Hey hey all. Today’s blog will be focused on the last day of the Democratic National Convention, which wrapped up last night. It’s Friday. Let’s get this news thing done so we can go outside (or stay inside trying to avoid heatstroke).
In the final night of their convention in Philadelphia, Democrats tried to present their case to voters ahead of the upcoming November presidential election. The DNC started out very rocky Monday, with supporters of primary runner-up U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders loudly protesting the proceedings. But the final night saw at least a somewhat more unified party as presidential nominee Hillary Clinton took the stage herself preceded by a number of other speakers. There were some chants against Clinton from Sanders supporters, but they were mostly masked by the voices of pro-Hillary delegates and other convention attendees.
Among the most powerful of those speeches came from Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim U.S. soldier killed in Iraq in 2004. Khan slammed proposals from Clinton’s opponent GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump to seal off Muslims and those in countries affected by terrorism from coming to the United States. “Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son ‘the best of America,’ ” Khan said of his son, Humayun. “If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.”
Another standout speech: former NBA basketball legend and current public intellectual Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who also gave a stinging rebuke of Trump and his racially problematic statements. “I’m Michael Jordan, and I’m here with Hillary Clinton,” Abdul-Jabbar cracked to open his remarks. “I said that because I know Donald Trump can’t tell the difference.”
Clinton’s speech, as well as the programing that preceded it, looked to thread a needle that faces her party: pleasing Democrats while extending a welcome to independent, moderate voters still on the fence and Republicans driven away by Trump’s divisive statements.
The DNC’s first two days were all about wooing Sanders supporters on the left, with progressive heroes like Elizabeth Warren and Sanders taking the stage and speaking to that group’s priorities. In this final night, however, the convention looked more toward the latter.
No speech more illustrated this than Gen. John Allen’s remarks. A retired Marine general, Allen promised that America’s enemies would fear us under Clinton, and in general lined out a vision of an administration vigorously committed to defense. That probably didn’t sit well with the party’s left wing, but Allen did try to balance those remarks with a promise that a return to torture techniques used to gain intelligence about terrorists under the Bush administration wouldn’t happen. That’s a direct response to comments Trump has made promising to bring torture back as an option.
Clinton’s remarks were heavy on policy — a big contrast to the speeches at the RNC, and Trump’s campaign in general — but did lapse into politics toward the end, trying to make the case that Trump isn’t qualified to be president or to make decisions about national security.
Trump has fired back at Clinton and other DNC speakers. He called Clinton's speech "insulting" and full of "cliches" via social media following the event.
The speech has already drawn some odd news coverage. There’s this Associated Press piece that claims to cover “misfires in Clinton’s speech,” but which actually contains more fact checks about Trump statements. There’s also this incredibly strange (frankly, dumb) CNN story that purports to draw a link between Clinton’s use of common idioms like “glass ceiling” and the “sky is the limit” with very old Lil Wayne songs by the same name. Pro tip: tons of people say “the sky is the limit” and doing so doesn’t mean you’re quoting a rapper. Besides, Jason Derulo and Biggie Smalls both also have songs by the same title. Maybe she was referencing one of them?
Outside the convention, former Donald Trump ghostwriter Tony Schwartz is calling the real estate mogul “a megalomaniac” and decrying his candidacy. Schwartz co-wrote Trump’s very popular autobiography The Art of the Deal, but he’s not so excited about The Donald these days.
“They think he is going to be, those who currently support him, their savior," Schwartz told CNN yesterday. "There is no one, no one, Donald Trump cares about less than the people who are not making it in this world. Those people — those people don't yet realize it — he considers to be losers."