I have had a busy day, so I haven’t had a chance to say anything on the speeches of Kennedy, Dean, Obama, and Mrs. Heinz-Kerry. This was just as well because I did not trust the immediate opinion I formed last night. On the one hand I thought Obama speech was quite good, was disappointed with Kennedy and Dean, and frankly embarassment when Mrs. Kerry spoke, I found myself wanting to go get a sandwich. Obama, contra Teresa, said some interesting and even rational things. He thinks we are one people, not black or white, etc., and this is a good thing. He seems to appreciate the opportunity that this country represents, and knows we have enemies, and comes down on the side of compassion for those struggling (maybe he thinks too many are struggling, but that’s OK, I can live with that disagreement). He was quite good, and it is easy to see why so many Democrats are looking at him to be a future leader inn the party. Indeed, assuming the clobbering that Kerry’s going to get, we might as well prepare ourselves for a Hillary-Obama ticket. Edwards’ career might be over after November.
I think Teresa Kerry should not have spoken. She was terrible. It’s OK for her to get the reputation that she is a woman who speaks her mind, as long as there is some mind there to speak. But, alas, there isn’t one. This is a rich, self-absorbed, European aristocrat (a "continental African" as she so unartfully put it) who values appearance over substance, who can say hyphenated-Americans in at least six languages, and willing to learn it in another six. She is self-indulgent, haughty, and obtuse. She talked about her uninteresting self, thinking that her formulations were ever-so-deep and full of pith, yet only fully understood in all their depth only by those educated in Switzerland and weaned on the habits thirty of years of unimaginable wealth and all the bad habits that that brings to mere mortals. She finally got around to mentioning her husband, yet she said nothing personal or interesting about him. Such a woman is not in the habit of talking well of her servants. She has now become a massive disadvantage to John Kerry; and this was visible to all, including the heavy-breathing liberal commentators. They were at a loss, but they knew something bad--and revealing--had happened.
This Democratic convention--indeed the whole campaign--will be talked about and studied for years. Pundits and graduate students will talk for years about how Kerry became the nominee by accident, how the only thing that kept his boring self going and in the limelight was the weird anti-Bush hatred of a goodly part of his party (which had been at first whipped up by Howard Dean, and then added to by conspiracy theorist Michael Moore), how the Democrats united for the first time ever and how they admitted that unity was based on nothing but merely trying to oust a sitting president, how they assumed that 46% of the people so hated Bush that they were willing to vote for anybody but him, how their candidate never went up in the polls and how he lost what little momentum he had at the party convention, that (see the ABC News/Washington Post poll) and how after Kerry’s defeat the Democratic Party became the personal playground of a former president’s wife and how she let a newly minted U.S. Senator from Illinois play.
Please give us a link to the Heinz-Kerry speech. I missed it, while travelling last night. But I did read Obamas speech and caught part of it rebroadcast on C-SPAN radio.
Those who quote the Declaration on such occasions bring much upon them. I cant believe he learned anything good at those Ivy League institutions, but maybe nature can conquer convention. On the other hand, he could be the worst enemy of all.
I think that is exactly how history will look at this election year, and exactly what the commentators will admit after the fact, because its probably too painful to admit now.
Peter - thanks for that artful critique of Heinz-Kerry. That was nicely written. As a side note, isnt it interesting just how many hyphens liberal feminists have? From last names to national origins to race to who knows what else? Life used to be so simple.
Once again, Im a guest on your forum here, but youre not really specific about what you think Heinz-Kerry did wrong.
I heard the speech and liked it. It was short, and there were no cutsey little vignettes about life in the Heinz-Kerry household, but so what? She outlined some of the policy preferences of the Democrats, got the crowd to cheer, and spoke to them like adults.
And now the media is in the process of spinning out the pre-written story of her being a "loose cannon" and a "liability." I dont get it, but Im sure that commentators can create a negative public impression of her if they work hard enough at it.
Isnt Teresas last name merely (still) Heinz, dispite her being married to Kerry? I remember hearing that "Heinz-Kerry" is merely a media convention, not her choice (which would make sense only an a polyandric kind of way, since Heinz is not her "maiden" name, but rather the last name of her first husband...).