I didn’t have internet access during tonight’s speeches at the DNC, though I wrote up a few thoughts that I had while watching the event:
7:30 – Kennedy gets huge ovation for vowing to be there in January on the Senate floor. The applause he received when he came out was probably the biggest one we’ll see for a while, maybe until Obama takes the stage at INVESCO. This is definitely an inspirational moment for the convention, something the delegates can all get behind. An analyst on PBS mentioned that Kennedy used the line, “The dream never dies the dream lives on” from one of his earlier speeches in 1980 at the end. The Obama campaign, built on “Change we can believe in” and “Yes we can” really identifies with Kennedy’s words, as it relates to one of Obama’s talking points, reclaiming the American dream.
7:45 – Quotes from PBS analysts: “Ted Kennedy just reminded a lot of people why they were Democrats,” “He comes as close to the DNA of the party as anyone here,” “Before there were Clinton Democrats, before there were Obama Democrats, there were Kennedy Democrats.” Kennedy is a classic and iconic figure in the Democratic party – that’s what I’m talking about when I say that Senator Kennedy’s speech can bring unity to the party like almost no one else at the Democratic Convention.
Fantastic and inspiration speech from Ted Kennedy, no matter your politics, you’ll be moved by what Kennedy did – going to the DNC (against doctor’s orders) for a speech no one expected him to make. Truly the lion of the party.
8:35 – Michelle Obama uses the idea that “the dream endures” just like Kennedy did, and also shows how she has lived that dream, how Barack Obama lived it, and how they’ll try to recapture it. I’m not sure it was intentional, but the tie-in with earlier speeches was nice.
8:45 – Obama’s mention of Hillary Clinton gets huge ovation, same for when she talks about Joe Biden. “That is why I love this country” (ability to fight for what is right, etc) line gets standing ovation. By the end of the speech, even C-SPAN couldn’t resist the “watery eye” shots in the crowd – the Pepsi Center looked like an Olympic medal stand tonight.
8:55 – Barack Obama makes a surprise appearance via satellite from Kansas City. It’s been an unusually unscripted first night, with the Kennedy and Obama apppearances. The moment was nice, Barack’s face coming up on the screen, Michelle and the kids saying hello, Barack complementing her on the speech, although the satellite delay made it a little awkward.
Final thought: I have to say that while Michelle Obama delivered a great and well-written speech, Teddy Kennedy stole the show.