Archive for August, 2008


Pick, parse and obfuscate

Obama no sooner left the stage than already his speech began to be torn apart and analyzed.  Butchered with the old crones looking through the entrails to divine the meaning.  It was disheartening.  It is upsetting because so many people will not have heard the speech, but will hear it broken down for them by whatever media outlet they choose.  (God help us, we have to contend with Faux News on this as well!)


So, here is a link to the speech in text form. And for my part of dissecting, I will just say that I felt he hit every point he needed to and below I have provided an outline, as I see it, to his excellent speech!


I.                  Greetings

A.                Clintons and Party Officials

B.                Family

II.               General Overview

III.            Belief in America, American dream and American people

IV.            State of the Country

A.                More joblessness

B.                House values plummet

C.                 Examples

V.               Address the opposition

A.                Respect for McCain

B.                Link policies of Bush/Cheney to McCain

C.                 Voting with Bush Administration

D.                Republican view of America

1.                 Trickle down

2.                 On your own

E.                 It has failed

VI.            Democratic Overview

A.                Importance of middle class

B.                Family history as example of American success

VII.         Outline of Vision for Country

A.                Freedom to live as we please and obligation to respect others

B.                Markets reward drive and innovation

C.                 Government should protect from harm, educate, steward

D.                Give opportunity for those willing to work

VIII.      The Platform

A.                Taxes

1.                 Doesn’t reward lobbyist

2.                 Tax breaks to companies that create jobs in US

3.                 Eliminate capital-gains tax for small businesses

4.                 Tax cuts for 95% of families

B.                Energy Policy

1.                 End dependence on Middle East oil

2.                 Drilling is only stop-gap measure

3.                 Tap natural gas reserves

4.                 Invest in clean coal technology

5.                 Find safer ways for nuclear power

6.                 Help auto companies retool

7.                 $150 billion in decade for affordable, renewable energy sources

C.                 Education

1.                 Invest in early-childhood education

2.                 New teachers

3.                 Higher salaries and support

4.                 Accountability

5.                 Serve country/community to earn for college

D.                Health Care

1.                 Lower premiums of existing plans

2.                 Coverage like congress’ available to those without

3.                 Insurance companies not discriminate against those that are sick

4.                 Paid sick days and family leave

E.                 Financial

1.                 Change bankruptcy laws to protect pensions

2.                 Protect Social Security

3.                 Equal pay

F.                 How to pay for plan

1.                 Closing corporate loopholes and tax havens

2.                 Go through budge eliminating outdated programs, efficiency

G.                Call to Action

1.                 Renewed responsibility from everyone

2.                 Each must do part for more energy efficiency

3.                 Parents to guide children

H.                Foreign Policy

1.                 Iraq

a)                  Remove troops

b)                  Iraq to use their $79 billion surplus

c)                  End war responsibly

2.                 Contrast vision with McCain

3.                 Democrats are ready to defend country

a)                  Never hesitate to defend

b)                  Only send troops with clear mission and right equipment

c)                  Benefits when they return

4.                 Other conflicts

a)                  Finish fight against al-Qaida and Taliban

b)                  Rebuild military for future conflicts

c)                  Renew tough, direct diplomacy

(1)               Prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons
(2)               Curb Russian aggression

d)                  New partnerships on:

(1)               Terrorism and nuclear proliferation
(2)               Poverty and genocide
(3)               Climate change and disease

e)                  Restore moral standing

IX.            How to approach the issues

A.                John McCain is honorable and loves this country

B.                Look forward to debate

C.                 Look to move past old politics

D.                Find agreement on tough issues

1.                 Abortion: fewer unwanted pregnancies

2.                 Gun ownership: uphold 2nd amendment and keep weapons from criminals

3.                 Same-sex Marriage: civil rights

4.                 Immigration: basic human dignity, not undercutting wages

E.                 People will doubt

1.                 It will be hard fought

2.                 Some will try to make it about small things

3.                 It has worked before

F.                 We can do this

1.                 Change comes from ground up

2.                 This is a defining moment

3.                 Things are changing even now

4.                 Young people being involved

5.                 Sacrifices people are making

G.                The American spirit

1.                 Binds us together despite our differences

2.                 The promise that if we work hard we can succeed

3.                 Martin Luther King, Jr’s I have a dream speech

a)                  Could have succumb to fear

b)                  Instead they heard together, our dreams can be one

c)                  No turning back

X.               Conclusion


the country I want to live in

Simply, that is the country I want to live in.  The one where I can make a difference.  The country where the teacher that takes my child by the hand every morning doesn’t have to work at Wal-Mart on the weekends.  The country where if my neighbor gets sick, he can afford the medical attention he needs.  And, the country where everyone is my neighbor.


Obama’s speech will be picked apart and parsed and dismissed over the next three months.  Let them try.  He inspired me.  He inspired many.  I really believe we could do this. 


The speech touched every point.  He told his story and explained why he wanted to be president.  He laid out specific plans.  He called us all to action.  For my entire life I have listed to president and president talk down to me and tell me things that I knew would never happen.  I have listened over the last 8 years and have moaned in disgust at all the lies and slights of hands. 


I have never been asked to do anything. 


I have never been reminded that the promise is ours to keep, not something that we have to wait on.


The time is here.  We can do this.  We can take back this country. 


Momentum building

Ok.  I wish I could be there.  In between helping with homework and making dinner I am clapping and yelling.  My family thinks I’ve lost my mind. 


The roll call was a good idea and I admire Hillary for the roll she played.  It gave everyone a chance to clear the air.  It won’t change everyone’s mind – as noted by the quick “all those not in favor say nay” followed very quickly by “the ayes have it!”  Still, I think it was a good gesture.


Bill Clinton did exactly what needed to be done – just as Hillary did last night.  He said repeatedly that Barack was ready to lead.  Glad he cleared that up so maybe it his vague answer a few months ago won’t end up on a McCain ad. 


Watching John Kerry I yelled “Jesus, why didn’t we elect him 4 years ago?”    Barack might not have had his chance this year if we had, but the country wouldn’t have been in the situation either.  His speech was great.  Nice touch of poking fun at himself using the “he was before it before he was against it” line in reference to McCain’s changes of position.


Biden has a great back story and great family.  His son going to Iraq is honorable.  When was the last time we had a president or vice president with a child serving in the military – in combat? 


It was just a big ‘ole love fest at the end.  More hugs and kisses than has ever been seen in the Pepsi Center surely. 


On a final note, the music has been fun and nicely chosen.  But, I rolled on the floor when after Clinton gave his speech tonight the filler music was “Addicted to Love”.  Priceless.



She did exactly what she needed to do.  I hope.  Her speech was great.  She minced no words in telling her supporters it was time to support Barack.  Now, we wait to be sure that it worked.  I contend that much of the “division” was hyped by the media.  Now, they will hopefully have the story line that Hillary brought the party together.  If she did, if she does, she can be next Ted Kennedy – the lioness of the Senate.


Oogie Oogie Oogie

Just watching the live stream from CSPAN.  I don’t remember seeing any convention be such a party, but maybe I just watched the speeches in the past.  Can’t wait to compare it to next week’s convention.  I just can’t imagine that the Republicans will have as good of band or that they will be playing Taste of Honey’s “Boogie Oogie Oogie”.  If they do, can you imagine seeing thousands of people dancing in the isle’s of arena decked out in giant, floppy hats in stars and stripes as they wait to nominate McCain?  Seriously, me either!  Get down! 


point system


Some good points are made by David Brooks.  He is the conservative at the NY Times and so is actually more diplomatic than some of the editorial staff who seem to still be miffed they back the losing horse in the race.  One point of disagreement with Brooks is with the line “I’ll write a demerit every time I hear the rich played off against the poor, undercutting Obama’s One America dream.”  I think it is important to point out that the divide between rich and poor is growing and that the middle class is shrinking.  It is important to keep in mind for there to be a “One America Dream” everyone has to get a fair shot – squeezing the middle and the poor and giving tax credits to the top doesn’t allow that to happen.


What makes Obama special is the ability to transcend all the divisions.  Perhaps when you say it like that it sounds a little esoteric or like he is the second coming.  It sounds a little idealistic.  Maybe that is why all those with good intentions, all those who fear losing yet again, and all those who understand the stakes worry.  They worry that it won’t work.  They worry that it is too easy to point out all the flaws in the candidate they have backed.  They go back to what they have done before, even though their last attempts have been thwarted with vicious attacks and blatant lies.  But, it seems to be just like I tell my 10-year-old, reach a little higher, reach for what is better.  Maybe it is a little idealistic to believe the populace can see through all the clutter and smears and shades of truth.  But, if we do not aim for that idealistic goal, how do we achieve anything greater than the lowest common denominator?  If no one challenges us all to be better, to step up, to act – we simply won’t.  That is what will lose us this election.  We need to see the side of Obama that has inspired us to this point front and center .  The president in this country does not dictate the laws or sit as judge – the president leads.  Obama has the potential to lead us all to something a little higher, a little better.



She rocked the house.  You might not like Barack.  You might think it should be Hillary there.  You might think McCain is the right guy.  But, I just don’t see how anyone could say Michelle didn’t do just about a perfect job tonight.  I really don’t see how you couldn’t like her. 


Regardless of whether it is the best way to choose a candidate, so much of what we vote on is the back story of a candidate.  It is easy to assume that their personal history will inform their policy and it is easy to grasp that a 10 point plan on health care.  So, presenting that back story is crucial.  Obama has told his story a lot – he has two books out and has been on the trail for 19 months.  Yet, we being able to see his story through the story of Michelle added a deeper texture.  Michelle has a wonderful story to tell.  She has worked hard, achieved and given back.  Her parents worked hard and instilled values into her.  This story is nothing new.  A lot of people live it every day.  That is why it works.  That is why it is important.  And, it seems real.  After 8 years of a president pretending to be Roy Rogers – or would he more like the Lone Ranger? – it is refreshing to see people who look real.  Of course there is stage craft and careful planning, but the story remains authentic.


I admit that I am a fan-girl and as always note my bias.  There will be those that still question Michelle over the “first time” being proud of her country remark.  I am sure that her strong line about loving this country will be questioned by those who still tout that remark as her lack of patriotism.  There will be those that will always find something wrong – my favorite call from a CSPAN listener just called her irresponsible because she left the high paying law firm when she still had student loans – thus Barack wouldn’t be a good president.  Some people will never get it.


Most of us will.  I believe that.


Most of the Clinton supporters will get it, too.  We probably won’t hear from them, though.  We will hear from those who can’t move on.  That is the story line the networks have to work from and they will keep it up.  They are looking for conflict and division.  There is no motive other than it sells.  Yet, they will not be a huge factor. 


If the other keynote addresses can live up to Michelle’s, I think Obama will leave Denver with a huge bump.