Thursday, August 28, 2008

DNC Parties Hearty!

Tonight, the official work of the Democratic National Convention is almost done. There is only one major thing to do, Barack Obama's acceptance of the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States, but there will be remarks, salutes, and entertainment preceding that.

One important presentation is a salute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, as today is the 45th anniversary of his 1963 "I have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. One line is that speech is, "Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado."

Tonight's venue is the open stadium at Invesco Field at Mile High, which can seat about 75,000. The agenda highlights includes (all subject to change, not in order of appearance, and times are EDT):

(7 - 8)
Video & Remarks - Howard Dean (former Governor of Vermont) and Chair of the Democratic Party; Tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, featuring his daughter Bernice and oldest son MLK, III; remarks by Governor Bill Richardson (NM); and live performances by, accompanied by John Legend (piano), Agape Choir, and band; and singer / songwriter Sheryl Crow.
(8 - 9)
Remarks by U. S. Representative Mark Udall (CO), Governor Tim Kaine (VA); and Albert "Al" Gore, former Veep. Plus, a live performance by Stevie Wonder.
(9 - 10)
Retired Generals Tribute by Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration (Ret), accompanied by additional generals; remarks by a wounded Iraq veteran, John Kuniholm, granddaughter of late President Eisenhower, Susan Eisenhower, and Senator Dick Durbin (IL); plus something called, "American Voices Program" with a list of people.
(10 - 11) Video / Remarks -
And, perhaps, some unannounced tributes to Obama and Biden.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi who is Permanent Chair, Democratic National Convention and who opened the Convention, will adjurn the Convention.

TONIGHT'S FULL SCHEDULE. For official Obama / Biden Web site, click title of this post.

Last Night, former President Bill Clinton set the agenda for the 2008 Democratic Electoral Campaign, which will launch officially tonight with Senator Barack Obama's acceptance speech. Clinton wrote his own speech. He presented the two major things that must be restored in the next four years to keep America moving forward, not slipping backward as it has in the last eight years, assuring: (A) the American Dream for every American regardless of race, gender, religion, physical or mental abilities, or sexual orientation, and (B) America's political standing among the other nations in the world.

He emphasized that we must keep our military superiority, but it is more important to lead through the example of America's principles of democracy than to use our military might as the solution to international problems. His words: Lead through example, rather than as an example.

I like to lay it out this way in broader terms. Under our unique Constitution every American is guaranteed individual freedom (vote, live, work, earn a sufficient wage, own private property, marry, procreate, travel, move, to be religious, or not, etc.) without governmental interference; a judiciary grounded in the Constitution (interprets rather than legislates); a legislature that makes laws for the benefit of all, not the few, and sets policy based upon Constitutional rights, not upon a legislator's individual values; and a Chief Executive who upholds the Constitution, setting the ultimate example for other nations based upon the overreaching A and B main points above. For the Commander in Chief, Clinton emphasized not allowing any torture, unlawful imprisonment, or denial of Habeas Corpus to any individual, citizen or not, who is connected to the U.S. in any way. By default, that includes those at Guantanamo Bay, but Clinton didn't specifically mention Gitmo. He emphasized no abuse of military personnel.

Also, last night, Senator John Carey took care of some lingering "what ifs" from the 2004 campaign, and former President Clinton confirmed former First Lady Hillary's remarks from the previous night.

I was thrilled at the reception Senator Clinton received the night before, but her husband's was stupendous. To put it bluntly, the delegates showed that they still love him, and probably wish he was their candidate this year. Using a baseball metaphor, the former President hit the ball out of the convention center many times. Way out.

Most importantly, he reaffirmed his and Hillary's overwhelming support for the nominated candidates, Senators Barack Obama and Joseph Biden. Shortly afterward, Senator Biden accepted the nomination for Vice President, and gave his acceptance speech - - good and solid just like him.

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