Saturday, August 23, 2008


Finally had a chance to watch today's announcement speeches, and here are a few random thoughts:

The placards declaring the ticket kind of weirdly have Obama's name not just bigger, which is to be expected, but darker and bolder. The Biden name is rather light and hazy. Maybe they'll correct this, but it seems uncomfortably odd to me.

Obama did a very good job telling Joe Biden's story, portraying the long time Delaware Senator in successful, curageous and almost endearing terms. But I'm a bit puzzled by Obama's--and the media's-- sudden conversion on Biden's being some kind of middle-class everyman hero. I heard and read several commentators make this connection. As I've said already, I like the ticket, and I like Biden overall, but he didn't get the title The Senator from MBNA by accident. Finally, on Obama's speech, he's the candidate from the Land of Lincoln for cryin' out loud. Barack, or whoever is on your speech writing team, can you mention Ole Abe in your speeches again? You were great at this early in the campaign, reaching back into American history to attach yourself to the line of great American movers and shakers, including the Great Emancipator. This is pretty basic stuff and you're in an ideal position, and from an ideal state, from which to do it. And this will help insulate you a bit from all the muslim-terrorist loving, exotic origins hailing, un-American charges Republicans have lobbed against every Democratic candidate since McGovern, without having to whine about McCain attacking your patriotism. Try some subtle. The media will dig it, too. Also, I liked the one, brief line you had about Biden being on the frontlines in the fight for "judges who respect and value the rights of the American people". We can use more of this. This is a critical, vital issue in general, and of particular importance given the last eight years of encroachments by the administration and Republicans in Congress on the Civil Liberties our forefathers fought so hard to maintain.

Biden's speech was pretty good, about the right mix of toughness and optimism. The line about McCain having to decide about which of his seven tables from his seven (or eight) houses to use was a nice shot in the elite-counter elite cultural wars. And, Joe, you started and ended with the Lincoln reference--get Obama to do the same from now on. And you made the relevant response to having said nice things about McCain in the past--McCain, the McCain you liked, the supposed "straight talker"--is gone, replaced by a Rovian puppet playing in the swift-boat politics he once derided. That should be in about every speech you make.

And, have you ever noticed how much Biden resembles the late Charleton Heston? Really. I'd never noticed it before today, where it stood out distinctly. The facial profile, the silver hair. Almost eery.

OK, as you were.

No comments: