Tag Archives: DNC convention

Will.I.Am, Sheryl Crow, Mark Udall, and Tim Kaine

(While the regular Calitics team is at Invesco, thereisnospoon is in the big tent with Internet – promoted by Dante Atkins (hekebolos))

Will.I.Am and the Agape Choir up first doing a recreation of the original “Yes We Can” video.  And, in my humblest opinion, the only musical selection at the convention that hasn’t sucked.  Pretty well done, given the difficulty of recreating this sort of thing without the visuals and cast.  There were fears that this would seem pretentious, but it doesn’t look pretentious.  It looks like an authentic celebration of an upbeat, positive and hopeful campaign.  This is the Obama message that helped sell so many Democrats on him, and what will still, whatever negative messaging goes against McCain, win Democrats the election in November.

Now the campaign is pushing getting more cell numbers for volunteering, asking all Americans to text 62262 with the letters “dnc” to sign up to volunteer and receive text messages.  I was on this text list in 2007, fwiw; it’s a great way to get localized news feeds not only about what’s going on with the campaign nationally, but also what you can do in your local neighborhood.  If you’re not on the list, get on it!

As dday’s twitter feed already said, they’ve been doing these cell phone games all day–but this embrace of technology is still amazing.  The Obama team is playing a ground game unlike any other in American political history.

Sheryl Crow now up with her hit “A Change Will Do You Good”.  Clever, nice choice.  Some danger, I guess, that wingers will attack the presence of celebrities on the stage–but they’ll attack no matter what we do.  And I’d rather, frankly, we were portrayed as the “celebrity” campaign than the “angry, out-of-touch hotheaded wrinkly old guy” campaign.  Another Crow song, inspired by the Dalai Lama. Crow up again with “Every Day Is a Winding Road”, melding into “I Can See Clearly Now, The Rain is Gone”.  Good music choices everyone can relate to.   Though it doesn’t much matter how this stuff might be perceived, I suppose; I suspect that only C-SPAN is carrying this stuff.  I could be wrong, though.  

OK, this is strange.  Mark Udall just replaced Bill Richardson on the C-SPAN schedule.  Wonder what’s happening there.  It’s weird.  And then Kaine to follow.  Wonder how Richardson feels about all this.

So far, Udall’s speech is full of pabulum.  But he’s handsome and charismatic, so all’s forgiven.  And he’s going to be in the Senate regardless.

We have found leaders to match our mountains, to renew the promise, and make America work again.

Wow, that was quick.  And not memorable.  The crowd didn’t even know when to cheer.  Ah, well.  Next up: Tim Kaine.

Maybe to John McCain,the American dream means having 7 houses.  If that’s your America, then John McCain is your candidate.


Quotes Matthew about the power of faith to move mountains.  Mentions missionary work in Honduras, and then talks to the crowd in Spanish.  Speaks pretty good Spanish–but the GOP will probably be all over that.  Screw them: we’re the party of inclusion and brains.  If they can’t speak more than one language, that’s their fault–and their votes to lose.

Kaine’s hitting “faith” really strongly here.  “Putting our faith into action” and “renewing our faith in government”.

Does anybody here have some faith tonight?…Anyone here ready to move mountains?  The mountains of special interests and business as usual?

The religious tone here is interesting.  “Mountain, get out of our way, and the mountain will move.”  Perhaps it’s because I don’t attend church much, but that sounded cheesy as all heck.  Maybe it resonates with people not in my demographic…

Controller Chiang on the budget

I just chatted a bit with John Chiang about the ongoing budget stalemate.  He was unaware that Gov. Schwarzenegger remarked yesterday to the SacBee that he would be fine with a budget in November or December.  Chiang’s reaction was that it would cost the state hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to wait that long.  Basically, there are two types of borrowing systems – one that assumes an imminent budget, with a discount rate, and one that does not, which has the normal rate.  If we keep delaying the budget, we will be funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to the financial services industry, and in the words of Chiang, “put Wall Street above Main Street.”

This is another aspect of the Yacht Party’s holding hostage of the budget process – enriching a key constituency.

On the coming lawsuit over the slashing of state employee pay to the minimum wage, the hearing is scheduled for September 12.  Chiang has asked for the case to be moved to federal court, which would delay it a couple months, but the main reason is because California would have no immunity if the state upholds the wage cut, and the federal courts overturn it.

About speaking at the convention yesterday, Chiang felt pretty good about it, and he offered a little secret that may explain why a lot of people are speaking over their applause lines.  Apparently the speakers get a very strict set of time at the podium.  After they go over, they start beeping and flashing lights at the podium speaker to get them to wrap up.  

Michelle Obama’s speech

If you’re not watching this live, you need to watch it later, and see if you can prevent yourself from crying.

Update:  Absolutely brilliant to have Barack appear to talk to his family.  What a brilliant, heartwarming and family-oriented touch that will be replayed on networks everywhere.

That’s how to make the American public feel comfortable with you and your family values.  Who wouldn’t want that family in the White House?

It’s something that McCain just can’t match.

Live from Denver

After an all-day drive from Los Angeles to Grand Junction, CO yesterday, and then another 4 hours or so from Grand Junction to Denver, I am finally in Denver and ready for tomorrow’s festivities at the Big Tent.  I didn’t get a chance to examine too much of the setup at the BT–I only got as far as the check-in desk before I had to run to take care of some other errands.  Either way, given the packed schedule being offered by the organizers, I doubt I’ll have much reason to leave.

I was duly impressed by the security surrounding the Pepsi Center.  As this is my first time in a city hosting a Presidential Convention, I really have no way of knowing whether or not this is “normal”–but all the entrances to the arena are effectively closed off by a very visible police presence.  The LoDo area was quite lively today and filled with people with all sorts of passes and badges relating to the convention happenings.

More tomorrow…

Optics, People, Optics

This is a terrible, terrible idea.

With the end of the legislative session approaching, no budget in place and a $15.2-billion deficit hanging over their heads, the Assembly’s Democrats on Friday unveiled their plans for the next week: a three-day vacation from the Capitol.

Their scheduled time away coincides with the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where 31 members of the Legislature are expected as delegates. But that has nothing to do with the decision not to hold sessions Tuesday through Thursday, a spokesman said.

“If we had work to do, we’d be here,” said Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles). “It’s literally silly for some of them to sit around in Sacramento.”

I know that and you know that, but ordinary people who aren’t political junkies don’t, and when they see the commercial run by the Yacht Party that says “When the budget crisis was at its height, California Democrats left town to party,” they will be unsparing in their opinion.  You never give your opponent ammunition like this.  At a time when real people are suffering from the lack of services and prospective cuts, you can’t leave to hit the cocktail circuit at the DNC if you’re an elected representative in a time of crisis and you have something to say on the matter.  I know this is a Big Five question at this point, but it looks awful.

Good on Sandre Swanson for cancelling his plans to attend, by the way.  Karen Bass isn’t going, either, but obviously she has work to do.

Get this, here’s why the break is only three days:

Even though many will not be in Sacramento, Assembly members will still get paid more than $1,000 in tax-free living expenses for the next six days because they scheduled a Monday afternoon meeting on water bond legislation and other matters, Maviglio said. Under Assembly rules, they can collect their allowance as long as they don’t go four days without a meeting.

I give up.