5:51: It's LBGT time. A video, with Obama saying we need to see a man with a man or a woman with a woman as equally worthy as a man and a woman. Then a young man named Zack Wahls — from Iowa — says he was raised by 2 moms, and: "I'm awesome at putting the seat down."
5:55: A really sweet and charming video about the woman who started the "Fired up/Ready to go" chant in Greenwood, South Carolina, some 4 years ago, Edith S. Childs. Ah, it's on line: here. Watch it. I liked that.
5:58: "They really got through the gay stuff quick," I observe.
6:01: Jim Messina, the Obama campaign manager is begging us for money. There's a sob in his voice. He sounds genuinely desperate.
6:28: Foo Fighters emote. [ADDED: Meade says: "This is kind of depressing music, and it goes along with the whole convention.]
6:32: The Foo Fighters are singing "I never wanna die" over and over. It's this song, "Walk":
I never wanna dieNo, no... that's not an argument for a politician's reelection.
I'm on my knees
I never wanna die
I'm dancing on my grave
I'm running through the fire
I never wanna die
I never wanna leave
6:34: Now, there's this really gloomy video. Faces on a dark background. Woebegone people agonizing about how they "did everything right," and yet they are "one mistake away from losing the little that we have."
6: 47: An. act.tress. Kerry. Wash.ing.ton. I'd never heard of her before, but she's emoting big time, like she's talking to a bunch of idiots who never think about politics. But politics is thinking about us, she says ominously. Uh, we're the people watching the convention. We're not your Hollywood friends. "The other side" — "side," pronounced as a series of trembling, upscaling notes — "wants. to. take. our. voi.ces. a.way. and render us. invisible" — big wagging finger — "but we" — "we," rendered in the trembling, upward 4-syllables for a 1-syllable word, like she's really trying to scare us — "are not. invisible." Her doe eyes scan the crowd. Did they understand? Did they com.pre.hend? Did they fath.om the depths of. my. words? [ADDED FROM THE COMMENTS: Fiftyville said: "I loved Kerry Washington's statement... 'You may not be thinking about politics, but politics is thinking about you.' If you have to steal, Dems, why steal from Yakov Smirnoff?"]
6:57: Scarlett Johansson. So the beautiful actresses are all getting dumped in an early hour. Unlike Kerry Washington, the actress Johansson is able to act like a normal person. "We are the generation who feel our voices haven't been heard," she says, repeating something Chelsea Clinton said earlier in the convention. Johansson enthuses about voting. It's a speech that seems more appropriate to a bunch of young kids. And, sorry, I don't understand the basis for this whole generation believing that their "voices haven't been heard." You get to vote. Like everyone else. Why do you feel there's more of an entitlement than that? If you have something to say, say it. You kids have the whole internet. Twitter. YouTube. My generation didn't have that. What's this "no voice" business?
7:04: Debbie Wasserman Schultz aids a woman who is struggling to walk onto the stage. With great effort, she struggles to blurt out the words of the Pledge of Allegiance. My God, it's Gabby Giffords. Many tears run down many faces.
7:09: "As a Catholic woman, I take reproductive health seriously," says Caroline Kennedy, reading the script robotically. She complains about states putting restrictions on "access to reproductive health care."
7:13: Jennifer Granholm, "from the great state of Michigan, where the trees are just the right height." (She lifts Mitt Romney's gentle joke about home, and Meade and I disagree about whether she's showing some affection for her fellow Michigander.)
7:17: Granholm has a good (if unfair) line — referencing Romney's supposed lack of concern for auto-industry workers — "The cars get the elevator, and the workers get the shaft." You have to know that Romney had a car elevator installed in one of his homes.
7:21: It's "actress Eva Longoria." Not sure why Caroline Kennedy and Jennifer Granholm broke up the parade of actresses. Longoria sounds like an intelligent person who actually has followed politics in the normal way that people who like politics follow politics.
7:43: John Kerry. American exceptionalism demands an exceptional President, and that President is Barack Obama, he says.
8:05: As a tribute to servicemen and women goes on at the convention, email from Obama comes in, saying, "Ann -- Before I go on stage to accept the nomination, there's one thing I need to say... Can you pitch in $25 or more right now?"
8:44: Jill Biden warmed us up to think of Joe Biden as the embodiment of human caring, and now Joe Biden is doing the same for Barack Obama. He tells us he "loves" Obama. Obama was "gutsy."
9:40: Obama is giving his speech. Here's the whole text. His inflections are polished, but nothing is jumping out at me as different from what I've heard him say many times.
9:55: "We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense." Is that controversial?
10:03: The word "hope" appears 15 times in his speech. The last 3 come near the end: "And I think about the young sailor I met at Walter Reed hospital, still recovering from a grenade attack that would cause him to have his leg amputated above the knee... He gives me hope. I don’t know what party [various heretofore mentioned] men and women belong to. I don’t know if they’ll vote for me. But I know that their spirit defines us. They remind me, in the words of Scripture, that ours is a 'future filled with hope.' And if you share that faith with me – if you share that hope with me – I ask you tonight for your vote." Other people give him hope, the Bible refers to hope, and if you hope like he hopes, you should vote for him. Because... hope!
10:17: The speech ends, and there's a flurry of confetti. No balloons, because an indoor presentation hadn't been planned. Obama steps forward and waves. There's a closeup of his face and I think I see his lip curl with a bit of disgust, and I rewind and ask Meade to interpret the face and he says: resignation. Subjectively, we think we see in his face that he knows he's going to lose. Michelle and Malia and Sasha come out, looking perfectly glossy and pretty, and then there's Biden and Jill and Mrs. Robinson and various other relatives, milling around, waving a bit, and then the long view of the stage shows they've clumped toward the rear wall. Why are they huddling there? The shots of the crowd show some ecstatic delegates — all women — and many stolid/dispirited faces — male and female. At one point there's a hitch in the Bruce Springsteen music — a silent gap — but then it plays again. And now they're gone.
10:26: The Cardinal wanders out to the lectern. He's got his benediction written out on folded sheets of paper. "Help us to see that a society's greatness is found, above all, in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us." He thanks God for giving us those "inalienable rights — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." He thanks God for "the gift of life" and asks that we be given "the courage to defend it." In subtle defiance of the convention's abortion-rights theme, he says: "We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected."
11:03: The Democrats didn't have anything oddball, like Clint Eastwood. Nothing surprising. Nothing to talk about. Speaking of nothing, on Intrade, Obama re-election shares today experienced a 0.0% change. Oh! I checked back, now he's down 0.2%. (Romney is up 0.7% on the day.)
11:12: I just realized I fast-forwarded through Charlie Crist. Looked like another white male governor. I forgot about the whole former-Republican thing. Does anyone really care?