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(Full video and transcripts of the convention are available on the Official DNC Convention Website.)

Michelle Obama’s primetime speech, the only part of the DNC Convention to play on all four networks, rescued an otherwise disappointing first day at the DNC Convention. Meanwhile, John McCain appeared on Jay Leno and joked about how old he is (you’ve gotta hand it whoever at the McCain campaign thinks this is a winning strategy).

I watched the closing three hours of the convention on PBS… the only network to cover more than just the final hour on National TV. Rather than showing an awareness that this would be the world’s first look at the DNC Convention, the first thing we are treated with is coming in in the middle of a discussion about economics with four commentators led by Senator Sharrod Brown. A conversation so dull that clearly few, if any, delegates on the convention floor were paying attention.

Mercifully, following an opening speech by House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi that was decent, but I was grateful did not air to a wider audience as it reminded me of just how much she has failed to restrain the criminal Bush Administration, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg introduced her “Uncle Teddy”, Senator Ted Kennedy, who gave a moving speech to an eager crowd. One point the Senator made that caught my attention was his promise to be there in the Senate in January to serve the new President Obama. I’m sure I’m not the only person to take note that it appeared the Senator, which was diagnosed with an in operable brain tumor last month, isn’t making any plans for more than 6 months from now. Very sad.

Next came Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who gave a surprisingly effective speech about how the current administration has failed the American people.

Former President Carter was introduced with a video of him and his wife Rosalind talking to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and how the Bush Administration not only showed these people just what they think of the poor in this country, but showed the world just how we treat the poor in this country, to our great shame. President Carter and his wife then did a walk-on/walk-off without giving a speech to the eager crowd, though he did give a private interview to Jim Lehrer of PBS. I was hoping that President Carter, who was elected following the national disgrace of Nixon’s resignation following the Watergate scandal, would of given a rousing speech reminding people how the Bush Administration has proved Republicans never change, how they’re willing to lie, cheat & steal, with a total disregard for the rule of law, to seize and retain power to help their powerful friends at the expense of the country. But instead, he continued the discussion about how the Bush Administration has failed the poor of this country (at least I think that’s what he discussed, as his badly hemorrhaged left eye was so distracting, I kept waiting for someone to interrupt to send him to the hospital).

Thankfully, after a nice long introduction by her big brother Craig and a video retrospective of her life, Michelle Obama gave an excellent speech about life with Barack and the people that touched her life, including Senator Hillary Clinton (who was not there).

Following Michelle’s moving speech, the white male pundits on PBS gave it only mild praise, calling it “a missed opportunity” to show America how Barack is “more like them”. Boy, talk about clueless. The speech was not for white male voters like themselves. It was clearly intended to appeal to female Hillary Supporters, which, judging by all the footage of female delegates with tears in their eyes during her speech, archived that goal remarkably well. Hillary voters just want to know that someone that understands them will be influencing public policy in the Oval Office. In that regard alone, her speech was a smashing success, probably helping to win over a few Hillary loyalists.

Following her speech, the young Obama children, their two daughters aged 10 & 7, were brought on stage to say “Hi” to Daddy speaking to them via remote from Kansas City, MO. This first look at the youthful Obama family together before a global audience, the young Senator, his attractive young wife with the “Jackie-O” look down pat, and two young children being as cute as can be, gave America an image of a energetic future First Family that will grow up before before our eyes over the next four-to-eight years.

Then, by contrast, Senator McCain appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to make sure no one forgot about him. Leno joked about how old McCain is (McCain was “the young soldier that put out the fire when the British attempted to burn down the White House is 1812”), and joked about providing McCain “seven dressing rooms to make him feel at home”. McCain then came out and continued the “I’m older than dirt” theme, repeating Leno’s jokes about him. I suspect the McCain campaign believes that joking about the Senator’s age helps “neutralize” the issue. No, all it does is remind everyone how old he is, rather than reassure people with concerns that he might be too old for the job.

Hopefully the next three nights of the DNC convention will be a bit more disciplined. Thank goodness for Michelle Obama.

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