SUGGESTED LOGO/T-SHIRT DESIGN
Are we liking this as a logo for Obama-Biden 08? I got inspired to try my hand at some graphic design. Let me know what you think.
I missed the Mets and the Democratic Convention (had to catch up on both via TiVo later), so i could attend the night session at the U.S. Open where I saw Andy Roddick finally find his mojo. He served 147 miles per hour and notice that he's back. I later discovered that both Bill Clinton and the Mets rediscovered their mojo too.
Other highlights from the Open: I saw a woman who looked just like Jimmy Connors, watched a doubles team on a side court who had an uncanny resemblance to Simon and Garfunkel and enjoyed playing "Which of these things is not like the other?" with the corporate sponsors' logos along the side of Arthur Ashe stadium. (Lexus, Chase, George Foreman, American Express.)
As for Clinton Mari (a lame riff on Bush Pere):
The wounded Leo rose to the occasion, buried the hatchet and really helped unify the party. He showed far more graciousness and magnanimity than one might have expected and it was great to be reminded how compelling and charismatic he can be when he's not being petulant. It was also nice to see how directly and emphatically Obama acknowledged both of the Clintons in his brief "surprise" appearance at the end. (Based of recent evidence, it appears the Democrats do Surprise about as well as the Republicans do Honesty--or, to be less controversial, Competence.)
Kerry was strong and impassioned. Nothing like someone working with conviction to redeem past failings. Reminds me of how great Gore was endorsing Kerry in 2004--exhibiting more righteous conviction in one brief speech than he had cumulatively summoned in all his campaign appearances and debates in 2000.
Love watching the big, cheesy, guileless smiles that Hillary and Bill give each other when the other one delivers a good applause line on stage. It's a touching glimpse into the genuine love and deep mutual regard that transcend their specular narcissism and spectacular ambition.
Beau Biden's speech was, for me, the highlight of the night. A speech from the heart of tragedy and truth delivered without a trace of vanity or rhetorical artifice. It was wonderful in the context of recent Party pride and pettiness to have such gravitas conferred upon the proceedings. It was a truly moving and powerful tribute and I had goose bumps on my arms and tears in my eyes.
After that, Biden was perfectly solid. But the truest thing he said was that he knows he's done all right because he sees that his son has turned out to be a better man than he.
In any event: It seems like the Democrats finally have their house in order. The necessary words have been said, the unifying gestures have been made, the generational torch has been passed and it seems like, as long as they don't do something pretentious and grandiose on the last night of the Convention to play right into the Republicans' Celebrity-slamming hands, they should they should be in good shape.
PROPS OF THE DAY:
To Carlos Freaking Delgado
And Anyone who can talk Obama out of doing his planned Demonsthenes (or is it Delphic Oracle?) Impression tonight.
OBSERVATION OF THE DAY:
Tennis is boxing for people who don't like to get hit and chess is tennis for people who don't like to get up.
PROPOSED BAND NAME OF THE DAY:
Andy Roddick's Girlfriend
RANDOM SINGLE SENTENCE PORTRAIT OF THE DAY: (And, no: this does not relate to anyone I know.)
While he was a hell of a competitor, he seldom brought his hygienic A-game.
Hillary did her part. She felt more real and vibrant and authentic than ever before. All the cheeesiness and sing-songiness was gone from her voice--replaced by a credible sense of gravity and conviction. That said, she really had no real alternative as it was essential to her self-interest to appear to be giving her wholehearted support to the ticket. To the extent that she still harbors hopes of a future presidential run (and she most certainly does), she knows it's political suicide to have her fingerprints on any possible Obama loss. Bill Clinton, too, will no doubt rise to the performative occasion tonight (even if he is unahppy with the speech topic he's been given: hey, NOBODY tells the smartest kid in the class what to write or talk about. Nobody.) as he has a profound investment in his legacy. But in his heart of hearts, you know that what he hopes for most is an Obama loss that can't be blamed on him and the sweet redemption of a Hillary victory in 2012. He's the biggest, babiest, boomerist ego of them all and he is simply not ready to be eclipsed by this undeferential Illinois upstart.
But Bill and Hillary's conflicts of interest aside: the onus is really on Obama now to graciously embrace the Hillary supporters and to truly acknowledge the indispensible contribitions of the Clintons. Bill needs his ego stroked. And Hillary's passionate supporters need her historic run to be properly acknowledged. Obama simply can't give this short shrift. At the same time, he has to really start getting less abstract and make a direct, gut-level appeal to the average American. Give them a sense of who he is and what he would do to improve their lot. To concretize his promise of positive change. His complex and nuanced policy ideas have to be distilled down to something clear and readily intelligible. "Smarter ideas for a better working America." or "Smarter policies for a healthier America" or "Smarter Policies for a Safer, Stronger America." Or some such thing. Those three just sprang to mind...but frankly, while none is very good, they are all much better than any formulation he has yet to offer.
Aside from the instant communicability of a "Tax cuts, Small government" platform, McCain has another truly insisidious asymmetry working in his favor. Namely this: Fear and doubt are a much easier sell than trust and hope. As the Middle East has shown us again and again, years of careful, painstaking peace negotiations can be undone by a single act of hate.
If all else fails, Obama could embrace this slogan: "He's never called his wife a C*nt."
PROBABLY UNNECESSARY P.S. OF THE DAY:
In case that last sentence elicited a "Whaa??" reaction: McCain evidently called his wife the C word in front of a lot of people a couple of years ago. And by C word, I don't mean Christian, conservative or cougar.
BEST NEW OBAMA-BIDEN ANALOGY TANDEM SUGGESTION OF THE DAY (Courtesy of friend of blog, R.C.)
Luke Skywalker and Han Solo
Damn. That might give Ashton and Demi a run for their money.
VEGASISM OF THE DAY:
Not to date myself, but, hey., everyone needs a social life...
STATE OF THE VEGAS OF THE DAY:
The U.S. Open has started, the Democratic Convention is underway, the Mets are in a pennant race, the back-to-school feeling is creeping back into the air and Theodore Vegas is simply overwhelmed by the bounty, the plenitude and the abundance.
QUICKLY SCRIBBLED CONVENTION NOTES:
I thought Michelle Obama was excellent. Articulate. Lovely. Warm. And fist-bumpalicious. Struck me how this really was a different vision of America. An America in which things really are possible. In which the American Dream is more than a lovely piece of rhetoric to be cynically trotted out around election time. It struck me that Michelle and Barack and, I believe, Biden were all the first people in their respective families to attend college. What a breath of fresh air from the usual patrician sense of waspy white entitlement. The scions of privilege, groomed for greatness since just before their births. This is as true of recent Democratic candidates (Kerry comes from wealth, Gore's father was a famous senator, Clinton is, of course, the glaring exception...) as it's been true of the Republicans. Anyhow, a nice thing to see and a true slap in the face of one's habitual cynicism.
My only nit pick: I could have lived with her saying "You see" a few fewer times. But otherwise, damn. Just jealous Barack got to her first.
Obama appearing via satellite: The camera pulls back to reveal him sitting there next to this middle American white family in Kansas City. Awkward. So silly and stage-y. Like a movie comedy premise gone bad. Sort of like the Jerk in reverse. Or Me, Myself and Obama. Who is that skinny black guy at the edge of the family portrait?
Still a big rift between the Hillary delegates and the Obama delegates. And, of course, between the Obamas and the Clintons. I'm sure Hillary and Bill will say all the right things in their scheduled speeches, but their hearts will not be fully in it. And that's a real problem. With all the racial resistance Obama faces, any failure of party unification could prove fatal. Bill Clinton is a big entitled baby and Hillary's self- interest is at war with her political principles (which is to say, Obama losing is better for her chances in 2012). That said, I think she may surprise us with an unprecendented display of Clintonian self-transendence. But even if she does, the obstacles are still formidable: Millions of bitter women and one huge, bitter male ego.
Observation watching the post-Convention commentary: Not to generalize, but Republicans tend to be mean and ugly. At least the party hacks and spinmeisters. And, a propos of that: While I'm not a big fan of celebrity culture, it is striking that the only notable G.O.P. celebs are Wayne Newton and Bo "I.Q. of 10" Derek. G.O.P: The celebreality series. Next on Fox TV!
Best Convention Image of the night: A shot of a guy wandering outside the convention with a sign that said "Bring Back Crystal Pepsi."
SIGNS OF RACIAL PROGRESS OF THE DAY:
Donald Young and James Blake played a 5 setter last night at the U.S. Open and no where in the article did it mention that they were both black.
The Democrats are about to nominate the first black presidential candidate ever from a major party.
SIGNS OF LACK OF RACIAL PROGRESS OF THE DAY:
Lots of white working class voters still think of Obama as "Other" and "Not Like us" and use all kinds of code words to signify an unwillingness to vote for a black candidate.
Some white supremist creeps were arrested in Denver after being found to have automatic rifles and claiming to be in town to shoot Obama.
Terrifying. Yeah, you've got a self-made black guy who went to Harvard and built this amazing life for himself with a loving, brilliant wife and beautiful respectful children and is about to be nominated as the Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States. Then you have these freakish angry meth-mouthed losers with swastika tattoos trying to kill him because he's black. Yup. Clear proof of the superiority of white people!
The five stages of my reaction to this news:. Denial, Fear, Rage, Sadness, Laughter.
The Obamas clearly love each other more than the McCains do. They have cuter kids than the McCains do. They are better looking than the McCains. They are better educated than the McCains. But, there's just something about them. I can't quite put my finger on it. Oh, wait, that's right: They're black.
STORY OF THE DAY:
In a finding that will be bittersweet for Hillary Clinton supporters, a new Pew survey finds that when it comes to honesty, intelligence and a handful of other key traits valued in leaders, the public rates women as superior to men.
Still, a mere 6 percent say that, overall, women make better political leaders than men.
My thought: Men aren't prefered as political leaders in spite of their inferior honesty and intelligence. But because of it.
STORY SUMMARY OF THE DAY:
Women are better people. But men are better at a lot of other things.
RANDOM SINGELE SENTENCE PORTRAIT OF THE DAY:
We enjoyed his occasional spasms of lucidity.
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Posted on 8/28/2008
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