Best and worst of the Democratic National Convention
By Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
Best: Defining one-liners
“If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice, but it is not the change we need.” -- Barack Obama
“I stand here today at the cross-currents of that history knowing that my piece of the American Dream is a blessing hard won by those who came before me.” -- Michelle Obama
“No longer will the eight most dreaded words in the English language be: “The vice president’s office is on the phone.” -- Joe Biden (alluding to current Vice President Dick Cheney‘s tenure)
“That campaign generated so much heat, it increased global warming.” -- Bill Clinton on the race for delegates between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama
“It makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days they’re awfully hard to tell apart.” -- Hillary Rodham Clinton
“To my supporters, to my champions -- to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits -- from the bottom of my heart, thank you.” -- Hillary Rodham Clinton
“If I’m not mistaken, Hillary Rodham Clinton rocked the house last night.” -- Barack Obama during a surprise visit to the convention
-- Jevon Phillips (Associated Press)
Best: Hillary Rodham Clinton tribute
The video reminded us of what we love about America. Classic rock (“You Really Got Me Going” and “American Girl”), Bill Clinton, politicians on “SNL” and dazzling Hollywood production value.
Clinton friends and Hollywood veterans Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason produced the tribute that took us along for an entertaining yet informative ride of Hillary’s life, from childhood, early marriage and political life, to her presidential campaign.
It was so successful in inspiring us to finally break that glass ceiling and “launch a woman into the White House,” we almost forgot she lost the campaign she was a shoo-in to win.
-- Rebecca Snavely (MSNBC)
Best: Steven Spielbergs video tribute to U.S. veterans
Spielbergs Wednesday night film was short and poignant, and surprisingly, not overly sappy. The famed director interviewed veterans of multiple wars and touched on an array of lifestyles and issues in a matter of minutes.
Unlike most of these sorts of tributes, Spielbergs film wasnt lacking in details - a pan of houses with service flags hanging out front, a shot of empty boots and uniforms from fallen soldiers - and and ever-so-slight hint at the deeper concern - the quality of care and service being provided to our vets upon their return from the front lines.
-- Todd Martens (Reed Saxon / Associated Press)
Worst: Party crashers
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani shocked reporters when the Republican interloper showed up in the convention hall to poke around.
The uninvited guest was eager to chat with reporters telling CNN that the Democrats “made a big mistake in the choice that they made.
Giuliani wasnt the only Republican to make his presence known at the Democratic National Convention. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was also spotted.
-- Stephanie Lysaght (Shawn Thew / EPA)
Worst: Former Recording Industry Assn. of America CEO Hilary Rosen’s on-air snafu
Here’s what HuffingtonPost.com’s political director told CNN audiences Tuesday about Hillary Clinton’s speech:
“This was a message from Hillary Clinton that basically said, ‘I am not your therapist. I am a Democrat. No matter what you are doing, you need to get it together and vote for John McCain if you care about energy and middle-class tax cuts and jobs and healthcare and getting out of the war in Iraq. I think that message was so clear.”
The Democratic strategist for CNN obviously meant to say Barack Obama. Anderson Cooper didn’t even catch it..
During the DNC.
-- Joseph Kapsch (Peter Lennihan / Associated Press)
Worst: Dave Stewarts American Prayer
Released on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention, Dave Stewarts American Prayer is a pro-Obama ditty designed to tug on every heart string known to man, coming complete with a We Are the World-like video ( Jason Alexander! Barry Manilow! Whoopi Goldberg! Perez Hilton! Perez Hilton? Yes, Perez Hilton.)
He may mean well, but its still pompous.
What does anyone expect from a song that boasts Bono as a co-writer?
-- Todd Martens (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Worst: Barack and Jill’s awkward kiss
When Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obamakissed Jill Biden after her husband vice presidential candidate Joe Biden‘s address to the convention, it seemed more than a little awkward. Several playbacks on TiVo revealed it was Obamas unfortunate aim that caused the awkwardness.
-- Lora Victorio (EPA)
Best: Celebrities mouthing off about politics
There’s a wave of politically-minded celebrities rushing the convention and surrounding events. Whether informed or just well-intentioned, they usually provide interesting observations.
Screenwriter and actor Danny Strong compiled some quotes for a video diary that ran on the Associated Press, and here are some (pictured clockwise):
“I don’t feel very good about the last eight years.” - Zooey Deschanel
“Mostly, I’m just here because I’m a bleeding heart liberal and a concerned citizen.” - Rachael Leigh Cook
“During my travels, I’ve seen that love for our country become so compromised that I don’t know how we’ll ever regain our stature in the world.” - Matthew Modine
“It’s an incredible time to be around. I wish my momma could have seen this day.” - Kanye West
“If you go overseas you see how much there’s an excitement that a country that the rest of the world felt got so lost suddenly is on track ...” - Josh Lucas
-- Jevon Phillips (Associated Press)
Worst: CNNs handling of the news that John McCain had picked a running mate. Announcement coming soon.
A quick blurb telling the world that Republican presidential hopeful John McCain had picked a running mate would have sufficed.
Yet with anchors yammering on and on, milking the fact-free announcement, it became very clear why McCains camp had leaked the news, which simply said more news would be coming soon. CNN’s coverage played right into the hands of the source who tipped the media off to the story in the first place.
As of Wednesday evening, there was still no further news to report.
--Todd Martens (Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)
Best: EW.com’s coverage of the DNC courtesy of former ‘Gilmore Girls’ writers
Sample: Hillary Clinton’s speech was good and she delivered it convincingly. She died inside only nine times. I counted.
Packed with comedy and cultural references, it’s almost like we’re back at Friday night dinners. Almost.
--Rebecca Snavely (Richard Foreman / The WB)
Best: The CNN Grill
News organizations may be pinching pennies these days, but CNN spared no expense opening the CNN Grill inside Brooklyn’s sports bar just outside of the Pepsi Center in Denver.
True, this is just temporary for the convention -- a place to entertain guests and broadcast coverage for the week -- but we yearn to see branches open up in Las Vegas and Cancun.
Just think, people could go and drink the CNN microbrew created especially for the convention and look at memorabilia, such as Larry King’s suspenders, Lou Dobbs’ anti-illegal immigration tracts or Wolf Blitzer’s beard.
--Patrick Kevin Day (Jay L. Clendenin)
Best: The DNC’s opening act, Michelle Obama
Pundits criticized Democrats for forfeiting the first day of the convention by talking about idealism and family. Why not capitalize on a perfectly good opportunity to lay waste to the Republicans, they asked. But those Beltway cynics missed the Obamas’ big idea: Fight for the way the world should be.
In that regard, Michelle Obama performed her opening night role like an Oscar-winner. In a staged event filled with political shilling, there was nary a hint of disingenuousness in Michelle Obama’s speech.
Who will ever forget the image she introduced into the public imagination of Barack Obama peering into the rearview mirror at his wife and newborn daughter as he drove them home from the hospital? What a powerful metaphor for the kind of leadership at least 50.7% of the country might want behind the wheel.