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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Watch the Democratic National Convention live on this page now.

Highlights of tonight’s schedule:

9:00 PM EDT hour
Sandra Fluke
Chris Van Hollen

10:00 PM EDT hour
Elizabeth Warren
Former President Bill Clinton
Roll call vote to nominate President Barack Obama

Former President Bill Clinton — the man who left this country with what the Onion called “our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity” — will be headlining the Democratic National Convention. He will be introduced by the woman who predicted the financial crisis, came up with the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is now challenging Scott Brown (R-MA) for his seat in the senate — Elizabeth Warren.

No one in politics has a higher approval rating than President Clinton and no one has more credibility with the Democratic party’s activist base than Elizabeth Warren. Here’s a breakdown of the schedule so you can prepare.

Check back here today for updates and commentary once the convention begins.

7:29 PM EDT

The convention opened today with a controversy over the platform that saw the president intervene over issues of faith and Israel’s capitol. The drama was contentious and short-lived. It will probably be as notable as the brief scuffle between the grassroots and the Republican establishment over rules at their convention last week.

Again a Democrat in the first hour gave a speech that roused the crowd to an energy that was not seen at the Republican National Convention. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) gave a rousing invocation in praise of the diversity of the Democratic Party.

The buzz of the convention continues to revolve around President Bill Clinton who reportedly is still writing his speech. Republicans would love to imagine a rift between Clinton and President Obama. If that were true, it’s unlikely Clinton would again be staking his reputation to elect Obama. The simple fact that President Clinton is the keynote speaker is a tribute to his success. If President George W. Bush’s policies — nearly of which Romney embraces — worked, Bush would have been the keynote at last week’s RNC, not a footnote.

8:53 PM EDT

My favorite speech of the convention thus far was just given by Sister Simone Campbell, one of the Nuns on the Bus. As one of several speakers tonight assailing Paul Ryan’s budget, she connected faith to policy. She also disputed Ryan’s claim that his budget reflects Catholic values. She also called for the expansion of Medicare, a crucial aspect of ObamaCare that rarely gets mentions.

James Carville called for the Nuns on the Bus to make an appearance at the DNC, and the crowd agreed with this choice.

9:51 PM EDT

Former Bain employees made up the meat of the nine o’clock hour. Picking up on a threat that the President’s campaign and sympathetic Super PACs have been making for months. Bain may have made a lot of money for Mitt Romney but it did not create good jobs. In fact, often Bain turned middle class jobs into jobs for the working poor — without benefits or retirement.

Apparently Sandra Fluke was bumped from tonight’s agenda along with Barney Frank. The proceedings are running late this evening. Timing is essential, especially because President Obama is in the building to hear President Clinton speak.

Getting Obama and Clinton on stage together before 11:00 eastern is essential. This is the image that will be on newspapers across the country tomorrow. The only image better than Presidents Obama and Clinton standing on stage together would be if George W. Bush were there for them to shake their heads at.

10:04 PM EDT

Sandra Fluke makes primetime. In a schedule switch, the woman who became famous after enduring verbal abuse by Rush Limbaugh. She describes a president who when a woman is verbally attacked “thinks of his daughters, not his donors or his delegates.”

She is a natural in an incredibly challenging situation — serious and sincere in a way that’s entirely relatable way.

What is it about this cool, capable woman that drives Republicans insane? Is it a fear she might actually explain how a woman’s body works?

11:29 PM EDT

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was rousing. In a brief slot, she summed up why she’s become a liberal icon. Her grit and determination to face down what ails the middle class is obvious, as is her passion for fixing out a system where corruption is permissible. She trails slightly in her race against Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and gave herself a boost with a speech that was not toned down at all for the occasion.

As good as Warren’s performance is, it quickly disappeared into the wake of former President Bill Clinton.

Here are some excerpts:

“In Tampa the Republican argument against the President’s re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn’t finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in.

“I like the argument for President Obama’s re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators.

“The most important question is, what kind of country do you want to live in? If you want a you’re-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility — a we’re-all-in-this-together society — you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”

Bill Clinton didn’t give a speech. It was a Matrix-like upload of everything Democrats have been trying to say for months.

In the days leading up tonight’s event, the press has been trying to craft a conflict between the two presidents. They imagined what Clinton would talk about and what he wouldn’t. And the answer to it all was, YES. He talked about every domestic issue that looms over this election.

From the mess President Obama inherited to the cold reality: “No president could clean this up in one term.” President Clinton’s speech was the most wide-ranging yet granular speech given this election season. He spoke of his passion for cooperation and respect for Republicans. Our Henry Decker points out that thanks to Bill Clinton, George W. Bush got more applause at the Democratic Convention than he did at the Republican convention.

But the key role Clinton played was as an arbiter of truth. He told the story of ObamaCare the way every Democrat has wanted to. He told the origin of the debt the way every Democrat has wanted to. He debunked the lies about Medicare and Welfare Reform the way every Democrat has wanted to. He even went into the voter suppression that indicts the Republicans true fear of democracy.

But he did it all in his plain-spoken, objective-sounding tone that seems beyond politics — a voice of the American Dream itself, to be a bit hyperbolic.

If President Obama is reelected — and the chances of this are much greater now than before this speech — President Clinton will have done more to influence this election than any donor ever could. The Democrats may not have the Koch brothers writing checks for hundred of millions of dollars. But they have Bill Clinton. And for now, that’s more valuable.

PS: The line of the night came when the former president described Paul Ryan attacking President Obama for taking the exact same savings from Medicare that Ryan did: “It takes some brass to accuse someone of doing something you did.”

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • On day one the DNC managed to rally its base, and establish a constrast between those who believe that only the wealthy deserves to be helped, that they do not owe anything to society, and that the best course of action is an austerity program for the middle class and the poor; and a party that acknowledges the contributions and the role that government plays in the achievement of our personal goals, the importance of helping each other, and the criticality of understanding the goals of the middle class and the poor because we are them.

    • WhutHeSaid

      I agree with your take on this, but I’d like to add one thing: The DNC speakers appeared to actually BELIEVE what they were saying — something better felt than rationalized. This is the kind of thing that wins elections.

      • Indeed, and I suspect the reason they belived what they were saying was because their conclusions were based on their life experiences rather than what they read in a book. Hopefully the honesty and commitment that were evident last night will influence the opinion of those who are still more inclined to believe a cute 30 second commercial than analyze the root cause of our problems and assess the effectiveness of our policies.

    • TheOldNorthChurch

      Dominick – you must have not watched the last two hours of the convention last night. I thought it was the conservative message. Lift yourself up by your boot straps, self reliance, hard work, love of the military? I actually watch it twice to see if I miss heard the message. No I did not. Do you think the speakers believe in what they were saying? The first two hours were the message you have noted, but not the last two.

      • I also watched the last two hours of the convention and I am convinced the speakers believed what they said as much as I do. Don’t confuse supporting social programs that help the elderly, children, handicapped Americans and the poor with lack of commitment to support our military, disavowing our personal responsibilities and sense or self-reliance or aversion to hard work. I am one of those “liberal” Democrats who support most of what President Obama has done and plan to vote for him, and I worked 44 years before I retired, paid taxes my entire life, was never unemployed, never collected a welfare dime, saved enough to be independent and not be aburden on my children and grandchildren, and in many ways I, an agnostic, embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ much more closely than the pseudo Christians whose interpretation of Christianity is limited to letting the merchants run the Temple, accumulation of material wealth, out of control greed, lack of compassion for our fellow man, intolerance and overt hatred towards those who don’t look or sound like us.
        The cultural cleansing that has taken place in the GOP in recent years, and that resulted in the replacement of several highly regarded moderate Republicans always willing to find middle ground to reach consensus and ensure our country could continue to move forward have been replaced by right wing extremists whose stated idea of compromise is limited to Democrats accepting their agenda. The Democratic party includes a lot more than members of every ethnic group and social class in America; it includes liberals, centrists, and people that lean right on specific fiscal and social issues, but who embrace what the Democratic party represents because, as a whole, it is much closer to what our values and priorities are than what the GOP stands for.

        • TheOldNorthChurch

          I think what you just described is the Democrat Party of Bill Clinton and John Kennedy. I just do not believe it is the Party of Barack Obama, that was why it was so surprising. It was so off message to what Obama has been doing and saying. It is where he should have moved to after the 2010 election.

          In many ways it is very close to Romney, who is just slightly right of center.

      • BTW, did you notice that Romney did not acknowledge the contributions of our troops and the sacrifices they and their families have made? Was that an inadvertent or a deliberate omission from a man whose 5 sons decided to wrap themselves in the flag while running away from their national responsibilities? I thought the indifference he showed towards the military, after so graceously volunteering my 20-year old grandson’s services to fight in Iran was repugnant to say the least. Should we assume Dick Cheney was his mentor?

        • TheOldNorthChurch

          I did notice and was not pleased. My nephew was badly injured in Afghanistan two months ago and while he will recover he will live with his injuries for the rest of his life.

          I did not answer the call to service in Vietnam. My four sons have not served either. But I am a strong patriot and believe in what made this country strong. I do not believe that an overbearing central government is the solution. The government that is best controlled is limited and local. Individuals, churches and communities are the source of this nations advancements and freedoms. Not an “elitist” group in Washington.

    • What you mean they preached to the choir, told them things they wanted to hear. Wow big whoop

  • ObozoMustGo

    A relevant quote for you leftist freaks and useful idiots…

    “If this were a few years earlier, he’d be carrying our bags” – Bill Clinton, 2008, referring to Obozo’s amature incompetence. By the way, Bill Clinton also invented the nickname “The Amature” for Obozo. He was right.

    Have a nice day!

    “Fathom the hypocrisy of a political party that has a convention focused on abortion, contracepti0n, and so-called women’s rights, AND has as their big speaker and hero an admitted sexual harraser and accused rapist that was impeached for lying in a court of law about it.” – ObozoMustGo

    [what a bunch of losers] [hehehehehehehehehe]

    [click image to enlarge]


      Sorry you’ve never had a blowjob, but don’t take it out on the rest of us, “amature.”

  • retiredforaliving

    Warren convinced me Barak is the worst president ever with her speech last night

  • Billy Chin

    The onion? It is fictional satire of news.