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Stateside Convention Watch: Churl Or Hurl?

Stateside with Rosalea: Convention Watch

Churl Or Hurl?

That's the choice confronting anyone watching the Democratic National Convention this week. And in the hurl department, there's always the choice of your boot or your undigested dinner.

Have the Dems' strategists taken leave of their senses? Exactly how are the oft-repeated words "respected in the world again" supposed to win over voters in the swing states, voters who don't give a rat's arse if the US is respected, just so long as it has got the biggest stick and the loudest self-blown trumpet?

And why, on Tuesday night, was the convention center full of signs saying Osama? Oh, that was a B, not an S? Well, whose bright idea was that guy, anyway? An American African who grew up in Hawaii and edited the Harvard Law Review. Wow, he's really relevant to an African American voter in East Oakland whose kids have a life expectancy of about fourteen years on account of the drug turf wars in the streets. Ah, but he looked like the televangelist Creflo Dollar and had that same kind of come-to-Jesus delivery, I suppose.

And just who did they think would be won over by a woman speaking four languages? Especially when they were the languages of Old Europe. The cameras kept cutting away to catch Hillary Clinton's expression during Teresa Heinz Kerry's speech and the former First Lady looked distinctly pained. Some people thought she looked bored. I'm wondering now if she didn't just look resigned to another defeat for the Democrats come November.

Tonight it was John Edwards' turn, and I have to admit he had a pair of royals in his hand in the form of his parents, who looked just like elderly folks from any small town. Nice one, John. Then he dropped the presidential nominee's surname, to speak of "when John's in the White House." Subtle. Very subtle. We all know which "John in the White House" that brought to mind. So nostalgic. As is the emphasis on hope and opportunity. In fact, wasn't "opportunity" the key word of a Kennedy campaign? And didn't Bill Clinton end his acceptance speech in 1992 by saying he was returning to his beginnings, "a place called hope"?

The song lyrics "Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin?" kept going through my mind when I was listening to Edwards. The casual way he kept referring to "John" was just like the poignant casualness of that song. In a way, the strongest speaker on each of the three nights *were* Abraham, Martin and John: Clinton as the larger than life figure; Obama as the inspiring black leader; Edwards as the new young blood.

Thursday night it's Kerry, the face of Doom. I can hardly wait.


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