Dem Dems in Boston on tv yesterday

If Day 1 was about Democratic Party past, then yesterday – Day 2 – was the bridge from the past to the future. Some commentary on my part, which may not mean very much:

Ted Kennedy started the night off; yeah, he’s the Democrat of the Democratic party, but he was kind of boring (confession: I actually slept through a huge chunk of the Kennedy speech; forgive me).

Howard Dean was interesting, until he started talking about John Kerry – that got boring. And, what’s the deal about naming every state in the union? (“And we’ll go to Utah, Arizona, and Texas…” – Dean avoided screaming though) – as if people don’t know the names of states (roll call at least used to be interesing – you get all those state nicknames and weird state pride – regrettably, we won’t have that on tv anymore).

Barack Obama, the state senator from Illinois who’s the candidate for US Senator from that state – he was really good to watch. ABC News had a profile of him, which was good (so did Time magazine). He’s an Ivy Leaguer; went to Harvard Law School; 1st black editor of law review; rejected big firms for civil rights work. Obama spoke about a united America, hope, and that’s it’s ok to be a liberal (or progressive or whatever term you want to use; it’s all ok, as long as you keep your perspective on that one America idea). Obama was, in a word, good. All the pundits said it was like we were watching the Democratic party’s future. The crowd in Boston was certainly jumping. But, I still felt one flaw: Obama got a little dull talking about Kerry. Just a little. Maybe it’s my fatigue of hearing over and over how Kerry went to the Vietnam War and will do everything to give us all health care and good stuff like that. Otherwise, I loved Obama’s background story, ambition, and vision.

Frankly, I’d prefer hearing about Kerry from people who knew/know Kerry and doing it with nuance. Bill Clinton did it great (paraphrase: “Pres. Bush, Vice Pres. Cheney and I – we didn’t go to war; Kerry did…”). The Time magazine coverage of how Kerry thinks and what his friends and enemies say about him – great. Listening to campaigning speakers drone on about how good Kerry is (without getting specific on what he’ll really do) – not so great.

I felt squeamish watching Ron Reagan; he was a good speaker – but he was there only for his topic of stem cell research. It felt too obvious that he and the Democratic Party were using each other, a point Reagan himself made in an interview on NBC.

I was looking forward to hearing Teresa Heinz Kerry – she was ok. Not spectacular, but ok. She’s not a professional speaker, but she had ideas, stories, and sense. Pundits would say she should have been more personal in talking about Kerry. But, I’d say there are just some things that should remain personal; Heinz Kerry tried to be balanced. Was she successful at that? Well, that remains to be seen. But, I like her comments that it doesn’t make sense that a woman who speaks her mind (right or wrong) is considered “opinionated” (or less polite words) whereas a man who speaks his mind isn’t slighted in a similar manner. She’s no Laura Bush, she’s no Hilary Clinton either. She’s just Teresa (the liberal Republican who became a Democratic not very long ago)…

Today’s Day 3 – umm. Well, it’s supposed to be John Edwards at the 10pm time slot. We’ll see how that goes. has a One-on-One interview with Councilman John Liu (dated July 26, 2004). Interesting stuff.

The news in NYC is still about getting people (the everyday folks anyway) ready to avoid midtown during the Republican convention; doesn’t that contradict the idea of using the convention as an economic boost? If it’s just the convention folks and the protesters, then what about the rest of us in NYC getting a chance at seeing what this is about? Oh well.

Back to tv…

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