I liked it so much I watched it twice. Live last night and recorded this afternoon. Good, very good throughout and excellent at times. As I have been saying all week, I like this format. Substance, well delivered. In-depth snapshots of the nominees. The people, the people, the people.
- Fast Snapshots-
- Bloomberg asks “ If you owned a business, would you rehire Trump?”
- Veteran Senator Tammy Duckworth standing tall where her legs used to calls Trump the “coward in chief.”
- 13 Year Old Brayden Harrington (13 year old): Stutter Biden meets Stutterer Harrington and gentle mentoring results.
- The “also-rans” from the huge Democratic Field chat about great moments on the campaign trail.
- Representative Deb Haaland reframes the race as an attack on The Constitution
- Ed Good, 95, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, lifelong NRA member, and GOP supporter proclaims: “I think Trump has been the worst president we’ve ever had. So I’ll be glad to see him go.”
- Buttigieg praises Biden’s ‘political courage’ on same-sex marriage
The Core Moments
* Joe Biden: How would the “fading, failing, addled, ex-VP do outside of his basement fortress” (the image Trump has been painting). As it turns out he demonstrate competence, strength, readiness, empathy, and a sense of certainty about the mission his campaign is serving. I was concerned that Biden would do fine but when compared with others this week (including his former boss) he would be seen as second rate. Instead, he was charismatic, forceful, emotional, and powerful. While giving appropriate nods to the progressive crowd most of his speech aimed to draw in those who stand “in the middle” between Left and Right. He summed it up with these words: “This is not a partisan moment….This is an American moment.” He called All Americans to work together for the nation with common decency, humanity, and compassion holding us together.
* Tammy Duckworth: The camera panned in from the Illinois senator’s wheelchair in the background to her standing on artificial limbs to lay out a stinging case against someone charged to be The Commander in Chief. Blasting his view of the military and what patriotism means she hit him with this charge: “We have a coward-in-chief who won’t stand up to Vladimir Putin.”
* Cory Booker: The New Jersey senator whose remarkable service as Newark’s mayor is the platform on which he still stands. He celebrated the power of optimism that sparks passion and energy. He held up hard work, and communities united in common cause, as the foundation for real change.
* Brayden Harrington- that 13-year-old stutterer who discovered he was in the same club as Biden. Can you imagine what it took for that kid, hell almost any kid, to do what he did: Deliver a speech written by himself notated with symbols to aid pronunciation taught to him by the VP. He took a great risk in doing this- putting himself out there before an audience in the millions.
* The Videos. The production teams who crafted these biographies that introduced us to Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Beau Biden (RIP), Hunter Biden, Ashley Biden and Mommy Neila Biden (RIP) deserve medals. I thought I knew his story….not even close.
The Core Moments
* The Fireworks. A balloon drop from a cargo plane might have been more dramatic but the exit of Joe and Kamala to a large parking lot full of cars with people outside and on top of them cheering; and folks inside beeping horns and flashing lights….was pretty good. It went on a little too long but conceptually it was creative, fun, and appropriate.
* Julia Louis Dreyfus got so much better when she got real. She had her moments in the first hour when “The VEEP” went after Prez Trump but some of the zingers had no zip and the format did not support that kind of play and there were more than few awkward moments. BUT….When she dropped some of the jokes and talked about how Biden reached out to her after her cancer diagnosis and about why she believes so strongly in the former vice president — she seemed on the verge of tears – real tears and it was very, very effective. From that moment on I was with her.
Mike Bloomberg had one great quote (see above) but the rest of it…Why give the former New York City mayor such a prime speaking slot….when others, more central to the campaign and its causes, got little time or did not make the cut. I suspected the planners wanted a REAL billionaire to take on the FAKE Mega-Millionaire. I suspected the wanted a formerly high profile Republican and now Democrat Supporter of Joe Biden to have a spotlight on him at prime time. Strategically a good but I don’t think many people got this.