DNC Day 4 Roundup 

Travel prevented me from watching the convention live. I watched Clinton’s speech this morning and my very short take is that Hillary made a straightforward case for herself as a competent decisionmaker. I’ve always thought the best arguments for Hillary are her work ethic and basic competence. Her speech was effective because she stayed in…

DNC Day 3: The Coda for Obama and Biden

Last night, President Obama and Vice President Biden gave their speeches endorsing Hillary Clinton. While the speeches were effective both in their support of Clinton and tearing down of Trump, they were most striking as the fitting coda to a particular brand of liberal patriotism that Obama and Biden fostered. Biden began the speech by…

DNC Day 2 Roundup: Bill Clinton

It started off unusually. Bill Clinton began the speech with a detailed description of his attraction to and dogged pursuit of an unnamed woman. It was no shock that he was talking about his future wife but the journey to that reveal was, at best, uncomfortable. Unfortunately, hearing Bill Clinton describe his efforts to ensnare…

The First Lady

For the most part, the 2016 campaign has been a dark and depressing affair. In the first night of the DNC, Michelle Obama lit a blowtorch in the darkness. She started the speech by talking about her husband’s presidency through the eyes of her children. She discussed his presidency not as a means to political ends but as a…

DNC Day 1 Roundup

Day 1 was designed as the Day of Healing. After the DNC email scandal broke over the weekend, the organizers wisely decided to make the first day about unifying the party and giving voice to the progressives. The convention got off to a rough start as the Bernie Or Bust crowd make frequent interruptions and…

Today in Cognitive Dissonance

Clinton betrayed Bernie voters. Kaine supports TPP, is in pocket of Wall Street, and backed Iraq War. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016 Like Kaine, Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, also supported the TPP and was a supporter of the Iraq War. Similarly, the only public comments Trump made about the Iraq War…

Clinton Picks Tim Kaine 

Hillary Clinton picked Tim Kaine as her running mate. Kaine was widely regarded as the safe choice because his resume reads like that of someone specially bred to be a Democratic Vice-President. Though there were other well- qualified candidates, Kaine had the most wide ranging experience and is, arguably, the best prepared to step in…

RNC Day 4 Roundup: Trump’s Speech

Trump was introduced by his daughter Ivanka, who detailed his experience in business and put a heavy emphasis on construction. She delivered the speech ably but the qualifications she laid out did not match the job description. If we were electing a contractor, Trump might well have gotten the bid. For the Presidency, the case was woefully…

RNC Day 3 Roundup

The big speeches last night were those of Ted Cruz and Mike Pence. They were most notable for their contrast. Cruz spoke in broad terms about the country, acknowledged the existence of minority groups and even indicated an understanding they have unique and varied interests, and talked about the historical role of the Republican Party…

RNC Day 2 Roundup

The theme for last night was Make America Work Again. However, the speakers offered no plans for creating jobs for anything outside of the cottage industry of yelling about Hillary Clinton. There are a couple reasons for the speakers ignoring the theme of the evening. First, Republicans have a problem in claiming they have the best job creation plans because it…

Convention Day One Roundup 

It was a rough first day. For day one, the main goals were to avoid major infighting in the party and limit unforced errors that further alienate independent voters. This did not work out. The NeverTrump crowd staged a serious challenge to Trump through the rules vote. The attempt to hold a roll call vote was thwarted but…