but one must focus.
we turn our eyes back to yesterday. a historic day. an amazing evening.
and one word that says it all:
at 9:12 CST, barack obama took the stage at mile high stadium and spoke the words that made history: "with profound gratitude and great humility, i accept your nomination for the presidency of the united states."
and just like that.... an african american claimed the top spot on a major political party's presidential ticket.
from there....obama was pitch perfect.
his speech was the ideal blend of rhetoric, specifics, laser-guided attacks, and promises for a better tomorrow.
it was not the speech he gave back in 2004. it wasn't as moving as hillary's speech on tuesday night.
but it was everything it needed to be so, perhaps, the best speech of the convention.
i had friends who didn't want "soaring rhetoric" but wanted to hear specific plans for the future:
Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it....
I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow....
I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class....
And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.
he went on to talk about affordable health care for all, equal pay for equal work... specific after specific.... each point peppered with a promise for a better tomorrow. making sure our country, and our people, live up to their potential.
some individuals wanted to hear him acknowledge hillary clinton and her historic campaign. within a minute of starting his speech:
Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton.
and there are those democrats that wanted red meat and strong attacks on mccain.
But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.
and he went on to explain that...
It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.
and for those who were looking for that classic obama rhetoric, the speech did not disappoint in this regard either. obama ended his speech thus:
This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.
That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.
And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.
The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.
But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.
it was a speech delivered so that everyone in america who heard the sound of his voice could understand his message. it spoke to everyone who has suffered over the past eight years.... barack said it perfectly:
Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough!
it was a powerful speech....
and now the work begins.....
actually, before the real quick hits... i do want to point out (again) that yesterday marked the 45th anniversary of martin luther king jr.'s "i have a dream speech." the moment was marked at 6:00 CST by representative john lewis of georgia. as the last remaining speaker from the march on washington, lewis introduced a fitting tribute to MLK and that historic day.
--msnbc began with the panels of a really funny doonsbury cartoon that included chris matthews and keith olbermann (who also provided their voice work) watching obama at mile high stadium as bill clinton parachuted in.
--do you think stevie wonder had any idea how much make-up he had on? who did that to him? and was that gary coleman singing with him?
--the msnbc crew was dancing along with stevie's performance. gene robinson of the post dances just as white as i thought he would.
--and rachel (maddow), no.
--7:58 CST, joe biden has entered the building.
--pamela cash-roper from pittsboro, north carolina... pam. i swear she has smoked two packs of lucky's and downed a fifth of whiskey every day since she was twelve... but fuck me, that reformed republican really pumped up that crowd.
--did i mention the theme for the evening was
--dick durbin, the senior senator from illinois, gave a really nice introduction to obama. but when he said, "we know how barack obama thinks." all i could think was: "with his brain, right?"
--obama used the term "fat cats" in his speech. ever since i tried to unionize my kitchen staff at the pasta company oh-so-many years ago, i've always been fond of the term "fat cats."
--obama spoke for 42 minutes.
--al gore had a great line about how mccain just wants to recycle bush's failed policies: "i believe in recycling, but this is ridiculous."
--i loved reformed republican barney smith who said he's voting democrat because he wanted a party that would look out for "barney smith" not "smith barney." god, how long did it take the obama camp to google him?
--after the speech, jesse jackson was asked by the grand asshole himself, chris matthews, if he thought the country was ready for a black president. his answer was priceless: "america may be more ready than the commentators are."
it was a strong week for the democrats. while their convention was lacking in many respects, their primetime line-up was impressive and delivered the goods, as they say.
i think barack leaves denver a stronger candidate and the party leaves a stronger party.
but, and i stress this again, now the work begins. whenever anyone says "obama is a muslim" or "obama was a crack dealer in hawaii" (this was a new one i found online today).... tell 'em to shut the fuck up and get their facts straight.
and then give them the facts.
talk to you friends. your family. remind them why they voted democrat in the past. remind them that mccain voted over 90% of the time with george bush and ask them: "are you better off now than you were eight years ago?"
remind them that mccain voted for the bush tax cuts several different times. that he's given in to the religious right. and that he and what's her face from alaska (don't worry - i promise to blog more on this tomorrow) are both pro-life.
no one but the democrats will look out for a woman's right to choose and strive for equal pay for equal work.
now is the time, my lovelies.