Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sullivan, Marshall on DNC, Night 1

Andrew Sullivan live-blogs the first night of the DNC for nymag.com.

You know, I didn’t cover this primary election but watching some of these Bernie supporters throw various hissy fits, I wonder if I would have found myself backing Clinton. I understand the passion but they sure come off as assholes. Sanders himself was far better – poised, happy to have swung the debate his way, and endorsing Clinton without any serious caveats at all.

My final take? A rough and unappealing start but a stellar speech from Michelle Obama and a revival of Obama’s core message from Cory Booker. The first lady’s speech was one that will actually win over undecided or queasy voters. It reaches every parent in their gut. It’s a message that could win the election. The stakes have never been higher in my lifetime. See you tomorrow night.

Josh Marshall comments on Talking Points Memo.

Michelle ObamaThat was an extraordinary speech. I would have to go back and watch the 2008 speeches in their entirety. Michelle Obama was certainly a very solid speaker for a non-politician eight years ago. But I do not remember that kind of command, confidence and grace. She seemed more like someone who did very well in a role she was not entirely comfortable with, one thrust upon her. It's bracing and enlivening to see how she has taken possession of her role as a towering public figure in American popular and political culture.

Bernie SandersI'm curious how this speech was crafted, how much of a role Sanders himself had in writing it. (Presumably the same speechwriters from the campaign, with whatever level of rewrites he does, like every other politician.) It was particularly well put together in terms of giving voice to what animated his campaign while pivoting to supporting Hillary and not having either seem forced, contrived or false. That's not the easiest thing to do. That is an understatement. What really brought it together though was that Sanders heart and head seemed very much in it. He managed to bring all the furious intensity he is capable of to this speech. It was really quite something.

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