8 Days in July
For 8 days in July our household was glued to CNN on TV and in the Car (via Sirius XM) attentive to every word said, reported, critiqued and debated during the two Presidential Nomination meetings. Having watched through the primary season right to the Republican and Democratic Conventions I have the idea that no one is jumping for hallelujah over either of these candidates.
I heard an interesting idea that what the Republican Party is facing this election cycle is a direct result of the 2012 re-election of Barack Obama, or more importantly the inability of the Romney/Ryan ticket to win. The right was frustrated with the selection of Mitt Romney and the lack of success he had one November four years ago. The registered members of the Republican Party looked at the establishment and thumbed its nose at it this election cycle. Whoever could have thought that political heavyweights like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Ted Cruz would be tossed aside so easily by Donald Trump.
I was NOT a fan of George W Bush, however I liked Jeb; he was a Bush I could support, he had the right temperament I liked in a leader and a kindness in his way of working with people. If there was another candidate I would have liked to see be the lead on the Republican ticket it was Governor Christie. Here was a Republican that liked the Democratic White House and was liked back by the Democrats. He was one person I thought would have a line of Democrats voting for him.
But 16 candidates later left standing is Donald J Trump, through bravado, name calling and taking on the role of the schoolyard bully, he won the Republican nomination.
The convention was the Trump show, with not one, but 5 Trumps AND Donald taking the podium to speak. His rivals were given the opportunity to speak, most refused. Kasich stayed home, Rubio may not have been given a offer and Cruz spoke but was eventually booed for the non-endorsement of Trump AND was up staged by Donald Trump walking into the arena as Cruz was wrapping up. He was so up staged the cameras did not even show Cruz walking off the stage. I have been to conventions where there has been chaos, but it never shows because organizers control how the message went out. In Cleveland it was as if the chaos was planned and the Trump campaign wanted to have the disarray that was on display each night.
By the end of the fourth night, there was this very impressive display by Donald Trump who spoke for 75 minutes. 75 Minutes! No water, not a cough, not a bead of sweat and not a stumble. Likely there was not even a teleprompter for a portion of the speech.
I watched and considered that I had seen this all before, but in a cinematic form – the speeches and the show of the convention reminded me of “The Hunger Games”, except in those movies the young heroine saves the day. There was no Katniss in Cleveland.
As for the Democrats, I was a fan of Clinton 1.0, he was a leader at the time it was needed – he connected to the people and he could speak! He commanded attention when he spoke. As for Clinton 2.0, I admired her. I read her book “Hard Choices” and was impressed with her handling of world affairs, though many continue to debate her success at the job. There can be no denial that being as close as she was to the Presidency gave her a view many of the candidates did not have.
Through the primary season, the democrats put on a show! Hillary Clinton vs The Bern! Bernie Sanders looked like your father, he spoke and lectured young people like your grandfather did – but everyone listened to every single word he said. He was the sane version of Donald Trump; speak in a plain language without the insults and childish name-calling.
Hillary was the front-runner from the day Barack Obama was sworn into office for his second term in January 2013. It was only a matter of time before she would be the confirmed candidate, except that no one told Bernie Sanders.
Whatever you thought of the Republican Convention the week before – the Democratic Convention was the opposite. It was planned and orchestrated perfectly. Speakers were on time and the only speakers that really went late into the evening where the headliners; the First Lady and President; Michelle and Barack. President Clinton spoke as well, proving once again that he is one of the finest orators of our generation. While he was supposed to speak about Hillary, I was disappointed there was not one mention of the possibility of him becoming America’s 1st Gentleman of the White House.
The convention did not see, nor did it need, the distraction of the leak of DNC emails that cost Debbie Wasserman Shultz her time in the spotlight as the Chair of the convention.
But in the end, he Democratic convention was what a convention has and should always look like – there was a love in between Sanders and Clinton and when it was all done about 50,000 balloons must have fallen from the ceiling of the arena.
But, there are cracks that need to be watched come November unlike the cracks Clinton speaks of in the ceiling, these are in the floor. If Hilary cannot win the White house from Trump, the result will not by unlike what Donald Trump has been able to corral in the Republican Party. While Sanders will not run again, there will be others that will take up the cause of Bernie and turn the Democratic Party on its head and the establishment of the party will be hard pressed to stop what may be coming.
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