Snapshots From The Two Conventions

Democratic Convention

First Night

When Michele Obama spoke at the 2016  Democratic Convention, she introduced the phrase,  “When they go low, we go high”.  She told this convention that she had not changed her mind.  She said, “ After four years of President Trump, some might ask ,  Does going high  still really  work?”

“My answer –Going high is the only thing that works, because when we use those  tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that is drowning out everything else.”

Senator Bernie Sanders  also ran for the Democratic presidential nomination as he had with Hillary Clinton in 2016 .  At this convention, although he did not agree with Biden on some major policies, he urged his supporters to support Joe Biden and be sure to  vote.

Kristin Urquiza, a woman whose father died from the Covid 19 virus. electrified the Convention and all of us who heard her that night.  She was quoted in newspapers and on Cable TV  for days.  She said, “ My father, Mark Antony Urquiza . sixty five year old  had no underlying health problems  had voted for Mr. Trump and went out  one day  because he believed the pandemic was under control. “ She said he died isolated from his family.  She  added. Her father’s “only pre=existing  condition was trusting Donald Trump.  For that, he paid with his life.”


Second night

Sally Yates, the former Acting Attorney General listed the norms Trump had broken before and after she refused to defend his ban on Muslim people. “His constant attacks on The F.B.I. ,  the free press, inspectors general . They all have one purpose, to remove his abuse of power.  Put simply, he treats our country like it’s his family business— this time, bankrupting our nation’s authority home and abroad. But our county doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to us.”

Formal normination of  Joe Biden to be President  was done with a virtual roll call of the fifty states.  Each state cast ballots and he was officially the choice of the Democratic Party.   His speech was a block buster hard hitting presentation.   Not the  “sleepy Joe”  Trump attacks.  Joe Biden   has the years of experience  as Vice President with Barack Obama to draw upon.

Dr. Jill Biden, his wife gave the keynote speech at the close.  She gave it from a classroom where she used to teach ar Brandywine Highschool in Delaware.   She told the story  of Joe Biden’s life and his resilience in times of  personal tragedy when his young wife and daughter were killed in a car accident.   He was a young newly installed senator at the time.  His two sons Beau and Hunter were at home and he commuted each day from D.C. to Delaware to be there in the morning when they awoke and at the close of the day, returning  on the train to be there when they went to bed..  He became a legend on the train.

She spoke of their meeting and life together.  She also spoke of  Beau Biden who became Attorney General of Delaware and who died of brain cancer when Joe was Vice President.  The book “Promise me Dad” is about his plea to his father to run for president.

Jill Biden drew a comparison between  Joe making a family  whole again and  his qualities to make a nation whole again after the pandemic and Trump’s divisive years.  She stressed that people know Joe as a decent man who can be trusted.


Third Night

Barack  Obama  broke a tradition of former  presidents not criticizing their  successors by name when he said, “President Trump has abused his power and shown no interest in treating the presidency as one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

“I did hope for the sake of our country that Donald Trump might shows some interest in taking the job seriously – that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care –but he never did.  Donald Trump hasn’t gotten into the job because he can’t”

Obama’s searing denunciation of Trump was followed by  Kamala Harris entering the stage to address the virtual audience of millions watching on television.  She walked confidently to the podium and began a memorable speech as the first woman of color to be chosen to join a major party’s  presidential ticket.

She recalled her mother, a cancer researcher, who died of the Corona Virus in 2009.  “ I keep thinking about that 25 year old Indian woman, all of five feet tall, who gave birth to me at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland California .  On that day, she would never have imagined that I  would be standing here before you now, and speaking these words.”

She then paused,– and said with confidence and passion, “I accept your  nomination for Vice President of The United States of America.”

Hillary Clinton,  winner of the popular vote for president in 2016,  had a warning for the viewers.  She said, “Remember,  Joe and Kamala can win three million more votes and still lose – take it from me.  We need numbers so overwhelming Trump can’t  sneak  or steal his way to victory”.Like Obama, she said she had hoped Trump  would rise to the job and she urged people to vote as early as possible.  People have told me, “I didn’t realize how dangerous he was. I  wish I had voted.   Look. This can’t be another woulda,  coulda shoulda election.”

Former Representative Gabriel Giffords speech was an emotional high point for listeners.   She has become  one of the most dedicated advocates for stricter gun control  laws after being shot in the head  in 2011.  Her husband, Mark Kelly , running for the senate seat in Arizona , has worked for years with her to restore her speech.   She still has difficulty speaking from the brain injury  and her speech  was the longest she has ever given.

She said, “I put one foot in front of the other.  I found one word and then  found another.  My recovery was a daily struggle but fighting makes me stronger.  Words once came easily. Today I struggle with speech.  But I have not lost my voice.  America needs all of us to speak out,  even when you have to fight to find the words.”


Final Night

The first hour presented the Biden-Harris policy agenda , the programs they would emphasize and others they would bring back after Trump cut them.  ElizabethWarren  spoke about child care from a preschool classroom.  She gave her personal experience as a young working mother when her aunt moved in to help her.   Climate change was discussed by several young activists  in response to Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Pact.  A third area was Immigration policy.  An eleven year old girl,  Estela Juarez whose mother had been deported  told  Mr. Trump in that segment,  “Instead of protecting us, you tore our world apart.” Biden=Harris would insure DACA  would be safe.

Seven former presidential rivals spoke about Joe Biden in the next hour with Cory Booker as host. They gave examples of Biden reaching out to people in need,  his empathy for the millions of families that have lost a member to the Cororna virus, and his “decency”  and  moral character traits.    The contrast with Trump was evident.

Mayor Keisha Bottoms of Atlanta paid tribute to John Lewis of Georgia.  She said, “ The Civil Rights leader’s passion for making “good trouble”  is what  the Democratic Party has been reaching for this past week.”

He walked gently among us not as a Civil Rights icon but as a God fearing man who did what he could to fulfill the unfulfilled promise of America. “

Joe Biden’s  acceptance speech was the finale of the Convention.  He spoke in clear strong words of his goals and plans for the nation.  His tone was positive throughout.   His speech was a direct contrast with current speeches of Donald Trump’s  emphasis on law and order  to control the Black Lives Matter protests occurring after the death of George Floyd.

…………………………………………Joyce S. Anderson

Note:  The Republican Convention will be covered separately .  I am working up to it.  Sincerely, JSA

1 thought on “Snapshots From The Two Conventions

  1. Again, thank you for a thorough and accurate overview of the Democratic Convention. We watched all 4 nights from beginning to end and were very touched by the passion in President Obama’s speech — both the content and his delivery. History may record it as his best. Looking forward to your assessment of the Republican Convention (which we did not watch.)

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