The best speaker
In my opinion, the best speech, during the DNC last week in Charlotte, N.C., was delivered by President Bill Clinton. In fact, I would say that he gave his best speech ever on behalf of President Obama and the Democratic Party. Though President Obama’s speech was great, Clinton’s speech and delivery were better. In fact, Clinton gave the speech that I had hoped President Obama would give. However, I was ecstatic to be there to hear Clinton make history by being the first president to speak for and nominate an incumbent president. Looking back on the 2008 DNC in Denver, particularly during and after the speech by then-presidential nominee Barack Obama, the crowd was exhilarated and the vibe was electric. As 2008 was such an incredible convention, where several speakers delivered, nominee Obama closed it with the most memorable speech he had ever given.
Magic in the Air
In January 2009, just as President Obama’s inauguration was under way, I watched former President George Bush board the Air Force One helicopter, which made a sharp-angled turn to the right as it flew away. The crowd clapped and cheered below as if to say goodbye–and good riddance! The inauguration ceremony captivated us all. So many people were filled with laughter. Many were quite emotional–some cried, many laughed loudly, others praised God. There was an open public testimony of satisfaction all day and into the night, and people were, well, giddy. This was the first experience I can recall, other than at major sporting event, where I felt that the majority of people in the city and the country were united, synergized or on the same page. And with that, I felt a certain magic in the air. That magic was again present during and following President Clinton’s speech last week.
You could feel the love
First lady Michelle Obama’s speech, which was mostly written by her, came right from the heart, and we could feel the love in the arena as she spoke. By contrast, Anne Romney’s speech during the GOP Convention, which I watched from the comfort of my home, was one where she had to work to win over the viewing audience in terms of the likability of her husband, Mitt Romney. She was trying to convince listeners that they are a down-to-earth family, and that Mitt is a good guy and a loving spouse and father. Ann Romney and first lady Michelle Obama’s missions could not have been more different. Our first lady did not have to work to get people to like President Obama, as he himself planted the first seeds of likability during the 2004 DNC, which he keynoted.
The Black Press, a no-show
There was an important absence at the 2012 DNC worth mentioning–the Black Press. I happen to know most of the Black Publishers across the country, and I never encountered another Black publisher during the entire convention. I observed the press box, press bowl, press center, press that had hall credentials, press conferences at the convention and so forth. No other Black publishers were to be found. Why? Well, the Black Press in general feels that the Obama administration has disrespected and overlooked them, particularly as it relates to advertising dollars. Almost zero dollars were spent with the Black Press during the 2008 campaign, and the current campaign is no different. I spoke with a couple of publishers who had sent staff reporters to the convention about their absence. Others said that they haven’t felt the love of Black Press from the President, so they did not care to attend the convention or show support to him. They believe that the president believes he has 90 percent or better of the Black vote so that there is no need to advertise in the Black Press. This can present a bigger problem than meets the eye in his unfolding campaign. Further, the Black Press does not have adequate access to the White House press briefings, and much of what we come to know to share with our readers is information from press releases. We attended a National Newspaper Publishers Association event as the Black Press in the White House a few months ago, but we were not treated or acknowledged as the press corps, but rather as a group of fans there to hear the president speak for five minutes without being allowed time for questions or photos. Mr. President, we need you to do better in this regard.
Memorable 2012 DNC quotes for your review and keepsake:
“You can’t be pro-business unless you are pro-education.” –Mayor Julian Castro
“In 2009, the calvary arrived and our new president, Barack Obama came in. He organized the rescue, he made the tough calls and he saved the American automotive industry.” –Jennifer Granholm
“Ask Osama Bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago.” –Sen. John Kerry
“Why does cooperation work better than conflict? Because nobody’s right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day.” –President Bill Clinton
“Have a surplus, try a tax cut; deficit too high, try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulation, and call us in the morning.” –President Barack Obama
“Why didn’t I think of that?” –Mayor Julian Castro on Romney, telling college students to borrow money from their parents, if they want to start their own businesses.
“America, we need to rev up our engines in your car and on your ballot. The D is for drive forward, the R is for reverse. In this election, we are driving forward, not back. Lets re-elect our great President Barack Obama” –Jennifer Granholm
“This November with the re-election of President Barack Obama, this generation of Americans will expand upon the hope, the dream, the truth and the promise of America” –Mayor Cory Booker
“We’ve left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned things up fast enough. So fire him and put us back in.” –President Bill Clinton, speaking of the economic situation that President Obama inherited.
“Folks, the Bain way may bring you the highest profits, but it is not the way to lead our country from the highest office.” –Vice President Joe Biden
“If Mitt was Santa Claus, he’d fire the reindeer and outsource the elves!” –Ted Strickland
“As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government.” –President Barack Obama
“Romney said that as president he would take a jobs tour. Well, with his support for outsourcing, it would have to be a foreign trip!” –Vice President Joe Biden
“America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now. Yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together.” –President Barack Obama
“We learned about dignity and decency, that how hard you work matters more than how much you make. That helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself. We learned about honesty and integrity, that the truth matters. That you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules. And success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” –Michelle Obama
“Now people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. What ideas did we bring to Washington? One word–arithmetic.” –President Bill Clinton
“In Romney’s world the cars get the elevator and workers get the shaft!” –Jennifer Granholm
“Forty-seven years ago, in the face of opposition from those who said states should have the right to discriminate, America passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
People of all races, religions, and backgrounds joined together and fought for that law, because every one of us deserves a fair shake and a fair chance at achieving our version of the American dream. The right to vote gives us the power to take our future into our own hands. We must use that power today, so that we do not lose it tomorrow.” –Congresswoman Karen Bass
“Today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways I never could have imagined, I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are–it reveals who you are.” –First lady Michelle Obama
“I really, really enjoyed listening to Rahm’s speech, but he’s a mayor now so he can’t use four letter words, but I’m no mayor so I’ve got one for you–VOTE!” –Kal Penn
Election Day is Nov. 6. Remember to exercise your rights–VOTE!