One of my journalism jobs involved being the big story writer which, for political conventions, always meant sitting at a computer surrounded by second guessing executives who watched like eagles as you tried to find something to say that would, if not please each one of them, then at least shut them the hell up.
No more of that for me.
I’m going to say exactly what I thought about Wednesday night at the new techno Demo convention, pretty slickly managed and as staged as it could be given the safe distancing rules that had Sen. Kamala Harris and her hubby and Joe Biden and his wife a good 6 feet apart smiling at one another after her speech.
What a strange time.
That being said, I think I would have been comfortable saying Kamala Harris gave the best speech of the convention and not felt at all shy about that except for one thing. Just before her, former President Barack Obama gave perhaps the best political speech in modern history, a lacerating, intellectual and passionate assault on the man who followed him into the Oval Office. That would be Donald Trump.
If you didn’t see it, look it up because it will be discussed for quite some time, I suspect. In essence, he said President Trump has wrecked just about everything, never rose to the challenge of the office and tinkled away the awesome power of the presidency to fuel his ego and make his rich friends even richer.
Obama also noted that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have just the right skills, just the right experience, to get the nation back on track. Anything short of a Biden victory in November would spell disaster for the U.S. and disaster for our Democracy.
Harris showed up in a big room with flags and mock state delegation signs that felt surreal until she began talking, at which point the only think I could notice was the way her entire face beams when she smiles. I know she is tough as nails, takes no shit from anyone, but what an amazing smile that is. I suspect she will use it lots on the campaign trail. It will draw her enemies in close enough for her to stick them with the dagger all prosecutors have up their sleeves. That, after all, is what got her started. She was a prosecutor and hence, has a taste for the blood of her enemies.
I think we will need someone like that in the campaign because if the same Joe Biden shows up in the battle that has shown up in his advances at the convention, it will be like the arrival of St. Francis. Someone is going to have to be the nickel plated prick in the battle against Trump, and I think she has just the right level of sweetness and aggression to handle that job. At least that’s how it seems.
This, in conclusion, is a very strong ticket. If Trump isn’t scared, it’s just because he is too dumb to realize what he will be up against.
Feel free if you actually read to the end of this to pretend you are an editor back in the day and say, “No, that’s not right. Something is missing but I just don’t know what it is. You’re not being fair to Trump. I don’t like that! Try something else! Things like that. If you were here, I would punch you, a threat I have used effectively many times before because of that old newsroom rule, “What happens at the convention stays at the convention.” I don’t drink any more, but I did back then and it was always good to be done with the job at the end of the night and dive into lots of Irish Whiskey.
Long and short, a fantastic convention night the Democrats should well be proud of. Nancy Pelosi, my hero, was there and so was Hillary and lots of other women, Elizabeth Warren among them. They all said exactly what needed to be said about the status of the nation, the defining role women have always played in repairing messes and their hopes for the future.
I did not miss the convention hall at all this time. Or the screaming mobs or the dingy public facilities at big convention halls. I watched it all on my sunporch with my faithful dog, Lulu, snoring away on her rug.