DNC, day one

I am in London, so unable (or, perhaps, technically, unwilling) to watch the democratic convention live, but one of the SkyNews channels is playing a rebroadcast on a loop basically, “from 2am” according to the little info blip they give at the end. My mom and I caught it in the middle of whoever was introducing the Republican senator I think, and watched from there, and then later I caught the Ted Kennedy speech & some earlier stuff as well, so I think I got most of it.

A lot was familiar, of course, as convention speeches tend to be, but for me I noticed:
– at least one direct mention of gay/straight right alongside race and gender
– a number of mentions of disabilities, often specific (“including mental disability”, or, the senator who used ASL to open his remarks, or Michelle Obama’s father’s MS)
– which connects to, healthcare as an important issue
and more important, probably, in the end, (for how things will play out)
– seeing the Obamas as a family and also, Michelle Obama’s family (the Robinsons?) as a family

What was really great, honestly, was seeing so many black people at the podium of a major party making major speeches at the convention, just naturally threaded in. It really kind of did make me feel like the next generation will grow up with a different sense of what’s normal or expected, and we won’t have to talk about “old white men”, indeed, it will stop making sense to say it if we keep having such diverse line-ups.

Probably because my own mother suffers from MS, I thought the montage before her brother’s speech was especially well-done – that was where Michelle Obama’s mother spoke about her daughter, and in it, the close relationship Michelle had had with her father, who was diagnosed with MS in his 30s, and died from complications related to it at some point (when he was over 50 and within the last 19 years, after having met Barack, but more specifics weren’t provided, I don’t think) (although, of course, wiki knows: 1991).

The speeches themselves weren’t enormously memorable… The brother’s speech was introductory, so he was able to work in a few “common man” sports analogies, being a coach himself, and I think he came across pretty well. Michelle Obama generally seemed to be trying to be more “let’s work together” than my impression of her in the past, though there were a few moments when she still pushed a “things have got to change” line. Those couple lines made me unsure how, for instance, someone like Bill Clinton would feel at the sort of Obama upstarts thinking they had a whole new way of doing things, but there wasn’t much of it, and I definitely got the impression the campaign was moving from “Change we can believe in” to “Yes we can” as their basic slogan. Which is wise, I think – idealistic change works on college campuses but it’s a harder sell down at the factory.

The eve ended with the whole Obama family being cute together – the girls are adorable; Barack was on video with some family in Kansas or whatever. It was nice family moment-ish, although like these things always are, a bit fakey too. But overall it went well I think (I didn’t get what the living room in some random family’s house was about & it didn’t seem well handled, though – when I heard about the assassination plot I almost thought it was for security reasons)

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