Blogging the DNC

Dennis Kucinich being introduced now, begins with an homage/sacrastic slap at the President's "can you hear me in the back, because I can hear you. Kucinich again sounds themes from his 2004 campaign. (Unfortunately, I have to jet for a scheduled interview at this point. Please continue to use this thread to dicuss the speeches of the remaining candidates, Dennis Kucinich and Hillary Clinton, who will follow him.)

(Reports on Dodd, Obama, Clark and Edwards in the extended entry)

The internet is now up in the main conference room of the DNC's winter meeting and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is offering a speech that is at times fairly rousing, touching on the successes of DNC chairman Howard Dean and winning back the Senate, as well as the importance of the West to the Democrats, highlighting the upcoming Nevada caucuses, the Democratic convention in Denver and Democratic victories across the region in recent years. Reid also spoke of the early successes on Capitol Hill: raising the minimum wage, passing ethics legislation holding a debate on Iraq -- the first real debate on Iraq since the war -- beginning next week.

The internet gone for some time, unfortunately, Dean back on the stage, the chairman quickly roused the speech by hearkening back to his speech here four years ago in which he pledged that we would make Democrats proud again, not only of the party but of what the government is doing for the country.

Back online now after a long break, Chris Dodd just got out from behind the podium. Quick thoughts: He came off as a credible candidate, which he needed to do at this meeting. What's more, he showed that he can speak with fire, a skill that many lose in the Senate, particularly after three decades in the chamber. Dodd's speech ran longer than needed, however, and he will no doubt need to trim some fat from his stump speech and rearrange some pasts. But if he does so, he has the opportunity to make his voice heard within the party.

Up now Barack Obama... It almost has the feeling of the Super Bowl in here, with the unending barrage of camera flashes from the gallery. After beginning with a somewhat comedic opening, Obama moves to a sober, yet strong mood to talk about the state of the nation and the state of the race, specifically stating that the race is not about fighting amongst ourselves or even with the other party but rather against cynicism. Centrally, Obama speaks about the need to enact healthcare for all Americans by the end of the next presidential term, as well as achieving energy independence and ending the war in Iraq. After raising the tone mid-speech, working the crowd, Obama again ended on a quieter tone, asking for hope. The crowd nonetheless responds with a long-enduring standing ovation.

Wes Clark comes to the DNC not an announced candidate, the only speaker in this series to be so. Begins by praising the party, proclaiming that "it's great to be a Democrat today." Focuses on Iraq, asking for a moment of silence to recognize the sacrifice of the American armed forces. Says that he is the only person to stand at the podium today who has actually done, in the past, what is necessary to end the war in Iraq. Largely, though, this is a speech fit for the 2004, perhaps not exactly what he said then, but sounding the same themes. Absent, and problematically for Clark if he does decide to run, is the reason for why he should be the nominee in 2008.

The next speaker, John Edwards, comes in with a rather racous group of supporters in the back of the hall -- perhaps the first candidate to have a large, noticeable coterie of backers stacked in one section. Edwards is the second candidate to draq a barrage of camera flashes, though slightly less so than for Obama. Early on, Edwards draws loud cheers and a standing ovation talking about economic security, poverty and hunger. The theme of the speech, across the board, is that "it doesn't have to be that way"; and "Will you stand up" for these people in need, for America? Throughout, it is a high-powered speech. It almost evokes a preacher's sermon, drawing hoots, hollers and standing ovations. My only question is if the cheers are spread evenly through the crowd or if they were being led by his core group of supporters.

Update [2007-2-2 11:10:24 by Jonathan Singer]: For more, The Hotline is also in the building writing up synopses of the candidates speeches.

Update (Chris): I caught the end of Clinton's speech. She definitely played the electability card again: "I know a thing or two about winning elections." There also were some chants of "Hillary" at the end when she turned up the volume a bit, even though the rhetoric seemed empty ("we can unite the country"--who doesn't say that, and what does it even mean?). Also, looks like this is the end of the session until tomorrow. Vilsack, Biden, Richardson and Gravel must be going tomorrow. Kind of sucks for Richardson to be with that group.

Hotline has a more complete list of Clinton's rhetoric:

'I'm in, I'm in to win." Becaue we need ot take our country back. We need to work together. Put the country "back on the right track.""Things are just not right.""We need to start standing up for the American worker again.""I want to renew that promise of America.""We're working to push this agenda forward.""People are tired of politics as usual, with good reasons.""We may even be falling further and further behind."
Keep in mind that she was semi-shouting this stuff by the end. Perhaps louder rhetoric makes it less empty?

Tags: 2007 DNC Winter Meeting, DNC, Primaries (all tags)

Comments

56 Comments

Re: Blogging the DNC

A quick comment about Obama's speech...I'm fairly certain he wrote that speech himself...no one in the DC communications consultocracy would ever have dared to draft something that bold and solemn.

Also, Dodd is a really, really good speaker. Very New England, but still very good.

by blueflorida 2007-02-02 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Transition from Obama to rules adoption: "From the sublime to the mundane."

by demondeac 2007-02-02 05:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Glad to know that Dodd came off as a credible candidate.... I don't too much about him, but since he was in the Peace Corps (like me), that would make me seriously consider supporting him regardless of other factors....

by 2manychefs 2007-02-02 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

When I saw the "Time" sign for Barack, I wondered where the woman was when Dodd went on so long, including recounting how his young daughter is so perceptive, and bragging that he's the only candidage with young children (I think Obama's daughters are slightly older, so I guess they don't count).

One of Barack's highlights was that Dem candidates should not be in opposition to one another, nor to the Repubs, but to cynicism.

Clark is speaking without notes. I love his biography; he's really excelled at everything he's done. I wish the applause weren't so tepid, tho'.

by Books Alive 2007-02-02 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

C-Span showed the "time lady" about 5 minutes before Dodd stopped speaking.

by Laurin from SC 2007-02-02 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

No notes? Can you tell? There are teleprompters. Clark's speech was excellent in any case.

by demondeac 2007-02-02 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Thanks to Laurin in SC and Demon Deac, I realized after posting that Clark could have been using the teleprompter. It's quite possible that Gen Clark had that speech memorized. I believe that's a skill I read about in 2004.

Also, I missed the time lady for Dodd.

by Books Alive 2007-02-02 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

I'm not really sure why they have her.  Edwards went on for about 5 minutes after she stood up as well.    I missed time lady when Clark was speaking, but Obama's the only one who concluded almost immediately after time lady stood up.

What's up with C-Span?  My screen is frozen right now.  

by Laurin from SC 2007-02-02 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Obama does have a bit of a reputation for sometimes being long winded... I wonder if he is working on that (which is important for the debates) and that is why he ended then.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-02 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

You're right about being short and succinct. The YouTube version that I watched a few times was under 5 minutes. I'll agree with the opinion here that points out how Sen Obama dispatches his main points in a few words.

The speech on YT from his appearance at George Mason Univ, with "Students for Barack Obama" was even shorter. And lively, to boot!

by Books Alive 2007-02-05 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Clark's speech was terrific.

National security WILL loom large in 2008. Clark will have the most credibility in that area

by pelican 2007-02-02 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

I guess he forgot Edwards has a little boy? Or if he a figment of our imagination?

by John McTexas 2007-02-02 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Jack's such a forgettable name.

by BruceMcF 2007-02-02 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Dodd: "rousing" style. Loud. Angry. Fiery.

Obama: "sober" was the style and the style. Not quite poetic, but not pablum.

Clark: "grand, high oratory": begins stridently, excellent mix of tone. Last section more high flown, a "call"  . . .

by demondeac 2007-02-02 06:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Clark's speech sucked the life out of the room. I like Wes Clark, but that was not a rousing speech.

by adamterando 2007-02-02 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

His speech wasnt bad at all, but he didnt get an enthusiastic reception!

by MarcTGFG 2007-02-02 08:54AM | 0 recs
good media in the back of the room

CSPAN gave some tight shots of the Edwards signs in the back

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:06AM | 0 recs
First Edwards recognizes the loss of Molly Ivins

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:08AM | 0 recs
Edwards used to work at Dunkin Donuts and he's not

"this is not the time for political calculation,

it's time for political courage"

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:17AM | 0 recs
wow...

this is more like a revival... than a political talk

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Says that he is the only person to stand at the podium today who has actually done, in the past, what is necessary to end the war in Iraq. Largely, though, this is a speech fit for the 2004, perhaps not exactly what he said then, but sounding the same themes. Absent, and problematically for Clark if he does decide to run, is the reason for why he should be the nominee in 2008.

See a contradiction in the bolded sentences?

by demondeac 2007-02-02 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

To clarify, I mean to say why he should be the candidate in 2008 when he was not selected running on almost exactly the same platform in 2004.

by Jonathan Singer 2007-02-02 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

He was not elected in 2004 for many reasons, none of them was his message. Got in late, no money, no staff, no political experience.

I know many Democrats are hoping the whole Iraq/Iran/National Security thing will go away by 2008. I don't think that will happen, in fact it could be worse.

If we pick a nominee, who's whole raison d'etre is domestic issues, we will lose. GWB did NOT "win" because of the evangelical vote, he "won" because of national security.

by pelican 2007-02-02 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

$hit, Edwards brought an army of supporters with him!

by blueflorida 2007-02-02 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Elizabeths in the audience: Edwards and Kucinich.

Guess I'll see if I can keep a tally of spouses attending.

by Books Alive 2007-02-02 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

At this point, I don't think you compare Edwards and anybody else. His speech blew everyone away. I'd be glad to hear evidence to the contrary.

by adamterando 2007-02-02 06:23AM | 0 recs
Edwards

"we don't need to redefine the democratic party, we need to reclaim the democratic party."

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Edwards: evocative. Then a challenge: will you stand up? Silence is a betrayal (MLK). Not the time for political calculation (another way of phrasing Obama's theme of rejecting "small" politics? Both argue Dems need to be brave and honest).

Sub-theme: unions, unions, unions.

7 minutes overtime (at least).

by demondeac 2007-02-02 06:24AM | 0 recs
I thought calculation

was aimed at Hillary..

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: I thought calculation

thought entered my mind, too. He does the passive/aggressive thing. He also dropped in something about not the time for flowery rhetoric (aimed at Obama?).

by demondeac 2007-02-02 06:33AM | 0 recs
Hotline "says"

aimed at both.

Standing ovations: 5

Used notes: Yes.

Introduced by: Susan Turnbull

Subtle Theme: I make you cry. I make your hearts bleed. So vote for me, because it doesn't have to be that way. I'm the only one of these turkeys who has guts. Hillary and Obama are calculating. I'm real.

Overt Theme: There are major problems. It's our duty to fix them. Bad things don't have to happen. "This is not the time for political calculation. It's the time for political courage." "Silence is betrayal."

Bragging: Nothing, really.

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:33AM | 0 recs
Edwards has a message

Edwards has honed his message for 6 years now.  He knows what he is about and is speaking it with conviction.  That comes across.

The other candidates are still searching for those notes that ring true.  It's early and it might come for them.  

But Edwards is in the lead now...message-wise.

by KickinIt 2007-02-02 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards has a message

Obama had a message, knows what he is about and spoke with conviction, too.

Content and style differ.

by demondeac 2007-02-02 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards has a message

Everyone has a message...just not everyone's tells you how they will act as president.  Obama's message will continue to evolve.  We haven't heard its final form yet.

by KickinIt 2007-02-02 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Whenever I hear Edwards talk, I always feel like I'm in a jury.  And it's also quite easy to see how he was one of the top lawyers in the country.

by Laurin from SC 2007-02-02 06:36AM | 0 recs
Hillary's Crew is in front half

Edwards' crew was in the back.

I guess Edwards doesn't have to worry about overdoing it compared to Hillary

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:51AM | 0 recs
trying to remind people

the populist non-triangulating popular female is Nancy Pelosi.

Hillary, has the most signs in the room...

she hasn't said what she's for.

says things are not right (duh).

Way TOO MANY HAND GESTURES - note to handlers

Pelosi's blinking vs. Hillary's hand gestures..

Hillary's from a middle class family in the middle of America

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:55AM | 0 recs
Hillary's Crew is in front half

last year more people went bankrupt than graduating from college.

mentions Katrina.

try to get soulfull with no child left behind..

Too bad she didn't follow Edwards but got to follow Kucinich.

I'll bet Hillary picked who she followed.

(the shrillness is hurting my ears)..

talking about competing in a global economy  and manufacturing jobs (thanks NAFTA)

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:57AM | 0 recs
Hillary's Crew is in front half

I think this part is from Iowa..

NO MENTION OF IRAQ>  DID I MISS IT?

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:58AM | 0 recs
okay what about

talking about escalating in Iraq. now

"knows many people want to do more on Iraq. if we can get a large bipartisan bill to say no, it would be the first time saying no to bush"

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: okay what about

if people have to hear her speak for the next 2 years she won't win the general...

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Odd opening to Hillary's speech...it's almost as if she's defending the Senate Democratic caucus.

by blueflorida 2007-02-02 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

More Senate process talk from Hillary. Her delivery is strong though.

by blueflorida 2007-02-02 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

I get uncomfortable when she hits a certain decibel level.  

by Laurin from SC 2007-02-02 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

I've come to discover that, in general, the upper-Midwest accent is harsh to the southern ear.

by blueflorida 2007-02-02 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Dunno...could be.  Plenty of folks probably don't like my accent either, so it's cool. :)  

by Laurin from SC 2007-02-02 07:05AM | 0 recs
when she gets into it

her eyes get big.

will be seeing lots of those images on drudge.

and yes she can be shrill when she trys to speak a little bit more  passionate.

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Hillary is stale already!!

Edwards and Obama had new speeches just for this event. They incorporated a lot ot the old, but were powerful. Hillary started out with her, "I'm in and I'm in to win."

She has had to be defensive already on trade, Iraq, and now health care.

by demondeac 2007-02-02 07:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Hillary appears to be trying to hard.....you like me....you really like me...

by sndeak 2007-02-02 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

I'd be interested in a count of the number of times she referred to herself...I know this...I did this...

compared the relatively fewer self-referential statements by Clark and Edwards.

Correct impression?

by Arthurkc 2007-02-02 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

Hillary: "everything but the kitchen sink" speech peppered with the threat: I will win, so support me.

by demondeac 2007-02-02 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogging the DNC

How do they come up with the order for these speeches? I notice the big three all have Day One slots, but the others seem sort of random. I mean, I'm sure Richardson and Biden aren't regarded as below Kucinich and Dodd on the pecking order ... although Biden probably should be by now.

by BriVT 2007-02-02 07:11AM | 0 recs
bet you money

Hillary said she would not follow Obama or Edwards

by TarHeel 2007-02-02 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: bet you money

Could very well be ... that's why I'm wondering about this. I mean, it's not like Richardson has less pull than Kucinich. But Hillary got the best slot, which seems ... coincidental.

by BriVT 2007-02-02 07:45AM | 0 recs
I doubt it.

Because if that got out, it would hurt her more than actually having to follow it.

We know you like Edwards a lot.  That's no reason to slur Clinton baselessly.

by Adam B 2007-02-02 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Coment about Wes Clark's speech

from the poster:

"Absent, and problematically for Clark if he does decide to run, is the reason for why he should be the nominee in 2008."

Should it not read, "is the reason he will not be the nominee"?

by benny06 2007-02-02 08:08AM | 0 recs

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