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Yesterday got off to a bad start, with BernieorBusters booing every speaker when they dared to mention Hillary Clinton’s name and even booing a prayer. During the 5 o’clock hour, I was convinced there was going to be fist fights in the stands when they booed Michelle Obama and that Trump was destined to be President. But it seems the BernieorBusters just had to throw their little temper tantrum like the children (literally) they are. After their steam was released, the convention calmed down and it was an amazing evening with three amazing speeches by Sarah Silverman, Cory Booker and Michelle Obama.
Booker’s speech will be remembered akin to Obama’s 2004 speech. Michelle Obama’s speech will be copied by a Republican in 2024, and remembered along the greatest in American history. Sarah Silverman really gave a unity speech that was better than Warren and Bernie’s, and put the less civil BernieorBusters in their place in a classic moment that will be remembered for all time. And Bernie Sanders gave a speech, like his endorsement speech weeks ago, that was better than I could have asked for.
So, the night was more than salvaged as a show of unity.
The headlining speakers speak during the 10 pm hour. That’s 6 hours a day of speaking time left, some of which will be taken up by adopting the Platform and the Rules (on Monday) and going through the roll call starting on Tuesday where we tally up the delegate votes between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I wonder if Bernie will pull a Hillary here and move to accept Hillary’s nomination by acclamation, which is what Hillary did half way through the roll call in 2008. Bernie has been very restrained during this past weekend, and I actually appreciate that. He has not gone nuts over the DNC emails, except to rightly say he was right and to say that he has been calling for DWS to resign for months. That’s all fair. And while he delivered some mild criticism of Tim Kaine, he was still a happy warrior about the need to elect Hillary Clinton.
In other words, Bernie realizes he has won a lot. He won the platform. He won a Primary Process Unity Commission that will look at reforms for 2020 and he won an immediate reform of the Super Delegates, tying most of them to the vote in their states, and he finally got DWS fired. I think we will see a great speech from Bernie tonight.
Politico has a must read it all story about the Clinton VP process. It has interesting nuggets about how Castro dropped out of favor because he was openly and privately campaigning for the job, about how Ed Rendell pushed Vilsack (God, how that guy’s political instincts have fallen apart) and how James Carville was pushing Elizabeth Warren (which garners him more respect from me), and about how Hillary sat each candidate down (Warren, Perez, Vilsack, Kaine and Castro), sang their praises and then asked “why do you want the job?” Like a normal job interview. Also, how Kaine called Bernie Sanders last night after the call from Hillary. Read the whole thing.
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DR Tucker at the Washington Monthly on Kaine:
While I anticipated that [...] Hillary Clinton would select a running mate more admired by the progressive wing of the party, I have no grievance with her selection of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her partner.
Yes, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth in some quarters because Caine is viewed as the ultimate centrist. [But] as Evan Popp notes, Kaine’s record is not nearly as offensive to progressives as is commonly assumed.
Andrew Sullivan, like myself, read Trump’s draft speech around dinner time, after it was leaked by a Republican to Hillary’s campaign (which by itself should strike panic into the hearts of the Trump campaign). Here is his take before seeing it:
It’s a remarkable piece of oratory, cannily crafted, framed by massive lies and distortions, crammed with incoherence, and yet, I’m afraid to say, scarily potent. It invents a reality – that the U.S. is in a state of chaos, lawlessness and soaring crime; that the world is careening toward catastrophe – and then makes a classic argument for a strongman to set things straight.
This is a very new departure for politics in a liberal democracy. We’ve never heard an appeal from a major party platform to junk traditional democratic norms, and cede power to a new tyrant, whose magical powers will somehow cause almost every problem in the country to disappear. In this election, the very basis of liberal democracy is on the ballot. The fears I expressed last May about the popularity of tyranny in a late-democracy have, I’m afraid, only been fanned by events since.
The speech is entirely about fear, to be somehow vanquished by a single man’s will to power. Its core message is what America was founded to resist. Its success would be an abolition of the core promise of this country for two centuries – that self-government is incompatible with the rule by the whims and prejudices and impulses of a man on a white horse.
It can happen here. It is happening here. No election has been more important in my lifetime.
His reaction after delivery:
I have to say I’m relieved. This was a terrible presentation of what read like a powerful speech. It seems screechy, unmodulated, and yet also plodding. Mussolini never had a Teleprompter.
I agree completely. During the hours between reading it and 10:30, I drank. Heavily. It read like a fascist masterpiece determined to take what existing fear there is and stoke it so as to change America beyond any democratic (small d) recognition.
But it was delivered like a 75 minute primal scream. If one piece of shit complains about Hillary’s voice ever again, I will punch them directly in the face, and then continue the pummeling on the ground.
However, it was still a dark, dystopian, fascist speech. It will do more to unify those who believe in liberalism or progressivism than anything Clinton, Sanders or Obama could do alone.
I have just learned that the Delaware State Education Association, a union representing approximately 12,000 hard working classroom teachers, specialists, and education support professionals working in Delaware public schools, will be endorsing State Senator Bryan Townsend in the Democratic Primary for our lone congressional seat. Townsend is running against former Markell and Carper advisor and 2014 Treasurer candidate Sean Barney and former state Labor Secretary Lisa Blunt Rochester.
The release is inside.
From Talking Points Memo:
Donald Trump’s campaign team is reportedly checking and rechecking the speech he will give Thursday at the Republican National Convention to make sure it isn’t plagiarized, The New York Times reported. [...] Trump’s chief speechwriter, Stephen Miller, told others on the campaign that the speech was original, two anonymous campaign staffers told the Times. Miller declined an interview with the Times. Despite this, at least one staffer reportedly downloaded plagiarism software to screen the text. The search came up empty, according to the Times.
Original, as in either written by Trump himself or Miller. So why would then have to scrub the speech for plagiarism, unless Trump wrote a lot of it, just as, I am convinced, he wrote Melania’s speech. Yeah, I doubt Meredith McIver is either a real person or, if actually a human, responsible for the plagiarism in Melania’s speech.
I’d never thought I would be … proud… of Ted Cruz. He one upped Trump in dominance politics last night, refusing to endorse in a prime time speech and telling conservatives to vote their conscience instead of voting for Trump, ruining the night for VP nominee Mike Pence and Trump’s other son, Eric. He cast himself as the leader of the true conservative resistance while other Republican leaders, save John Kasich, cowered like cowards before the Fascist. He is now a leading contender for 2020, and will be able to say he was right.
No idea if this is true, but story is Melania rejected all drafts, wrote most of speech herself using the Internet. Actually seems plausible
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) July 19, 2016
Reports are, from NBC, that two Republican contract speechwriters drafted a speech, and gave it to Melania and the campaign, and the speech she ended up delivering bared no resemblance to that speech. Paul Manafort continues to insist, as does Melania, that it was Melania that wrote the speech. If that is really true, it means two things: 1) the Trump campaign is more amateurish and incompetent than we could ever possibly imagine, and 2) Melania Trump is a liar and a plagiarist. Perhaps we should jail her immediately for theft, since that seems to be the Republican answer for everything these days.
So that's pretty blatant, right? pic.twitter.com/EPnHME7afV
— Mike Hearn (@mikehearn) July 19, 2016
I am away from my computer on business today, so this is all the open thread you are going to get unless Cassandra and others want to add to it, or you can add stuff yourself in the comments.
But, my God, that first night. Either a speech sounded better in its original German, or it sounded better when Michelle Obama first delivered it. Jail Melania Trump for theft!
If you are candidate for office or an office holder in the 21st Century, you need to be present on the internet. You need to be present on social media. And you need to be active on these sites. If you are not, it is as if you do not exist. You could have 100 district offices and it would not make up for your lack of presence in the social media world.
Come inside to see which candidates fail and which ones excel in this very basic form of constituent or voter outreach.
During their disaster of an interview on 60 Minutes last night that made Sarah Palin’s appearance on the same program 8 years ago look thespian, Trump gave Leslie Stahl this shocking response when she asked him about his running mate Mike Pence’s vote to give Bush the authority to invade Iraq. I honestly think Trump didn’t know Pence voted for the war.
Lesley Stahl: But we did go to war, if you remember. We went to Iraq.
Donald Trump: Yeah, you went to Iraq, but that was handled so badly. And that was a war– by the way, that was a war that we shouldn’t have entered because Iraq did not knock down–excuse me
Lesley Stahl: Your running mate–
Donald Trump: Iraq did not–
Lesley Stahl: –voted for it.
Donald Trump: I don’t care.
Lesley Stahl: What do you mean you don’t care that he voted for?
Donald Trump: It’s a long time ago. And he voted that way and they were also misled. A lot of information was given to people.
Lesley Stahl: But you’ve harped on this.
Donald Trump: But I was against the war in Iraq from the beginning.
Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but you’ve used that vote of Hillary’s that was the same as Governor Pence as the example of her bad judgment.
Donald Trump: Many people have, and frankly, I’m one of the few that was right on Iraq.
Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but what about he–
Donald Trump: He’s entitled to make a mistake every once in a while.
Lesley Stahl: But she’s not? OK, come on–
Donald Trump: But she’s not–
Lesley Stahl: She’s not?
Donald Trump: No. She’s not.
IOKIYAR in real time. Or a double standard being applied to a woman in real time. Or just plain hypocrisy. Take your pick.