As promised, here are my wanna be expert but random thoughts on the respective candidates’ speeches and other non-linear stuff from the DNC and RNC. As usual, remember to respectfully share your thoughts, opinions, and corrections.
John McCain: He was solid. Not the greatest or fanciest orator but clear communicator. Thought he handled the hecklers extremely well. Enjoyed the way he thanked and congratulated Obama. Heard it often but was moved by hearing his POW story personally from him. But grew very tired of the line, “rather lose an election than lose a war.” Please…no more. His demeanor, his story, his authenticity = Grade: B+.
Sarah Palin: She has a compelling story and is a gifted communicator. I was surprised how comfortable she appeared in her speech. Having said that, too many disrespectful shots in my opinion. For her first national appearance, do you really want to do that? I walked away remembering one liners and really no idea about the substance of her speech. Someone on FoxNews called it one of the greatest political speeches. Umm, no. But she still gained points for the party. She got lucky and I’ll explain later. Grade: B- but barely.
Barack Obama: Clearly, a very gifted communicator. Brilliant…the only speech you feel like you need to go back and listen to again because of the nuances of his content. The only problem: my high expectations. He didn’t meet mine but then again, I want him to be as eloquent and prophetic like MLK and the reality is NO ONE will ever be like MLK. Final Grade: A-
Joe Biden: Hate to say it but I don’t even remember his speech. I thought it was your typical stump speech but did enjoy learning about his “family story.” Average at best. Yawn. Final Grade: C.
1. Wednesday’s RNC was WAY over the top. As an “independent” voter, I was turned off. Rudy Giulani was too much. Goodness gracious. Worst unforgettable line: Drill, Baby, Drill. Huckabee still surprises me with his eloquence.
2. How come the music at the respective conventions are so different? And we discussed this, but where’s the diversity in the RNC?
3a. Seriously, is it Sarah Palin or Tina Fey? I can’t tell. Tina Fey is funny. Sarah Palin is not. Who wants punchlines when we need solutions but I do dig Palin’s glasses.
3b. Sarah Palin’s biggest draw: her compelling story. Can’t even make up her story. But this is where she got lucky…very lucky. Her selection was announced AFTER the DNC. She would have been ripped for the reasons already mentioned in the media. Next time: all candidates should be announced before the respective conventions. Everyone needs to take the heat.
4. Is Sarah’s daughter’s pregnancy an issue? Loved what Obama shared that family should be off the table for the opposing camp. Agreed but it doesn’t have to be off the table for the “voter” because we’re not just voting for issues, we’re voting for the person…the whole person, right?
5. Is questioning Palin’s ability to balance her possible new job and adequately care for her children sexist? No and yes. It’s not sexist but really more common sense. Should we ask the question to Obama. Absolutely but no one did. Palin has five children, youngest is an infant with DS, and will be a grandmother in approximately 4 months. Why shouldn’t we ask the question? We can ask but she, her husband, and her family make the decision. We don’t.
6. A person’s character is important because I want the President to exhibit high character. Not perfect but high character which is why I couldn’t support Bill Clinton post Lewinsky. He had an affair - Okay, I can forgive even though it upset me. He lied under oath and lied again when given a chance to come clean and apologize - Not okay. Character matters.
7a. DNC did a smart thing to tone down the rock star frenzy around Obama. Kind of scary…has anyone received this kind of fanfare? Not in my lifetime. But the aspect I appreciate the most about Obama is his nuanced thinking on issues. The aspect I appreciate the most about McCain is his clearcut answers. I could support a hybrid of these two. Honestly, we have two solid candidates for President and I wouldn’t oppose an Obama/McCain ticket. You can argue who’s the Pres.
7b. But enough of questioning the patriotism of Obama. Enough is enough. Let’s move on to engaging in civil debates and dialogue.
8. The “experience” factor. Let’s not mince words. Obama has some experience but nothing remotely close to McCain. But then again, if Obama was 72, he would have much more experience for the simple reason called age. I hope this doesn’t sound weird but McCain and Obama reminds me of “Crimson Tide” [two Navy officers played by Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington] but two angles to same intense situation] but then again, maybe it’s because it’s on TV right now. Advantage here to McCain for his experience. But does one person run the country? I hope not. The cabinet makes the President and vice versa.
9. You can’t compare Palin and Obama. She’s refreshing and has a compelling story but let’s be honest, she’s inexperienced. Six years of a small town mayor? Um, not dissing the town but completely different context. 2 years as governor of Alaska is solid. Why do I consider Obama light years more experienced than Palin? 20 months of grueling and intense campaign against the Clintons! There’s nothing more difficult than running against the Clintons. Palin’s speech on WED will be the easiest thing she’ll do in this campaign.
10. Person most dissed at both the DNC and RNC: George W. Bush. Wow, amazing. I was stunned that he wasn’t even referenced by his name by McCain. Gustav wasn’t what prevented him from coming…he was asked – politely or by “straight talk” – to keep his distance. Amazing.
Last thought: the elections make for some good blogging and intense conversation but it’s [referring to politics, politicians, and policies] not our Ultimate Hope:
Personally, I dont believe that followers of Jesus should be in bed with either of the two major parties. We ought to remain Independent with a commitment to collaborate, listen, engage, and support the political system all while understanding that the political system is not our ultimate Hope or Answer. In addition, we must never lose the courage or conviction to speak prophetically to a group of people because we are lured by the power associated with politics or a political party.
More from this old post:
POLITICS IS NOT THE ANSWER. Rather, it is not THE answer. Politics is a process, structure and medium by which we can do much good as a society rather than much harm but many, I believe, can fall astray in thinking that politics, policies, and politicians can provide the salvation for the nations. It certainly has its purpose and must be used accordingly and wisely.
Lastly [if you've read this far], I am a fan of conversation. People need to talk. Sadly – deep, rich, meaningful conversation – talk