Saturday, August 30, 2008

This week in politics

I’d barely formulated opinions about all the big Democrats’ speeches from Denver this week – my take: Clintons effective; Obamas disappointing – when I heard someone on the car radio Friday morning saying something that didn’t quite make sense. She was praising and thanking Hillary Clinton, and then speculating about how cool it would be this fall if “we” could break through those 18 million glass-ceiling cracks. Huh?

Who was this anyway? By the time I figured out that “we” meant she, it was clear too that the speaker was Sarah Palin, John McCain’s surprise pick as his Republican running mate. Brilliant, I thought! Or maybe stupid! I keep changing my mind.

For most of the week, my reactions to all the political news have been pundit-free. Which has been great. Michelle and I Tivo’d and watched the big speeches together after she got home from work, fast-forwarding through the glib insincerity of Brian Williams, the Botoxed filler of Andrea Mitchell and the inane spatting of Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann. CNN and PBS were slightly less annoying. We didn’t even try pathetic Fox or the over-matched ABC and CBS.

The big revelation for me, though, came on Wednesday. Somehow the Tivo had stopped recording Tuesday night before Hillary’s speech was over, so I went online to watch the conclusion. I found it thanks to a link to Huffington Post from Michelle’s Google Reader. That and Kaye’s excellent posts on the Nitenote, I thought, were just about all I needed to take in the news and color of the convention and form my own opinions.

M&M, HuffPo and Nitenote: Call it NNN, the Nitenote News Network.

I loved Kaye’s reports on being interviewed on the street by high school students – “Stay smart,” she advised them – and on Bill Clinton’s speech – “That’s right, Mr. President, go on” – but my favorite was her gut-wrenching yet funny admission of mistaking Willie Brown on the street for Jim Clyburn.

Argh, NNN’s very own MBP.

I can’t say I agree with Kaye’s high opinion of Barack Obama’s Thursday night speech, though. She was so smitten she couldn’t get out much more than a headline, “Wowbama!” I know a lot of people agree with that assessment. Even the conservative commentator Pat Buchanan called it the greatest convention speech he’d ever heard. I don’t think so.

What did you think? I’d love to see speech reviews or overall convention impressions here from the M&M faithful.

If you missed the speeches somehow, here they are.

Obama accepts nomination:

Bill Clinton:

Hillary Clinton:

Michelle Obama:

Joe Biden:

(Top photo credit: Flickr user rklau under Creative Commons Attribution license)


kateco said...

if I ever get home and get a night's sleep, I'll expand on my wowbama -- but i can say, it is hard to explain the momentum that speech had in Denver ... It was like the moon walk ... Everyone was going to the stadium or to the set where'd they would be watching ... And too I watched the whole show from the gavel at 3pm ... Straight feeds, no heads. Anyway, when I wake up sometime in the middle of next week -- I'll look at it again and say more.

On another note -- and I mean it -- the prospect of Palin as veep scares me to distraction.

Glad you liked the goofy coverage of my goofy adventure in conventionland. I have a little more for a wrap, but I just got to get my ass home.

kateco said...

my real untold story of the convention is the iPhone and how it touched every part of the trip -- from getting in line for the Big Ticket I never got, to the hotel reservations, to being a hangover nitelight, to on-the-street blogging complete with pix, to finding everything all over the place, to war-driving by a hotel just outside Bryce Canyon, to typing this comment right now -- so after I wake up in the middle of next week and finish the convention wrap and review The Big Speech, I'll have to write that iPhone review I promised you last week... For the NNN tech desk

freda said...

I heard all of the speeches on the radio while driving Andrew to and from Kinder Care. I loved all of them. Then I saw on Yahoo that McCain had chosen a women as running mate, and my initial reaction was, well, that was smart of him. Then I checked her out, because I had never heard of her. OMG. She is a total nut job. Ban all abortions? teach creationism? no experience, holier than thou, one step from the presidency? I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

So Markie Mark -- por que you no like Obamma's speech?

Really!? How are you going to make a statement like that and not support it? "I just didn't like it. That's all..."

I would like to know what you saw that you didn't like. Can you extrapolate, por favor? If I should be worried, I want to know!


Ronelle said...

Hi M&M,
I have been much too busy doing anything I want whenever I want to do it and I have shirked my posting duties. I have been lurking though.
I watched all of the speeches as well and will share my VERY uneducated impresions. First, I ABSOLUTELY agree with the pundit free approsch and attempted to experience the convention that way as best I could. I absolutely agree with Mark that the Clintons were both extremely effective. I like Joe Biden from my Delaware years -but he has a habit of saying stupid things...can he resist for three months? I liked Michelle Obama's speech until she started to tell me why she LOVES America...TOO OBVIOUS an attempt to recover from her past debacle.Obamba's speech was eloguent and well delivered as always. I thought the venue was interesting -the sea of people was very impressive -but the result was less of a feel for the crowd reaction on tv. I like what Obama says...but can he deliver???? I am far from convinced.
As far as the Republicans...I think they have been helped by Gustav. They are much better off if Bush and Cheney are no shows.

p.s. Freda, I feel I know you from the your posts and I will be praying for New Orleans during the storm. Stay Safe!

jimrainey said...

I think the most underrated moment of the week was when Beau Biden--survivor of the childhood car crash that killed his mom and sister and soon to head off to Iraq with the military--introduced his dad on Wednesday night. All American stuff and real emotion. Hard for the enemy to trash.

freda said...

thanks Ronelle. I have been watching developments on the computer, thanks to Michelle's sites, and it seems Kenner, where I now live dodged the bullet, except there is no power, and I will have to wait to find out if any trees hit my house. My friends did OK, except for one who had to sleep in her car in Memphis.

freda said...

hey Renee, first time I have seen you comment on here.

Janice said...

I wasn't that thrilled with Obama's speech either. It did everything it needed to do but wasn't the great oration that he is capable of. Hillary was great.

Rita said...

Thanks for the re-runs, Mark. Caught me up on the bit that I missed.

To me, as speeches go, Bill Clinton always scores. His Restore the American Dream and Restore American Leadership in the World theme, said it all. His support of O'Bamma hit on all the right reasons.

If anyone is his match, it's Hillary! Her speech was great.

O'Bamma hopes to do all the right things and I think will try harder than anyone, if given the chance.

Otherwise - pretty typical con ention.