Posted tagged ‘Democratic National Convention’

Bill Clinton’s Excellent Elevator Adventure

August 28, 2008

I’ll agree with Roger Friedman of Fox News that this is straight out of Spinal Tap. After his speech at the Democratic National Convention last night, former President Clinton once again found himself in a “sticky” situation, and no, Monica Lewinsky was not involved. As soon as I can find the footage, I’ll make sure to post the video.

From the article:

In a scene right out of the great rock star movie, “Spinal Tap,” Clinton found himself in a jam. He’d returned to his luxury box, which was conveniently located next to the FOX broadcast booth. He sat through Joe Biden’s speech with Hillary and Chelsea. But when Biden was done, and Obama made his appearance, Clinton left his suite.

That’s when the trouble started. By then, the hallway outside his suite was filled with well-wishers. They applauded the ex-pres as he emerged, and many pictures were taken.

Then the Secret Service moved Clinton across the hall and though a pair of black doors marked “Catering.” They were in fact the way to a private elevator. The doors closed behind Clinton and his detail, and people started to move along.

But then it was obvious something was wrong. The Secret Service opened one of the black doors, and there was a lot of activity. It turned out that the president had gotten in an elevator and immediately got stuck. The doors wouldn’t open again. Meanwhile, the dense crowd of delegates and other onlookers pulled out cameras. One man managed to get some part of the whole episode on his professional video camera. Expect to see that soon on YouTube or TMZ.

Eventually, as in a couple of minutes, President Clinton was extruded from the failed elevator and sent down in a working one on the companion line. Secret Service agents suddenly blew out of the “catering” doors and ran through the hallway past us to meet him on the first floor.


Barack Obama Formally Becomes Democratic Party Nominee

August 28, 2008

From the New York Times:

Senator Barack Obama, the Hawaiian-born son of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, officially become the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party on Wednesday, capping a meteoric rise from a little-known first-term Senator to the first African-American to win a major party nomination.

Mr. Obama’s formal nomination was secured at 6:48p.m. local time on the third day of the Democratic National Convention here, as his primary season rival, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, moved that Mr. Obama be nominated by acclamation.

Still, the formal nomination of Mr. Obama will not completely end the drama that has driven the Obama and Clinton camps and provided a consuming story line of this convention. At 7 p.m. local time, former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to address the convention, whose theme for Wednesday is foreign policy and a tribute to the military, giving the Clintons two nights of prominence at this high-profile event.

A draft of Mr. Clinton’s speech will be sent to the Obama campaign Wednesday afternoon, a Clinton aide said. Mr. Obama has said in recent days that the former president free to talk about whatever subject he chooses, though he has been granted only 10 minutes of podium time (though that might change). Mr. Clinton’s aides said he intends to deliver an impassioned plea for Democratic unity and an end to what he will characterize as the fiscal and foreign policy disasters of the Bush administration.

Earlier today, New York Senator Hillary Clinton released her delegates, allowing those who had been pledged to her to vote for whomever they choose in a roll call vote later today.

From CNN:

Clinton engaged in a bitter primary battle with Barack Obama until the last contest in June before conceding. On Tuesday night, she delivered the headline address to the party’s convention in Denver, which was intended to heal any rift that the contentious campaign had caused.

Clinton told the delegation that she had waited to address them in one place so she could address them all before releasing them.

“It is traditional that we have nominations, that we have a roll call, that we have candidates who look for ways to make sure we come out of here ready to win in November,” she said. “As part of that tradition, I am here today to release you as my delegates.”

Controversy has surrounded the role of Clinton’s nearly 1,700 pledged delegates. Last month, she said allowing them to cast a vote for her in a roll call at the convention could provide a “catharsis.”

Clinton said Wednesday she signed her ballot for Obama.

Tonight will be a historic night in our country and it will be interesting to see if the Democrats can now band together to defeat John McCain in the November election. Polls currently show the race in a dead heat and I’m sure that it will remain tight until Election Day. Thoughts?

Hillary Clinton’s Speech Earns Wide Praise Across the Country

August 27, 2008

US News & World Report has an great summary of the reviews of Hillary Clinton’s speech last night at the Democratic National Convention. I was not able to watch her speech live but was able to catch a replay on CNN late last night.

From the article:

Hillary Clinton last night addressed the Democratic delegates gathered in Denver, and urged them to back her former rival Barack Obama. The speech, and Clinton’s delivery of it, are receiving extremely positive reviews in today’s newspapers. On its front page, the Los Angeles Times reports Clinton accepted “defeat with grace and generosity,” and “moved to close the divide among fellow Democrats on Tuesday night by offering a forceful and unequivocal endorsement of her fierce rival.” The New York Times reports Clinton “deferred her own dreams on Tuesday night and delivered an emphatic plea at the Democratic National Convention to unite behind her rival, Senator Barack Obama, no matter what ill will lingers.” The New York senator “betrayed none of the anger and disappointment that she still feels and that, friends say, has especially haunted her husband.” The Washington Times refers to a “rousing speech” that laid “rest to a bitter primary battle that left many of her supporters — especially women — seething months later.” The APWashington Post reports Clinton said, “You haven’t worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership. No way. No how. No McCain. Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our president.” reports “the speech was as much of an attack “on Sen. John McCain “as it was an embrace of Obama.”

The Rocky Mountain News says Clinton “did her best to put the hard feelings to rest.”

On ABC World News, which aired prior to the speech, ABC’s chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos contended that Sen. Clinton “genuinely believes that if John McCain wins it will be bad for the country. She knows that. She wants Barack Obama to win, whatever disappointment she feels. Whatever anger she feels about Barack Obama. And that’s real, too.”

Nature Of Roll Call Vote Still Undetermined Despite the effort to forge unity, a number of issues still remain to be resolved. USA Today notes that while Clinton “urged her supporters to fall in line behind the presumptive Democratic nominee,” her backers “and Obama’s are still negotiating the fine details of Wednesday night’s roll call vote for nominating the Democratic presidential candidate.” The AP notes Clinton “did not indicate whether she would have her name placed in nomination or seek a formal roll call of the states when the party’s top prize is awarded by delegates on Wednesday night.”

The Democratic Party appears to be a little concerned over recent polls showing John McCain catching, and passing Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Fox News reported, “If Barack Obama gets the traditional post-convention bounce in the polls it can’t come soon enough.” Obama “has led John McCain in the head to head surveys most of the summer but things at the moment appear to be changing.” The Gallup daily presidential tracking poll shows McCain creeping ahead of Obama 46%-44%. The race had been tied at 45% for the previous two days. The poll surveyed 2,684 registered voters from August 23-25. The Rasmussen Reports automated daily presidential tracking poll of 3,000 likely voters for August 26 shows Barack Obama and John McCain tied at 44%, and at 46%-46% including leaners. The New York Post reports that Obama “got exactly zero bounce” from his selection of Sen. Joe Biden.

The Washington Post reports on its front page that “top elected officials continued to raise questions about Obama’s campaign strategy and worried aloud that he must do more to overcome the doubts voters in their states have about his readiness to be president.” The Post adds that Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell “said that Obama is still struggling to connect with working-class voters and that the presumptive nominee reminded him of Adlai Stevenson, the brainy Illinoisan who lost the presidential campaigns of 1952 and 1956.” Sen. Chuck Schumer “said Obama’s campaign must demonstrate its willingness to engage against a Republican Party that he said is well skilled in political combat.” Both were prominent supporters of Clinton in the primary.

With only 10 weeks to go, this race is going to come down to the wire. I’m very interested in listening to Barack Obama’s acceptance speech on Thursday. Thoughts?

Blog Shack, Baby Blog Shack!

August 26, 2008

It’s known as the Blog Shack at the Democratic National Convention. We are told to think of it as Animal House, but with a corporate sponsor. The free beer starts at 1 p.m. and the couches are comfy and ready for social media to report on the event. Sounds like a lot of fun to me! Unfortunately, I was not invited. Oh well, maybe in 2012!


Some 500 bloggers from Berkeley’s Daily Kos to Susan “the Neon Nurse” from Lamar, Colo. (pop. 9,062), are crammed into what, it turns out, is a not-quite-big-enough tent to meet the crush of bloggers descending on Denver this week.

The two-story, 8,000-square-foot tent, a few blocks from the convention center where traditional media types are holed up, is advertised as new media central for the convention.

With sponsors including Google, YouTube and Digg, the Big Tent also underscores how the blogging community is going mainstream.

“It’s old media meets new media. It’s new media meets new media. I’m just here to meet somebody,” laughed Matt Cooper, the former Time Magazine investigative reporter who blogs and writes for Portfolio, a national business magazine.

“I just wonder if bloggers can have as much impact when they are in the same place as the big dogs,” he added, referring to bloggers joining mainstream media to cover a political convention.

The Democratic National Convention has credentialed more than 120 blogs, but only a fraction of those who wanted in. The privately funded tent is meant to handle the overflow. Just because they can’t get onto the floor hasn’t stopped them from writing about everything from the 1,200 parties and the side political meetings to opining about, well, everything.

Apple, Yahoo and Microsoft also are in Denver. But marketing-minded Google is making the biggest splash at both this week’s Democratic convention and next week’s meeting of Republicans in St. Paul. Google has teams of people encouraging delegates and bloggers to use an array of Google-owned technologies offered by YouTube, and Picasa, a photo service. Yahoo is hosting public policy forums with Democratic party leaders.

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, is blogging from the Big Tent, too.

“I’ve been a couch potato, but this election is just too darned important,” Newmark said. “But this is how the media is changing. It gives guys like me a place and an opportunity to raise our voices.”

Ted Kennedy’s Speech Electrifies Democrats

August 26, 2008

Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, last night should have been inspirational to you as Edward Kennedy addressed the Democratic National Convention.

Kennedy arrived in Denver on Sunday night and was examined by doctors in the city. His personal doctors were said to be concerned about exposing him to crowds because of his weakened immune system. Kennedy recently had brain surgery on June 2 and has remained mostly out of the public eye while undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Yoon S. Byun/ Boston Globe

Credit: Yoon S. Byun/ Boston Globe

From the Los Angeles Times:

“My fellow Democrats, my fellow Americans, it is so wonderful to be here,” said Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who is battling a brain tumor.

“And nothing,” he added, was “going to keep me away from this special gathering.”

The 76-year-old senator’s four-decade-plus political career was honored with a Ken Burns documentary on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention. But to the delight of many, Kennedy then addressed the gathering — his voice strong and full of conviction.

“This November, the torch will be passed to a new generation of Americans,” Kennedy said, alluding to the political dynasty that began with President Kennedy, his brother.

Despite his battle with cancer, Kennedy promised to be on the Senate floor come January. And with Barack Obama as president, he said, the country too will rise to meet the challenges it faces.

“Yes we can, yes we will,” Kennedy said, invoking a phrase often heard on the Obama campaign trail.

Michelle Obama Addresses Democratic National Convention

August 26, 2008

“I love this country” said Michelle Obama on Monday night as she sought to reassure the nation that she and her husband and Presidential candidate Barack Obama, share Americans’  values and belief in a dream of a better future.

From the Associated Press:

In the first major address at the Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama described herself as a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother, no different from many women. She told a boisterous crowd waving signs reading “Michelle” that she and her husband feel an obligation to “fight for the world as it should be” to ensure the promise of a better life for their daughters and all children.

Michelle Obama talked about tucking in her daughters Malia and Sasha at night.

“I think about how one day, they’ll have families of their own. And one day, they — and your sons and daughters — will tell their own children about what we did together in this election. They’ll tell them how this time, we listened to our hopes, instead of our fears. How this time, we decided to stop doubting and to start dreaming,” she said.

Michelle Obama’s mission was to humanize her husband and persuade skeptical voters to look past his unusual name and exotic background to envision him as the next president. Barack Obama has repeatedly faced questions about whether he’s a real American.

She also used the address to dismiss questions about her patriotism. Republicans have criticized her comments earlier this year that she was “really proud” of her country for the first time. Her answer at the convention was to express her love of country.

Michelle Obama drew enthusiastic cheers by praising Hillary Rodham Clinton for putting “those 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” — a reference to the failed Democratic candidate’s vote total in the primaries. The crowd also roared.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton Working on a Roll Call Deal For Democratic National Convention

August 26, 2008

As the Democratic National Convention is set to begin, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are once again working together to bring unity to an uneasy relationship.

From the Associated Press:

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama worked out a convention city deal to give her some votes in the Democratic roll call for president, a step toward an uneasy alliance of former rivals and their still-bitter supporters.

Many Clinton backers said Monday they were not interested in compromise and wanted a prime-time celebration of Clinton’s nomination. Clinton herself said she wouldn’t tell her backers how to vote.

Still, she told supporters she would cast her own vote for Obama and said, “We were not all on the same side as Democrats, but we are now.”

Democratic officials involved in the negotiations said Monday the plan calls for a state-by-state vote for the presidential nomination Wednesday night, with delegates casting their ballots for Clinton or Obama.

But the voting would be cut off after several states, the officials said, perhaps ending with New York, when Clinton herself would call for unanimous nomination of Obama by acclamation from the convention floor. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity while the deal was being finalized.

Obama won 365 more delegates than Clinton in a long and heavily contested primary. Clinton ended her campaign quite some time ago and urged her supporters to back Obama, but many have not accepted the defeat. If the Democrats do not come together soon, I think we’ll be heading towards a John McCain presidency. Not sure how I feel about that but I can safely say that we are looking at a very interesting next ten weeks leading up to the general election in November. Thoughts?