Last Days of the Old Guard

The Democrats, in case you haven’t noticed, are the most diverse political party this nation has ever seen and that was on robust, abundant and delightful display for the second night of their Presidential convention.

It was one of those nights where everything seemed to work very well, no small task when you are trying to change the format for a shopworn process and amp it up with a new pace (most welcome) and technology that actually works. (Kudos on that front.)

If you looked hard enough, you could see the dark side of the problems the Democrats face going down this road, but most of those were presented in the context of the speakers selected for the second night.

Jill Biden is terrific, likable, attractive and very good on her feet. That is good to know. A lot of people might say, “Well, she’s no Michelle Obama,” and they would be right about that, but then, nobody is. The scenes of she and Biden and the family were particularly warming.

And what was not to love about the roll call. Rhode Island showed up with probably the first plate of calamari in the history of politics, a very funny pitch for a place that takes its restaurants and seafoods seriously. It was a great visual.

And the cameos of the rest of the states in the roll call reminded me that we live in a wonderfully beautiful country, despite its roiling and troubling political developments of late. Seeing First Americans proudly proclaiming their presence in a happy, healthy context was heart-lifting. I actually got a little buzz out of the Seattle shot. My wife and I have stood on that same spot and seen that same space needle backdrop. It made me want to troop down to the waterfront for an oyster. Well, actually a dozen.

I don’t think the Democrats needed to trot out Bill Clinton, no matter how compelling he used to be. I see him as a man whose uncontrolled passions wrecked his reputation and whose post presidency was constructed on a foundation of juicy fund raising and charity work aimed to offset the fact that, smart and likable as he was, he was also an asshole of the first order.

Chuck Schumer might be a great Senator, but he is not a great convention speaker.

The long and short of this night, for my money, is that the old guard is marching quickly for the door and a whole army of enthusiastic, inspired and purposeful young people are waiting to move into place. It could not come soon enough. And that’s from a man who has grown old through the process of going to conventions for decades.

Colin Powell is a worthy man who committed a mortal sin when he sat at the United Nations and presented an agenda based on a whole collection of lies. There he sat, and he will always be an uncomfortable presence despite his stunning intellect and powerful leadership gifts, like a dog invited to a cat party. It had a bad taste for me.

But the rest of it was pretty good. Actually very good. Biden got nominated, which was the purpose of the whole thing, and we didn’t have to sit watching a boring process roll out that involves strangely loud people in funny hats. Instead, we got real Americans in real places saying basically real things.

You can’t ask for much more than that from television.

I would suggest this has been two good days in a row first, for the Democrats and Biden, and second, for a new way to hold a convention. It’s not about balloons anymore. If you can do it in two hours, it might actually work for everyone!

One thought on “Last Days of the Old Guard

  1. I think that Jill Biden will make a positive & lovely first lady. Passionate & tough when she needs to be. It is good that Joe has her for his better half. Also agree that it was wonderful to see Americans being proud & excited about our future! November can’t come soon enough…with a new president & hopefully a solution to this raging virus in the new year if not sooner. Nice writing as always brother!


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