. These are people who normally would never be interviewed or anyone would give a hoot what they think. One was just on Fox and the guy asked him what Hillary would have to say for him to Vote for Obama and he said there is no way he will regardless, Then he is a republican and what the Fu&k are they talking to him for.
There is no in between, not today the differences are too great. If you are not voting for Obama you are a republican so get the hell out of here and vote for Mccain.

========
Chris, you are wrong. Michelle's speech was outstanding. Anyone who thought otherwise was severely biased or had the bar set so high no mortal could achieve it.

As far as the die-hard Clinton supporters, I am about to give up on them. I do not see any evidence they can be reached with reason or even pragmatism. They appear bitter and, maybe, as Bill and Hillary, truly do believe Obama is unqualified (not experienced enough) and/or he just cannot win (even if they vote for him).

I contend that even if Obama should have more experience and needs die-hard Clinton supporters' votes to win, he and his policies/values and advisers and judgment are far, far, superior and better for the nation than McCain and his policies/values and advisers and judgment. I am sorry that such reason and pragmatism falls on deaf ears.
Posted by: Byron | August 26, 2008 12:45 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Any man who calls his wife a c*nt is not electable to anything. McBush has no honor!

Posted by: tchanta | August 26, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you are wrong. Michelle's speech was outstanding. Anyone who thought otherwise was severely biased or had the bar set so high no mortal could achieve it.

As far as the die-hard Clinton supporters, I am about to give up on them. I do not see any evidence they can be reached with reason or even pragmatism. They appear bitter and, maybe, as Bill and Hillary, truly do believe Obama is unqualified (not experienced enough) and/or he just cannot win (even if they vote for him).

I contend that even if Obama should have more experience and needs die-hard Clinton supporters' votes to win, he and his policies/values and advisers and judgment are far, far, superior and better for the nation than McCain and his policies/values and advisers and judgment. I am sorry that such reason and pragmatism falls on deaf ears.

Posted by: Byron | August 26, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Last Night, the Obama Campaign Conceded Michelle's Old Rhetoric Won't Sell

Since Michelle Obama first started getting attention for her campaign trail rhetoric — "for the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country," America is "just downright mean" — we've heard from her defenders that it was just fine — a strength, really. We just didn't get it, they assured us. Audiences loved her. She was honest, and raw, and direct, and told it like it was, in a way that Americans really appreciated. A lot of Americans felt betrayed by circumstances in their country, and they loved seeing someone articulate how they really felt.

And then, last night, in front of the biggest audience she'll probably ever address... it was all "America is peaches and cream," as Jay Nordlinger just said to me. No ripping America's leaders, no lamenting the rampant injustice of daily American life, no "we're guided by fear" or "comfortable in our own ignorance."

No, Team Obama scrapped every last bit of that style, and replaced it with, "In my own life, in my own small way, I have tried to give back to this country that has given me so much" and "in this great country, where a girl from the South Side of Chicago can go to college and law school." She went from Michael Moore to Toby Keith overnight.

It turns out, when it came to assessing her comments on the trail, we were right all along. Michelle Obama's old rhetoric was repellent to most Americans, and too much attention on it would doom the chances of her husband winning this election.

Posted by: on the other hand | August 26, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

has everyone seen over the last night what gifts the bush cheney mcCain foreign policy
brought to leave under our futures last night?

Pakistan problems

Afghanistan problems

Georgia problems

Poland problems

yeah this aggressive tone matched with ignoring atleast one side of every issue in the world...has made life much better

can't wait to see the opening night at the RNC.

what message will they lead off with to set the tone...WWIII that should help.

Posted by: dl | August 26, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Who needs the kitchen sink when we've got McCain's 7 (8?) kitchen tables to throw around...

Posted by: JEP | August 26, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"Why don't you get all excited about next week P.O.W - I mean - G.O.P convention"

LOL... how true!

McCain STILL answers every question with a POW reference. Someone is going to ask him why he abandoned the wife who waited for him throughout that ordeal and he will say, "I know what it is like to be without a wife, or a kitchen table.."

McCain is the least experienced candidate in this race, he never once served on a school board, or city council, or state legislature, he was never a governor or a mayor, he stepped into Congress just 6 months after he moved to Arizona with his mistress-turned-wife's father's alcohol-fueled money.

His entire poitical experience can be sequestered to the top three rungs of the political ladder, he has never even had contact with "the street"...

Well, K-Street, maybe, he works that one quite well...

Posted by: JEP | August 26, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the speech was incredible, wasn't it?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I guess there are voters who are taken in by speeches and platitudes and then there are the ones who want to know more.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 26, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@Anonymous: Thanks. That is all that I was looking for.

"...sound travels at @760 MPH at sea level under standard temp and pressure conditions; light travels at @186000 MP second! But the transmittal over cable is by radio waves or as electrical current, which travel, nominally, at the speed of light, if unimpeded. The signals are somewhat impeded and thus there is a time delay. But the delay is the same for the audio and the visual signal. When the lips move, the sound is heard. Both are tardy."

@Boutan: Duh to the below. (Smart aleck.) That is a given.

"The way you can tell the signals are arriving at the same time is that we see the persons lips moving at the same time as they speak... if he picture was moving faster, you would see the lips moving first (video), then the sound coming out later (audio)."


This is what I was wanting to know...

"What we are seeing is EVERYTHING about 3 seconds later than it actually happened... because it takes about 3 seconds for a digital signal to be transmitted from one place to another via satellite."

Posted by: Doris | August 26, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

did Obama even pass geography class? first there was 57 states. then Afghan and Iraq speaking the same language. Now confusing St Louis and Kansas city.

Posted by: duh | August 26, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

""The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles." What would a Barack Obama presidency mean, other than more concessions and broader smiles, while Iran goes nuclear?"

Actually, I think he was more referring to people like you. We can bomb the hell out of any country we want, but as a society, how do we deal with people like you?

Just smile, I guess.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 26, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Kingofzouk...zip it. Your so-called objectivity card has been out of date for some time. Why don't you get all excited about next week P.O.W - I mean - G.O.P convention, m'kay?

Posted by: 2008 | August 26, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"Your take on Michelle's speech was the same as the conservative commentator on NPR and I can't believe either one of you heard her speech. It brought tears to my eyes. Maybe in the hall Kennedy came off better but he didn't on my tv. She was warm and funny and genuine. I can't see how anyone with an open mind couldn't have found her appealing. And the girls were adorable."

Yeah, the speech was incredible, wasn't it?

I know this may be blasphemous, but it reminded me a lot of Hillary's later speeches. Raw and impassioned.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 26, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

How, inquiring minds wonder, can Obama join us all together -- bitter clingers and all -- in one big communal bond of sentimental good will if he can't even inspire unity in his own party?

That's unfair, you say? It's not his fault? It's those grudge-holding Clintons and their die-hard supporters who won't bury the hatchet?

Oh? I thought it was George W. Bush's fault that the countries of Old Europe wouldn't support the American efforts against Iraq. I thought it was Dubya's fault -- that evil, unilateralist, go-it-alone cowboy -- that the United Nations wouldn't do the right thing and enforce its own resolutions that Saddam Hussein had violated at will.

Democrats told us that had they been in charge, the world would have melted in their diplomatic hands. It was Dubya's fault the world wouldn't get on board. Shame on Dubya for not placing "unity" and "bilateralism" -- you know, getting along for the sake of getting along -- ahead of national interests.

Democrats also railed against Bush for failing in his promise to bring the country together, to usher in a spirit of conviviality across party lines, as he had done as Texas governor.

Never mind that he did reach out ad nauseam to Democrats, even courting the ideologically hostile Ted Kennedy. Never mind that Democrats and their fellow leftist Bush Derangement Syndrome enablers were engulfed in blue flames of unquenchable hatred for George Bush and depicted him daily as "Hitler" and "the enemy." No, it was all George Bush's fault that the country didn't come together. It was his fault they couldn't forgive him for sins he hadn’t committed.

Shouldn't these people who held Bush to the impossible standard of winning the favor of terrorists, recalcitrant nations and an unappeasably hostile opposition party be held to the much easier standard of unifying just their own party?

Posted by: laughing lefties | August 26, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Americans need to put their thinking caps on - and stop being so affiliated to any one party. They need to start thinking about their pocketbook and their bread and butter issues.
Do we need to fix our crumbling infra-structure, do we need a green revolution and a new energy plan, do we need a stronger military. Do we need more investment in science and technology and have less of our companies move jobs overseas.
Do we need less input from corporate lobbyists in campaigns?
The candidate that puts our interest first gets our vote!
Do not be fooled by the dog and pony show put up by the media.
Try to get answers and hold the candidates feet to the fire.
We need to get a lot of work done - fortunately - we are not a third world country but - will become one at the rate at which our jobs are moving overseas.

Posted by: wendynyc | August 26, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA CAMP RAISES WM. AYRES ISSUE = POLITICAL SUICIDE

If the delegates needed one more reason not to nominate Barack Obama, this would be it.

The William Ayres connection was below the radar of most voters, and probably would have stayed there. If it was going to be raised, let the McCain camp do it first, so the Obama response could address the particulars that the opposition raises.

To raise the issue themselves as a pre-emptive move is bad strategy. Now Obama has invited scrutiny of the relationship. And when you take a closer look, you do wonder: Why was he associating with this guy when he knew his background?

It raises the "judgement to lead" issue, and not in a good way -- just as the Rev. Wright and Tony Rezko episodes did.

Rezko is scheduled to be sentenced just a week before the election -- another reason to reject Obama's bid for the presidential nomination tonight by voting "Hillary."

BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN MATTER? Not when government-supported "vigilante injustice" squads are "gang stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism

WHAT IF THEY COULD SHOOT YOU
WITHOUT LEAVING A TRACE? THEY CAN.
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1


Posted by: scrivener | August 26, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The recent death of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn should make us recall what he said when he was awarded the Nobel Prize: "The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles." What would a Barack Obama presidency mean, other than more concessions and broader smiles, while Iran goes nuclear?

Posted by: sowell | August 26, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"aren’t the issues and the Bush legacy supposed to be the winning tickets for the Democrats?"

Well, yeah. Why do you think the Republicans bring up such thinly veiled racist attacks?

It will say a lot about this country if they are actually successful.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 26, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

DEM. DELEGATES:

Put "DEMOCRACY" back into the Democratic Party.

Insist on a FULL ROLL CALL VOTE.

And SNAP OUT OF THE MASS HYPNOSIS.

Obama is UNELECTABLE.

This is the party's last chance. The nation can't afford to "wait for 2012."

SAVE THE PARTY.

VOTE HILLARY.

Posted by: Outside the Box | August 26, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Liberals have tried to convince me that Obama is brilliant. I find that odd because he has said that there are 57 states, that JFK got the Russians to remove their missiles from Cuba by sitting down and chatting with Khrushchev, and that Iran doesn’t really constitute an actual threat because they don’t spend as much money on weaponry as we do. Funny, but “brilliant” isn’t the first word that comes to mind. But what do liberals know? They were also convinced that Jimmy Carter was intelligent.

If you listen to Obama, you’d get the idea that we’re a third world nation, tottering on the edge of poverty. Every word out of his mouth suggests that America is being ground down by corporations when every sane member of the middle class is well aware that the Democrats, who have never met a tax increase they didn’t love or an illegal alien they didn’t see as a potential vote, and who promote class and race warfare as party policy, pose more of a threat to this country than the Soviet Union ever did.


Obama and his fellow left-wingers keep parroting the line that all the other nations of the world hate us, but I’ve noticed that they never name names. And who can blame them? They’re not likely to mention that they’re referring to the likes of Iran, China, Yemen, Venezuela, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and North Korea, just as they’re not likely to mention that England, France, Germany and Italy, have all elected conservative leaders in the past few years, while dumping the leftist likes of Chirac and Schroder along the way.

Because the MSM adores Obama, they continue to promote the notion of Obama as a great orator, but he is actually no more silver-tongued than your average radio announcer reading ad copy for baby wipes. The fact is that when asked a direct question, the man turns into a blithering idiot, even though you would imagine that by this late date he would have memorized the appropriate lines. Perhaps the problem is that this new style politician is so driven by polls that from moment to moment he’s not sure exactly how he feels about the 16-month deadline in Iraq, the surge, offshore drilling for oil, election financing or dividing the city of Jerusalem. Heck, he even changed his opinion about Reverend Wright overnight. On one notable occasion, during the primaries, he was heard to ask if he could just have a moment to finish his waffle. We all thought he was referring to his breakfast. But apparently that wasn’t the case because the man hasn’t stopped waffling yet.


Posted by: burt | August 26, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The conservative blogosphere is agog: what was Barack Obama thinking? He took a story largely confined to the internet, (only briefly raised in the primary) about Obama’s connection to former terrorist Bill Ayers, put it in his own ad, and then filed a claim trying to force the third-party 527 ad that first brought up the Obama-Ayers connection off the air. In the next 24 hours thousands if not millions of voters who never heard of or didn’t understand the extent of the Obama-Ayers relationship are going to get a full education.

That Justice Department complaint is a stunt reeking of abject panic. Really, isn’t this just unlimited free publicity for the McCain accusations? In the Right blogosphere there is a mix of amazement and delight. And in case you thought the McCain camp wasn’t thrilled by this turn of events, read what Steve Schmidt has to say about it.

It is very hard to figure out the reasoning behind the Obama effort. Perhaps there is a deadly poll or maybe they think they can so skew the coverage as to insulate himself. But for now, it is just plain baffling.

Posted by: mr thin skin | August 26, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

We are not the only ones to wonder what the Democrats were doing last night. Fending off a sense that Barack Obama is “foreign,” we are told. Making his wife less scary. Convincing America that he is “just like us.” All that is good, but shockingly basic (and late) for a presidential campaign. It’s also incredibly defensive and beside the point: aren’t the issues and the Bush legacy supposed to be the winning tickets for the Democrats?

Posted by: jennifer R | August 26, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Denver couldn't come fast enough for Democrats. Barack Obama looks like he's losing steam in key presidential swing states like Florida, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. The poll found Republican John McCain leading 47-43 percent over Obama in Florida thanks to the backing of white voters and independents. Florida voters had given McCain a 46-44 percent edge in the school's previous swing state poll at the end of July.

Posted by: the more they talk, the lower they go | August 26, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Easy on Michelle, Chris - Although Kennedy's appearance was moving, I do not feel Michelle was overshadowed at all. In fact, I think hers was the best moment in the evening.

Posted by: Cam | August 26, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Let me elaborate further to avoid the usual gang of Obamaniacs calling me pre-disposed.

Michelle could have actually introduced her man to us and given us a hint about what he was like - told a funny story, made him more human by telling his favorite ice cream flavor, about reading to the kids, etc. Only one quip about driving home from the hospital and the ice cream date thing. Instead, she missed the opportunity completely, and it is gone forever. no one else can do this. so she opted to parade out the usual campaign speech about the liberal positions on health care, minumum wage, etc. BORING.

a complete missed opportunity.

Is the new requirement now the ability to read off the teleprompter accurately and evenly? she went to Harvard law for cripes sake.

and if any of you think the Obamas are just like us, you are smokin sumptin. they got preferred treatment everywhere they went. Professor with no publications. editor with no notes. candidate with no opponent. committee chair with no meetings. campaign with no questions. writer with no topic.

and her job was to funnel earmarks from her connections. for which she got a big pay raise.

and if they didn't get preferred treatment and they were so disadvantaged, being black and middle class and all that, and still succeeded, then why do we need a big government program to accomplish what they did on their own?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 26, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Lots of swing state polls were released this morning (including Quinnipiac's latest big state wave). McCain gains in Ohio and in two Florida polls, though Obama remains stable in Pennsylvania. Full roundup: http://campaigndiaries.com/2008/08/26/pre-convention-polling/

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I may be wrong but Ted's speech sounded alot like a modified speech of the one he gave in 1980. If this is still a even race after Sep 4, then the dems are doomed. How they could blow this election is beyond me, but got to give it to them, they always find a way.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 26, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

So another flip-flop from the Obamas:

Now she LOVES America.

What a total waste of an evening. Where can I get this time back? It did nothing to advance their cause. OK, they have two cute kids. Can I vote for them?

In summary, another hollow, platitude filled night of nothingness. the Seinfeld campaign - about nothing.

where's the beef?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 26, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I have to say the first night should be all about Bush and Cheney...

and it is...

the first night of the RNC is I beleive...the 2 speakers...

Bush and Cheney.

I hope that is just a rumor.

Now there's a way to kick off your successful convention open with the people you need to distance yourselves from.

No matter what you thought of opening night in Denver

The Dems will have a good night on the opening night in St. Paul

lol

Posted by: dl | August 26, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Yea right, say hello to King Arthur for us.

))))))))))))
On another note... I have to laugh on how people come on The Fix and post negative stuff on Barack Obama and sign it Anonymous or some variation of Obama's name. The fact that you have to hide speaks volumes on the kind of person you are - spineless is one word that comes to mind. It's so sad you have to resort to such tactics, but seeing how your Republican party is going down in flames from eight years of reckless policies I can see why you go there. There's nothing else left to do but become completely evil and spread lies and smears just to hold on to some form of power. God Bless You!

Posted by: lancelot | August 26, 2008 10:35 AM

Posted by: pop a smoke | August 26, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I supported Hillary, then grudgingly supported Obama, then (thanks to McCain) strongly support him. After seeing & hearing Michelle last night (first time for me), I was ready to vote for Michelle! Obama's a lucky guy. My support for him is even stronger.

Posted by: Bernie in VA | August 26, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

It may very well be that all the evening needed to succeed was the emotional address of Senator Kennedy. I agree with the posters who resist the temptation to go after Bush. There is time for that later, but last night's 'passing of the torch' was exactly the right thing and I think that between Kennedy and Michelle Obama, they set the stage nicely for tonight. I would expect Hillary to go after Bush and McCain and that can only help get things revved up. Good start to the convention.

Posted by: dch | August 26, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

On another note... I have to laugh on how people come on The Fix and post negative stuff on Barack Obama and sign it Anonymous or some variation of Obama's name. The fact that you have to hide speaks volumes on the kind of person you are - spineless is one word that comes to mind. It's so sad you have to resort to such tactics, but seeing how your Republican party is going down in flames from eight years of reckless policies I can see why you go there. There's nothing else left to do but become completely evil and spread lies and smears just to hold on to some form of power. God Bless You!

Posted by: lancelot | August 26, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I smell a RAT in CARVILLE !really stinks!

Posted by: jOANNE | August 26, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully Bill Clinton will continue to make an ass of himself, and his speech will be the latest episode of Bubba Unleashed.

Will the Kennedys handing the torch to an Obama instead of a Clinton be enough to draw out Angry Bill? Will Bubba dispose of his canned remarks and ad-lib a vintage finger-wagging, blame-shifting, victimized harangue? Can we expect to see a beet-red Bill Clinton test the limits of his recently repaired heart?

For the sake of TV watchers around the country, we hope so.

Posted by: bondjedi | August 26, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I know rap... but have no idea who Daddy Yankee is. Sounds like a made up "rapper" to get McSame some cred with the youth vote. Too bad the girls in the audience look puzzled as much as I did.

As for the speeches last night... Kennedy gave a stiring address for Barack and passed the new generation the torch that was lit by his brothers and him years ago. Michelle did exactly what she needed to do and focused on presenting herself and her family to the American people. I disagree with Carville's statement that the night was a disappointment. The "introduction" was needed before the next three nights of attacking McSame and his Bush lobbyist cronies. I can't wait for the debates. McSame is going to look like he is Obama's old senile great uncle... the one who can't remember your name and smells like mothballs!

Posted by: lancelot | August 26, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I have to agree with some of the other commentors, the "mixed reviews" meme is inaccurate, across the board Michelle's speech was praised and is still being praised by everyone but the ideologues who are desperately aware that the Republicans can't touch this..

But, you have always been very forgiving of the conservative fold, even when they are folding.

Michelle's speech, along with Teddy's made the whole night historic. Neither of them trumped the other, they shared this evening in history quite gracefully.

After their Michelle-shock wears off, the wingnuts will surely find a way to spin her words, but the people who really watched the speech will only laugh and roll their eyes and tell their friends how desperate the wingnuts have become.

This has become one of those no-win scenarios for the likes of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Chuck Savage, their atacks only make them look like the callous pricks they really are.

Posted by: JEP | August 26, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Chris - Your take on Michelle's speech was the same as the conservative commentator on NPR and I can't believe either one of you heard her speech. It brought tears to my eyes. Maybe in the hall Kennedy came off better but he didn't on my tv. She was warm and funny and genuine. I can't see how anyone with an open mind couldn't have found her appealing. And the girls were adorable.

Posted by: Big Pink | August 26, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Chris I think you and the MSM need to get outside the bubble, I agree that the 19 months of non stop coverage has caused you folk to see things that are not there.

First off Michelle was brilliant, the only mixed reviews are from those who hate them,mostly the GOP, and you folk who listen to the haters.

Kennedy had a well deserved and recieved time in the spot light, kudos to Caroline as well.

Pelosi was only second to last after Leach. I know why he was there, but it was a mistake. As for Pelosi, if she does not lose her seat to Cindy Sheehan, she should be shown the door all the same. Worse speaker of our party in my lifetime.

As for the Obama kids. They were only on for 5 minutes and I have seen many a campaign where children should be seen and not heard. Worse case was Mayor 9/11 when he was sworn in, his son made an a$$ of himself and Guiliani.

I was surprised that both the Obamas and Bidens did not do a family shot on Saturday after the address.

Posted by: Patrick NYC | August 26, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Doris,

The way you can tell the signals are arriving at the same time is that we see the persons lips moving at the same time as they speak... if he picture was moving faster, you would see the lips moving first (video), then the sound coming out later (audio).

What we are seeing is EVERYTHING about 3 seconds later than it actually happened... because it takes about 3 seconds for a digital signal to be transmitted from one place to another via satellite.

Thunder/lightning... well, that is ACTUAL sound waves and light waves (i.e. you are watching them for real, not on tv)... so yes the light is faster.

But if you filmed it and sent it via satellite... well, now we are getting complicated... ;)

Posted by: Boutan | August 26, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Kennedy's appearance last night rendered the Clinton's floundering for a legacy insignificant. The only way Hillary Clinton can score a political 'win' is to contribute as meaningfully to the legislature as Ted Kennedy has. There is no overnight success story there -- he got his foot in the door because of his name, but built his 'legacy' through decades of hard work and dedication. There is a lesson to be learned from that. No amount of self-obsession will give you a political future. If HRC is interested in making a future for herself, she should re-dedicate her efforts to making the Democratic healthcare platform a reality *in the Senate*.

If her speech tonight is more drama and posturing, I simply will turn the sound down and pay closer attention to Bob Casey, Gov. Sebelius, and Mark Warner.

Posted by: Julia Kelly | August 26, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Who invited James( swiftboater)Carville
to our convention?don't we have enought
problems,he calls himself a democratic analyis,he just another Hannmity and a
rush limpballs in tights!

Posted by: tyrone | August 26, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Doris - sound travels at @760 MPH at sea level under standard temp and pressure conditions; light travels at @186000 MP second! But the transmittal over cable is by radio waves or as electrical current, which travel, nominally, at the speed of light, if unimpeded. The signals are somewhat impeded and thus there is a time delay. But the delay is the same for the audio and the visual signal. When the lips move, the sound is heard. Both are tardy.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

This is just simply amazing and goes to show how much the media shapes public opinion.

Chris Cilliza...we know you and others have covered the long primary season for 19 months and see policy details of the presumptive nominees as nuisances, but please talk about some of the Democratic issues relevant to everday Americans that was discussed on Monday.

I switched between watching MSNBC, FOX, CNN, and C-SPAN. The best coverage to watch during the convention was C-SPAN. By watching C-SPAN you got to watch the entire speeches and discussions that took place on stage, unlike MSNBC, FOX, and CNN which was filled with political commentary (with hosts looking to out-scoop each other on potential Clinton drama) while issues like Obama's detailed positions on the economy and education were not shown Monday night.

Even though I'm a MSNBC fan, a follower of CNN, and an occassional watcher of FOX. The only thing I have left to say is "Thank Goodness for C-SPAN".

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | August 26, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"Mixed reviews?" Only if you mix in the knee-jerk attacks from opponents that would have come regardless of the content or delivery of the speech. By that standard every speech, by any speaker in either party, will draw "mixed reviews."

Chris, you're an experienced and talented political observer. Your reporting will be much better if you ignore the pre-programmed bias of both campaigns and give us your own take on the things you witness. Merely parroting lines or themes from both sides of an issue isn't objectivity; it's abdication of professional responsibility.

Posted by: FlownOver | August 26, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I loved the button. Very funny. When I first saw it I thought that the McCain camp was making the joke though.

Posted by: Mordecai | August 26, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Also outside: Denver police close down a few city blocks to detain and arrest protesters.

Footage from the window of the New York Delegation's reception:

http://swingstateofmind.com/?p=344

Posted by: Maassive | August 26, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Anon -

Pedophile priests and the church leaders who protect them are an embarrassment to the Catholic faith.

Catholics, especially church leaders, who talk about the value of life but do little to push for gun control, medical coverage for all, etc. make this Catholic shake her head in shame.

Posted by: RJ in Arlington | August 26, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@Boutan: Thanks for the note re sound and light waves.

So, the transmittal of both waves via satellite causes both waves to travel at the same speed...I know nothing of satellite technology so, if you do, please explain...

But, what about those discussions news anchors have over here with correspondents over seas? There always seems to be a lag in the audio...wouldn't that lag be attributed to the fact that the light waves are traveling faster over the link than the sound waves?

I have read that sound and light waves are released at the same time and that they travel distance at different speeds and so one experiences them differently.

For example: lightening and thunder: the closer they are to a person, the more likely one is to experience them simultaneously and that the farther you are from them, the more likely one is to experience the light waves first and then the sounds waves.


Posted by: Doris | August 26, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised you didn't think Michelle Obama was terrific, Chris. She gave a masterful speech and, you are right, the unscripted kid moment was far from smooth, but it showed the true love in that home. It spoke volumes about the kind of father he is and the kind of leader he will be.

Posted by: Chuck | August 26, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The high point was when Michelle brought out the family's Maltese puppy, "Whitey".

Oh, that didn't happen last night? And she did not mention Diane72 by nom de plume?

Maybe next time.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Curious take C.C. My wife and I actually thought that the "good night kids" bit was really hokie and threatened to overshadow what was a truly impressive performance by Michelle Obama.

Posted by: scrapster | August 26, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Kennedy like Pelosi and Biden are an embarrassment to the Catholic faith.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

the little girls seemed faked because they were being directed by their mother on what to say - it was fake and Michelle performed last night trying not to seem like the angry pushy women that she is

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

hehehe Doris... you'll find that the audio and video signals are sent simultaneously via satellite, so the speed of light v sound isn't the issue...

BUT you are right about the delay being the cause of any awkwardness. I thought it was a great moment.

Posted by: Boutan | August 26, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

SEN. TED KENNEDY
Kennedy was fabulous. He is indeed an old lion. He is one of the few politicians I respect.

In the world of realpolitik, that is, the real world of any governing body, that he has produced and sustained legislation through so many administrations is amazing.

Even through these days when the rule seems to be that one makes an enemy of the opposition rather than a friend - or at least a respected colleague.

MICHELLE OBAMA
I think that Michelle Obama's speech was a good one. It placed the family squarely in the core American value of bettering yourself (on all levels) through hard work and perseverance.

This emphasis on hard work was a good one as all we've been asked to do is spend, spend, spend during eight years of war, bread and circuses that were the Bush Administration.

I think that a lot of the stiffness between the girls and their mother while trying to talk to their father over the satellite link was the audio delay. That delay can make any interchange appear awkward. Light waves travel faster than sound waves.

Posted by: Doris | August 26, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I think what everyone is missing is that Pelosi did aquite a bit of attacking...

but she is Pelosi and unfortunately ...she really doesn't get any crowd revved. She speaks like McCain.

That is the problem...

the speakers probably looked good on paper...

but in execution (outside of Kennedy and Michelle) they didn't turn out I think the way they thought.

That is what's funny is ...Kennedy attacked...it was almost all attack but no one was listening to that because everyone was crying...

and Pelosi attacked but it was horribly delivered.

so all this "they didn't attack enough"

was because the tv's either weren't covering the attacks..(because everyone went to sleep during Pelosi's) or people were wrapped up insome other issue...

I think that republican dude...oy...somebody should ahve worried about putting him up...

but I am sure the planners were so befuddled trying to make the switches with all the bologne about whose speaking when and whose not getting enough credit.

I am sure that has a little to do with all of this rigamarole.

Posted by: dl | August 26, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I agree with your general parenting sentiments Mark. I just think in the context of the night, they were on stage for less than 5 minutes, waved, said hi to daddy, and left politely.

It is a very fine line to tread... but I think they pulled it off ok.

Posted by: Boutan | August 26, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

There was plenty, you need to watch it on c-span so you can actually hear the speeches. They go on almost non stop but most channels just sit around and listen to themselves talk instead of covering the convention.

------------
Yes, balance is key in a convention. But shouldn't there have been some trashing of McCain on opening night? Nothing horrible, but enough to make an impact with swing voters tuning in - not just the disaffected Hillary voters in Denver.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: mp | August 26, 2008 7:52 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

nbpolitico

you thought the little girls seemed "fake"

sorry but the little one came across as anything by fake...or the little note of concern you could pick up on Obama's face...

like any Dad ...who's daughter grabbed the microphone at an event this important...

I thought it was funny because you could read his face like..."oh no ...whose got the microphone"

the video might have been fake but what came out of the interaction was anything but.

and if the girls weren't there people would be saying some rumor about how badly behaved they are and how bad of parents the Obama's were.

I think they are doing exactly the right thing in the situation.

Posted by: dl | August 26, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Woah scostner... down boy (or girl)!

Mark was just posing a legitimate question. I happen to disagree with him, but dude... chill. At least it was an on-topic discussion to engage in! "stifling" the country?

Time to go grab your morning coffee and relax a bit.

Posted by: Boutan | August 26, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Boutan, your take on this is probably better than mine. I did not actually see it. I may be imagining something more than occurred.

My general sentiments about parenting remain.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | August 26, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

You people must have missed their campaigns.

--------
scostner, yes, I think the Bushes and the Clintons and the Carters were wise to hide their children from public scrutiny, display, and/or adulation. I am 65 years old, I raised four kids, and I cannot see how kids are helped by exposure to the adult limelight.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | August 26, 2008 8:41 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

You seem to have problems. You have found your way to this blog, took the time to write a post yet didn't even watch the speech. Didn't even tape it. I find that odd, or a lie.

----------
I am disadvantaged by not having seen it. The photo in the WaPo indicates that the daughters were on stage at the Convention.

I prefer the style of parenting that does not expose little children to mass adulation. They should be allowed to remain children. There could also be an issue of making them props for the night.

I suppose if it only happens on isolated occasions it will do no real harm, but I react negatively to the practice. Does anyone think I am over-reacting? Anyone agree?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | August 26, 2008 7:43 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

scostner, yes, I think the Bushes and the Clintons and the Carters were wise to hide their children from public scrutiny, display, and/or adulation. I am 65 years old, I raised four kids, and I cannot see how kids are helped by exposure to the adult limelight.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | August 26, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

CC... not sure I agree that Kennedy "overshadowed" Michelle. They were very different, but equally powerful speeches. Barack isn't the only Obama with a gift for oratory.

Mark... I thought the kids were on stage for just the right amount of time. It didn't feel exploitative.... and standing in front of a big crowd for a few minutes won't scar them. In fact, imagine the joy it will bring them in years to come to be able to show their own kids the video of them on stage with their mum at the convention, all on the path to Barack's historic election. I think they will ultimately be very grateful they were included.

From a political perspective - it was sheer magic. The icy cold hearts of Hillary supporters were melting all around the country. Most of the 12 point bounce Obama is going to get from this convention will be Hillary supporters coming home.

Posted by: Boutan | August 26, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

In Regards to a previous post: It's people like you who are stifling this country. It doesn't matter what happened during that speech- you were going to find fault. The fact they brought their kids on stage showed they were a loving family. The most beautiful thing about kids is their innocence. If they were bad kids or this was a staged interaction, you tell me what 10 and 7 year old does what they are told exactly? What teleprompter do you think they were using? According to you I guess the better example of "children should be seen and not heard" would be the Bush clan's daughters.

Posted by: scostner | August 26, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

The negative spin doctors were obviously not paying attention to Ms. Obama's speech. From the real campaign trail, the living and TV rooms around America, she was a hit. She painted the Obamas as part of the quintessential, American myth. She brought people in the hall to tears with stories about her father, struggling to pay for college and, the line of the night, her declaration of all-abiding love for this country. The cynics and soothsayers in the chattering class have to look past their desire to create dissent between the Obamas and Clintons in order to increase the number of eyeballs paying attention to their remarks. Michelle Obama would be the headline in every media outlet this morning if not for the stirring Kennedy speech.

Posted by: Steve | August 26, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Yes, balance is key in a convention. But shouldn't there have been some trashing of McCain on opening night? Nothing horrible, but enough to make an impact with swing voters tuning in - not just the disaffected Hillary voters in Denver.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: mp | August 26, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I am disadvantaged by not having seen it. The photo in the WaPo indicates that the daughters were on stage at the Convention.

I prefer the style of parenting that does not expose little children to mass adulation. They should be allowed to remain children. There could also be an issue of making them props for the night.

I suppose if it only happens on isolated occasions it will do no real harm, but I react negatively to the practice. Does anyone think I am over-reacting? Anyone agree?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | August 26, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

I've got to disagree with your take on the live-via-satellite moment. It reminded me of the Al-Tipper kiss of 2000; it seemed awkward, forced and faked.

Posted by: nbpolitico | August 26, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

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