DNC on 9/4/12

My thoughts on the DNC tonight:

Julian Castro
A public school teacher??? That is awesome…
DNC has better music J… but does this matter?

Castro’s speech begins a little like a highschool graduation speech.

“My family’s story isn’t special. What’s special is the America that makes our story possible. Ours is nation like no other… the chance for your children to do better than you did…” – As I said with the RNC, I do not like this American exceptionalism and I do not like the promise of “more” for the future generations.

The difference between the RNC and Castro’s speech here is that the RNC’s focus was privately directed, talking about people pulling their selves up by their bootstraps and making something out of their selves. Castro’s emphasis seems to be bit broader (but only a bit), about the people as a whole and not just individuals succeeding. Castro emphasized building bridges and fighting for rights. Of the two “this is what makes America great” speeches, I prefer Castro’s because it is more focused on “us” making it together instead of “me” making it.

“The dream of raising a family in a place where hard work is rewarded is not unique to Americans. It is a human dream… the dream is universal but American makes it possible… Now, in Texas, we believe in the rugged individual. Texas may be the one place where people actually still have bootstraps, and we expect folks to pull themselves up by them. But we also recognize there are some things we can't do alone.

This is a LOT better, in my book. There is a recognition that “we have to come together” and that meritocracy cannot win the day. I still disagree with much of it on the grounds listed above, but I appreciate Castro’s sentiment about this being a human dream not unique to Americans and that there are things “rugged individualism” just can’t solve.

Castro talking about education. As with Jeb Bush, I love it.

Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn't get it. A few months ago he visited a university in Ohio and gave the students there a little entrepreneurial advice. ‘Start a business,’ he said. But how? ‘Borrow money if you have to from your parents,’ he told them. Gee, why didn't I think of that? Some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents, but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams. I don't think Governor Romney meant any harm. I think he's a good guy. He just has no idea how good he's had it.”

Romney dropped the ball on this one. He deserves to get hammered.

Good end of the speech. A great theme: invest in equal opportunity and reap the benefits tomorrow. I can’t say I don’t disagree. This was most clearly demonstrated to me by Castro’s anecdote about sending his own daughter to the type of pre-k’s he wants all children to be able to attend.

Gov. Deval Patrick (Current Governor of Massachusetts)
If you missed his speech, it was worth seeing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVxRmNO6Qs0

Michelle Obama - FLOTUS
The women rocked it at the RNC… I am wondering how FLOTUS will do. She is usually a fantastic speaker as she is very smart.

The beginning of her speech seems overly sentimental. The stories about their early life are amazing, but seem disconnected.

“You see, for my dad, that's what it meant to be a man.” – why not parent? I think gender roles when it comes to parenting and providing for a family are unnecessary distinctions.

We learned about dignity and decency – that how hard you work matters more than how much you make, that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself. We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters…”

I think my views can be summed up in this statement “that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself.” If that isn’t Christ then I don’t know what is. I don’t know if she means it, but I do.

Also, “truth matters” got a really big reaction from the crowd. I think it was a subtle dig at Paul Ryan. If you don’t know about the 3-5 big lies he has been caught in lately, not just half-truths, but flat out lies, then you should do some homework. They are atrocious and should cause one to think.

So in the end, for Barack, these issues aren't political – they're personal. Because Barack knows what it means when a family struggles. He knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grandkids. Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it...”

The personal story of the Obama’s going to school on financial aid and having a ton of debt… I will be honest, I identify with that. Whatever that means, I really do get the sense that Obama knows what it means to fight his way to go to college with not much, if any, help from his family, thankful for government grants and loans.

And he believes that when you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you, you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”


I don’t think the speech was as AMAZING as many of my friends made it out to be. I thought the end was good. It wasn’t even the words she was saying but the spirit in which she was saying. The words were only marginally compelling but the tears and atmosphere… everyone was choking up. The speech wasn’t mind blowing, not in the fancy smooth talking way. I think the speech was something else altogether; I think it was sobering.

It took me a while to realize the deeper point of the speech. This speech wasn’t to talk about issues or even ideals. This speech was about trying to paint a picture of a president, though his hair is changing color and he has more wrinkles, as the same person he was “4 years ago.” This speech was about inspiring confidence in Barack. Whereas 4 years ago Barack was adorned as messiah-politico, unable to do wrong, today he has been beaten down, tried, weathered, and has hit bump after bump. The message they want to get across is that Obama is still the same person who can inspire and bring hope and change, but it comes “slowly.” That though we have seen signs that things are on the mend, we aren’t done yet.

I think it is an honest campaign and a harder sell. 4 years ago Barack sailed through and I think there wasn’t a good enough job done then to warn the people that it wasn’t going to be all rainbows from inauguration on. The Dems. let the people think and believe that it would be easy because that is what the people wanted to believe. It was a bit deceptive and a lot of people were crushed. It didn’t help that the Republicans openly promised to obstruct Obama’s plan, but, nonetheless, even if all legislation was smooth sailing it would have taken a miracle.

The FLOTUS’s speech seemed to embrace reality a little more clearly tonight. It is not going to be easy but things are looking better and if we stay the course it should be good. That is a tough sell. People want fast and now. I do not envy them but I am glad to see that this is their new campaign.


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