Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Sarah Palin?!

John McCain threw me for a loop today with his Veep choice, but this could prove to be the best decision he's made so far. This woman- if she can withstand whatever ethics issues she faces in her home state of Alaska- may pull a lot of female votes for the Republicans come November. Actually, Obama made it crystal clear last night that character won't be argued during this election, so maybe she will get a pass on the investigation (I'm not so sure that Biden will let it slide).

I always wished in the back of my mind that Obama would choose Hillary Clinton. In the primary, she got the votes that he so desperately needs. In my heart, I knew it wouldn't happen. It couldn't happen because it's too radical a choice. If her voters didn't come over the way he needed them to, he would still lose whatever Republican and Independent votes he could get without her being on the ticket.

You see, what I respect about politics is that if you search long enough, every move has an appropriate counter-move. McCain is unpopular with women and young voters, so he picks a candidate who fits the bill on both accounts. Obama has only a few years under his belt in the Senate, so he picks a Washington veteran. The strategy is sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious, but a good player always rises to the occasion.

The Speech

First, a note to the GOP, who has to follow this convention with their own next week: Good luck with that!

For the first time, Obama took the fight to McCain. It was unexpected but still savvy, preempting McCain's inevitable attacks on his patriotism and lack of experience. I know the old addage about defense, but watching a good offense is a beautiful thing!

After my Invesco Field experience today, I have learned a few new truths: first, this country needs a Barack Obama. Whether you agree with his politics or not, the man has got something. People feel good about themselves at just the idea of him. They get energized about who they are and who they want to be. They want to catch a glimpse of him, touch him, get to know him. Many feel as though they do know him already, just because he seems so familiar. He has given people the permission they needed to start dreaming again. In response, many have awakened from a self-induced slumber caused by pain, defeat, sadness and fear of wanting what seems unobtainable. In him, they see all that they wish they could be, but never dared to try and become.

The second truth I've learned is that the country desperately needs this message of hope and change to be followed up by action. This campaign has gotten the most disenfranchised of our country's citizens involved; from the older folk, who have all but given up on ever being truly represented by the government; to the young, who have new eyes, and a spirit capable of taking on the world, but can easily be broken if let down by inaction, or "same as usual" politics. If that happens, the end result could be worse than if he ever existed at all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hug it Out!

Wow! There are just some things you never think you'll see in life!

If you know anything about Illinois politics, you also know that there are some pretty big divisions amongst its big players. Not only between parties, but also major factions within the same party. Some will say that in fighting is simply a hazard of holding every major office in the State. Well, today was a first. There were people reaching out to each other, hugging, conversing, ands simply trying to bury old hatchets! I never thought I would see the day when Governor Blagojevich and Speaker Madigan would hug. That was just too much! What in the world is going on?

This has indeed been a special city. Can we attribute the latest developments to Obama's Campaign of Unity?


I'm just waking up from last night! The DNC outdid themselves in Denver. First, the convention floor is something to behold. It's an aesthetically beautiful sight, drenched in blue carpeting and colorful video backdrops that change every few seconds. More important, there is an amazing energy in that vast space. Whether they are for Clinton, Obama, or another candidate, the delegates are excited to be here. Throughout the night, the aisles were completely packed with people trying to move along, but any progress completely stopped for the speeches. About the speeches: every Governor last night tried to rise to the occasion, but neither their topics nor their deliveries were particularly original. I just feel as if I've heard it all this year. However, when Hillary Clinton hit the stage, it was quite exciting. I wasn't sure if she could convince her supporters to get on board, but she really did sound sincere. Still, there were a few snickers from the crowd when she mentioned Obama by name, but in general, the crowd was wanted to hear her message. What they do in the voting booth this November is a different story.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's getting kinda' hectic.

Taking a well-deserved break from the madness. Who said the Clinton backers don't have heart?
Wow! Are there problems in this Democratic paradise, or what. We knew it wouldn't be pretty with Clinton supporters dragging their feet all the way to the convention, but we are now at a new low where we are comparing who's minority status is worse off in 2008- African-Americans, or women. What really disturbs me is that the tone of the argument creates the image that there is some sort of prize for the worst spot! How does this kind of mentality affect the country. Better question: how about those who happen to be born as both? What's their outlook?

Comparing that with the opening ceremony of the US Open opening ceremony happening right now on USA, and you have a very interesting juxtaposition. I say that because the US Open is celebrating its 40th anniversary, putting its birth appropriately in 1968- the year of complete change and turmoil. The video tribute of past greats included the first male champion at the Open, Arthur Ashe.

What really stands out to me is that we still have to talk about how articulate and poised and calm any great African-American person of greatness is. Never is Boris Becker's aptitude celebrated, or any other non Black player for that matter. John McEnroe is celebrated for having the exact opposite demeanor. No Black tennis player could have ever gotten away with his antics no matter how talented they were.

The same can be said for how a woman athlete is consistently praised more highly if she happens to fit the American standard of attractiveness (see Chris Evert Lloyd Norman). Martina Navratilova was a consistently better all around player that America's sweetheart, Chrissie, but never as celebrated. This way of thinking really created a monster in Anna Kournikova, who never won a tournament, but is a genius at marketing her looks even today. Yet, Serena and Venus have destroyed their peers, but I fear their legacy may prove to be somewhat dimmed because of their physical appeal to the masses.

Have we completely lost it? They play a sport, for heaven's sake! I'm a purist. All I require is that they beat the hell out of their opponents. Save the parlor niceties for later.

Is there some written requirement that to be a great African-American, one must fit into a certain mold? The same question applies to women. If I have to even ask the question, perhaps we're all in the same boat after all!

Mile-High.. Inch Deep?!

That's what Sen. McCain's campaign members have posted here in Denver! They are on the prowl at the DNC convention. Just when the Dems thought they might have a little down time. Right!

I attended two major parties yesterday, and just engaging in my favorite pasttime -people watching- is amazing. Just keep your eyes opened and your mouth shut, and you'll learn more than you ever dreamed! I don't know.. This world of politics- it's a mine field! Everything you say, everything you do is scrutinized. And, I know that is the understatement of the year, but take a look at the today, and you know how serious this can be. Especially if you happen to be connected to another candidate's campaign. This game is merciless! Before you even think of trying to play it, ask yourself one question: "Do I really have what it takes?" If there is is the slightest hesitation with your answer, do yourself a favor and choose a nice quiet life.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The "Mile High" city is really a mile high!

I'm out here in Denver at the DNC (that's Democratic National Committee) convention. I'm told that this should be the convention to end all conventions. We'll see about that. But, what I will say is, the Denver people (I'm calling them Denver'inians- just because I can!) are very friendly, and seem to genuinely like each other. Their downtown area reminds me of St. Louis- not super imposing, but very nice buildings. There's a strip that looks like the new Louisville downtown. Bars, shops and lots of neon lights. They've also converted old warehouses into bars and businesses. Where I'm staying is just wide open space, with buildings randomly scattered. I don't get a grid-like feeling from the layout, but it's so open, you feel open.
Also, I'll never complain about my hometown's public transportation again. Here, it was $1.75 to take a bus to the train (they call it the Light Rail), which then costs $3.75 to get downtown. There are transfers you can get to lower the cost a bit, but Geez!

Friday, August 22, 2008

So... It's Joe Biden, eh?

Now it's time to do some homework! See, even JFK picked a southern gentleman to pull well-needed votes in that region, so what's the deal here? The whole thing about Biden being chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee is a bit thin. Well, at the very least, Biden will fill the next three months with many exceptional one-liners. The one he used to sum up Rudy Giuliani's campaign's over-reliance on the World Trade Center disaster is still a classic in my book!

"Rudy Guiliani.. Probably the most underqualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency.. There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, and a verb and 9-11".

I couldn't have said it better!