Elections '08 National Politics Presidential Race

BILL & JOE SPEAK: Live blogging



I’ll be live blogging in a minute. Some tech issues, but it’ll all be up very shortly—from the beginning. Stay tuned.

Whatever one may think of Bill personally, he is a master at this. Very, very gifted. However crazy he may have been on the campaign trail, this was a brilliant political speech.

Okay, back-tracking to my earlier live blogging: Here’s Bill:

6:05: My candidate didn’t win…. (Okay……and….)

6:07: I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak here tonight. I’m not so grateful to be speaking in the wake of her wonderful speech….” etc. Ha, ha…LOL (Did I ever mention I hate the cyber term: LOL)

6:09: “Hillary is supporting Barack Obama.”

(First mention of Obama’s name. Everybody take a drink.)

“That makes 2 of us. That makes 18 million of us.” (The “18 million” thing was good in Michelle’s speech, good in Hillary’s speech, pretty good here, but now we’re done with the 18 million. We’re over it.)

(Okay, Big Dog is finally clearing is throat..)

6:14: “For his first presidential decision, with his selection of a running mate, he hit it out of the park.” (Okay, this is the first moment when his praise of Obama feels unqualified. The earlier praise felt a bit tepid and pro forma.)

6:15: Bill used the “R” word for the first time. Ready. Barack Obama is ready, ready “ready to be president.”

This is full on Bill at his powerhouse best. He’s like a great athlete who still can run the ball.

6: 20: Of McCain: “…he still embraces the extreme philosophy that has defined his party for 25 years…”

6:21: Then Bill ticks off the things that have happened as a result of that philosophy—from Iraq, to the Economy to torture, to Katrina. “The most unequal America we’ve seen since the 1920’s.” Strong.

6:22: About McCain again: “Thanks, but no thanks. This time the third time is NOT the charm.”

Everybody loves this line.

6:23—He’s mentioning himself (again) and reminds everybody that he was once thought to be “too young and too inexperienced to be president. It’s didn’t work in 1996 because we were on the right side of history. It won’t work in 2008 because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.”

Excellent. Dead on. When Bill’s good, he’s very, very good indeed.

6:29: Brokaw: “Elvis was back in the hall tonight.”

6:44: What exactly is wrong with MSNBC. John Kerry is on stage and they cut to….Rachel Madow. Now I really like Rachel Madow. But these people’s freaking priorities are just a teensy bit skewed.

KERRY: I will always remember how we stood together in 2004, the largest number of Democrats in American history. (Do you think he believes he won in 2004? I don’t mean is he delusional, I mean does he believe they cheated in Ohio? I wonder.)

6:47: Everyone in the room here agrees that Kerry was a TERRIBLE nominee.

6:48. Evan Bayh has good hair. The dems have talking points, and Bayh is using ‘em—too obvious. But his hair is good anyway.

6:51: McCain ad with Hil saying mean, mean, mean things about Barack.

6:52: The room is split as to whether the big bucks that ad cost was a smart or a dumb choice. I go with smart. Creepy but smart.

6:54: Andersen Cooper says that the Democrats are disciplined when it comes to message: (In other words, they’re staying on their talking points—IN A REALLY OBVIOUS FASHION)

6:55: “Full Throated” is the buzz phrase of the night.

7:00: The Spielberg video on the military.

7:03: Great, great video.

7:05: Love the girl pilot.

7:06 Serviceman upon returning home: “You guys have no idea what’s going on on the other side of the planet right now.”

And then, in a reminder of the Walter Reed scandal…injured vets.

7:07: Gold star familes.
“Gold stars signify a loss….so….the death of a child.”

Now officially crying.

(Tom Hanks is perfect, our Henry Fonda.)

7:18: Joe Biden is officially nominated by school teacher Quincy somebody-or-other.

NOTE TO QUINCY & ALL PUBLIC SPEAKERS GENERALLY: After you say something you like: Do not cheer yourself.

7:19: Nice suit on Pelosi. NO QUESTION she’s had work done. Zero doubt on this matter.

7:20: Nice Joe Biden video.

7:21: OMG. Beau Biden is such a natural politician. Winning, winning, winning. (Although his name sounds like an American Idol contestant.) Better speaker than his daddy, actually, in some ways.

7:26: Michelle is crying after the accident story.

7:27: Now Jill Biden’s crying. (And why not. Her extremely poised, smart son was great. And he’s the son who’s going to Iraq? That’s it, I’m crying too.)

Joe, Joe and Jill Bi-den, Hunter and Bo Bi-den, Banana fana fo-fiden, Joe Biden. (Okay, I’ll cut it out now.)


7:34: (If we are elected) “No longer will you hear the most dreaded words in the English Language. The vice president’s office is on the phone.” (Hmmm. I don’t think he set that joke up right.)

7:35: I like Joe’s little mommy. A lot.

Look, the stuttering thing is poignant, but it’s been less than a week since Biden’s name was announced, and it’s getting a bit worn out.

Okay, now Biden’s saying that his mom told him to slug the bullies and he did. In the audience, she nods. She mouths: “That’s true.”

Go hardcore little Biden mommy!

7:38: This isn’t a powerhouse speech, but it’s very, very good. The descriptions of the questions Americans are facing are all said in an intimate tone. Feels very present and real. Biden’s going to be good.

“You can learn a lot about man campaigning with him…..” (This is smart. I’m going to go get the actual text because this is absolutely the hot quote:)

“I watched how he touched people, how he inspired them, and I realized he has tapped into the oldest American belief of all: We don’t have to accept a situation we cannot bear. We have the power to change it. That’s Barack Obama, and that’s what he will do for this country. He’ll change it.

John McCain is my friend. We’ve known each other for three decades. We’ve traveled the world together. It’s a friendship that goes beyond politics. And the personal courage and heroism John demonstrated still amaze me.

But I profoundly disagree with the direction that John wants to take the country. For example, John thinks that during the Bush years “we’ve made great progress economically.” I think it’s been abysmal.

7:45: Joe’s foreign policy stuff is definitely his strong suit. Over and over he says:

“Again, John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.”

7:52: The “cops and the firefighters” thingy in relation to Biden is good if they can find a little variety in the way they express it. Don’t just keep saying those words: he’s there for the cops and the firefighters. It loses meaning. (Why don’t politicians get that?)

Consensus of the room: Very good and powerful, reassuring, sober-minded, very present, very mature.

SURPRISE GUEST: Oooooh! It’s our very own rock star!

(Oh, noooooooooooo, I feel my Obamamania cult programming kicking in… Ba-rack! Ba-rack! Ba-rack!)

Wait a minute: They’re going to mile high stadium. Bold. Very, very bold. This could screw up bigtime. But it’s brilliant.

This ticket has the cutest kids, like, ever. Olbermann’s right. The family stuff is great.

They’re playing “The Rising” (which is now the Obama/Biden song). The room here said: “Springsteen?” And, because I am a member of, not one but TWO cults, I was able to say with authority: “No. Cover band playing Springsteen song.”

Bruuuuuce! Ba-rack, Ba-rack! Buuuu-u-u-ce! Ba-rack, Ba-rack! (Okay. Back in control now. Inner adolescent wrestled to floor.)

8:08: In discussing Biden’s didn’t-quite-pay-off Cheney VP remark, Chris Matthews actually said that it’s scary that the Vice President has as much power as he does.

8:09: Rachel Madow talks about how Americans want to know why they were led falsely into a war.

She added that, “Only one got fired from Katrina and he was the Arabian horse guy.”

Then everybody got a grip on themselves and went back to being boringly pundit-y.

RESPONSE FROM THE ROOM HERE: They just said that on mainstream national television???


Easily the best move of the night was Obama’s surprise
visit to announce that for Thursday’s speech they are going to Mile High Stadium. This makes me want to fly to Denver.

Over and out ’till tomorrow night.



  • What exactly is wrong with MSNBC. John Kerry is on stage and they cut to….Rachel Madow. Now I really like Rachel Madow. But these people’s freaking priorities are just a teensy bit little skewed.
    Good lord.

    I have three letters for you, Celeste: PBS

  • RP: I know PBS and C-Span are better but I want to see what the nattering nabobs are on about. (Same response to Woody. I’d have gone over to Fox as well, meant to actually, but there’s only so much jumping I can do and type too.)

  • I thought Kerry did a good job, a very good job maybe. But didn’t you think it was weird that they chose Kerry to defend Obama’s patriotism and dedication to protecting America…when Kerry was the one who couldn’t convince voters of his own patriotism and dedication to protecting America 4 years ago?! Weird.

  • I just watched Biden on Tivo and thought he was absolutely terrific. He’s a natural. And his mom is totally cool ( but she needs to have a talk with Joey about that bankruptcy bill.)

  • I like that Biden didn’t to that stentorian oratory thing (like Hillary) but sounded like he was “straight talking.”

    Biden and Kerry need to go out on the road hardcore and rip their good buddy John a new asshole – or seven – between now and November.

  • Also, Biden’s son – who’s on his way to Iraq with his reserve unit – was wonderfully earnest and appealing. The son/dad stuff was beautiful – and totally real.

  • Sorry this is coming in dribbles – but John McSame as ideological “extremist”, opportunistic “flip-flopper”, and consistently out-of-touch national security crackpot who’s – incredibly – to the right of the Bush administration internationally needs to be at the center of the Democrat’s message from here on out.

    Also, that a guy who actually did major bombing mayhem – for a failed and utterly indefensible cause – back in the Sixties – and believes fervently that he wasn’t allowed to do enough bombing (i.e. as he writes in Faith of Our Fathers that he should have been allowed to bomb Soviet transports in Vietnamese harbors and more SAM targets around Hanoi that would have cause massive civilian casualties) would criticize Obama for being on a non-profit board in the nineties with asshole rich kid and radical-weirdo-turned-college professor Bill Ayers, who got rehabilitated solely because of his powerful father’s Chicago connections, is rich – to say the least.

  • I hope richard was able to listen to this tonite – or catches the Clinton, Kerry and Biden speeches online tomorrow. I know he was waiting for this stuff…

  • I also have to say that, given the particulars of the case being made against Obama by the Satanic Forces and the residue of the Dem primary, Michelle and Hillary were a necessary prelude to the evisceration of McSame that has officially begun and should continue non-stop into the first week of November.

  • reg’s continuous use of “McSame” shows that liberals are like a herd of sheep, repeating the same phony bleating that they are told to repeat ad nauseum. His false attacks against Sen. McCain show the total indecency of the left to further their causes. But, reg expects us to take a chance with a never-was whose experience to too limited to guide this nation.

  • But, reg expects us to take a chance with a never-was whose experience to too limited to guide this nation.

    For the last eight years we have been led by a man who got into Yale as a legacy, was an alcoholic, failed in a run for Congress, failed in a business venture, got his wealth through a combination of crony capitalism and corporate welfare, become governor of a state that has one of the weakest governorships in the country (the lieutenant governor in Texas wieds the real power), has squandered a budget surplus and created a huge deficit, led our country into a war based on false premises, authorized torture in defiance of the law and has damaged our country’s reputation.

    John McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time. We don’t more of the same.

  • If Bush is as inexperienced as you say, then you’re right in saying that we don’t need more of the same–another inexperienced leader, like Obama.

  • I have more faith in someone who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, didn’t cheat on his wife like McCain did and hasn’t lied and flip-flopped like McCain has.

  • I don’t think that was “Addicted to Love” – I’ve seen this comment by Amy Sullivan and one of the bloggers who was at the convention said it wasn’t Palmer but Beautiful Day (which I think is an old group, but not one I spent any time familiarizing myself with – so I can’t decipher this any further.)

  • Only liberals would criticize McCain, who gave more to his country than any of you, while celebrating an impeached President.

  • McCain doesn’t even know the different kinds of Muslims without Lieberman whispering in his ear. I don’t see how McCain’s 5 1/2 years as a POW qualifies him to be president. I honer his service, but that doesn’t mean he gets a free pass for all the bad policies he endorses.

  • Carter: McCain ‘milking’ POW time
    Former president Jimmy Carter called Republican presidential candidate John McCain a “distinguished Naval officer,” but said the Arizona senator has been “milking every possible drop of advantage” from his time served as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

    Carter is not trying to discredit McCain’s service but simply pointing out the fact that McCain refers to it every time he has a chance just like Bush mentioned 9/11 everytime he could when running for reelection.

    Please tell us what McCain did to be a WAR Hero like Audie Murphy and Sgt. Calvin York. McCain was in combat for 20 hours. He was shot down. On his first day in the POW camp he gave information to NV in order to get to a hospital. He was given better treatment because his dad was a Admiral.

    I respect John McCain for being a POW. I really do but to call him a WAR Hero makes REAL Hero’s look cheap.

  • Alas Reg I missed the speeches – heard there was someone imitating “John Kerry” from 1971 but that was probably a rumor.

    Not that they need my advice but Kerry and Biden are both close friends of John MCain. In fact it was Kerry who circulated the letter in 2000 among congressional Vietnam Vets denouncing the treament McCain got in South Carolina from so called “Veterans” groups. And Biden told people (including the now sainted Tim Russert) that he would enthusiastically encourage the Arizonan to join Kerry in a “Unity” ticket in 2004.

    So their criticisms could be devasting – as a friend helping in an intervention with a straying soul. They can point out all the changes in position that Mccain has taken since 2000 – abortion, taxes, immigration – (there’s a great list at HULLABALOO) and end with this zinger: “John you doubt Obama’s Patriotism and say he would rather lose a war than the Presidency and puts ambition over principle but look in the mirror. What have you been doing for the last four years than abandoning one principle after another in an attempt to garner favor with the most extrem members of your party. And you said you wanted a clean campaign on the issues but so far all we’ve seen is the same type of slime that was used against you in 2000. We don’t think it will work. The American people are wise to that game. But what if it does work? What will you have gained? An office but no vision to do anything. Ask the current occupant of the White House how that has worked out. ”

    Oh, and make the triumverate include Wes Clark who can counter the inevitable rpost that, dammit! he was POW! So was Jim Stockdale and he had a Medal of Honor but no one thought him serious.

    And see Harry Reid’s comments today that Mccain lacks the “Temperment” to be President and all the Republican Senators know this – and several told him they would not vote for McCain.

    Yes this is rough but its no rougher than the bilge the GOP will throw and its got the saving grace of being honest.

  • Even george Bush I who was a WWII pilot did not milk the experience of his plane being hit in Japanese waters after an air attack.

  • It is great that McCain served his country, but if his father were not an Adm., John would have been a grunt on the ground instead of a pilot. Sounds more like a repeat of GWB getting special treatment.

    McCain could get more milk out of it if he had his secret records released. Why bring up POW when no one knows the details? Every time McCain mentions POW people will ask what he did as a POW.

    There are many veteran groups more that willing to to provide specifics. And they will.

  • Woody, you do see things very clearly–the shallowness and ignorance of the cultural environment you are immersed in pains your soul.

    Here on this comments section seems to be a way for you to deal with that–a pressure relief of sorts.

    I’m writing this because it pains me to see a talented mind absorb/reflect so much negativity.

    Youve got a lot to offer this world. Don’t let it get stuck in the mire.

  • Thanks, Beth, but I’m offering the world, well, at least fifty readers, my thoughts here. It seems that it’s the leftists who are obsessed and suffering. I’m happy. They’re never happy. In fact, most of the time, I’m laughing at them.

    What amazes me is how many people can get trapped into misguided “feel good” causes and adore candidates who take advantage of their idealism and naivete—if not outright greed.

    Repeating what I said at Cooper’s, below is a statement from the Democratic platform that bothers me from the standpoint of what made America great vs. what the Democrats think makes America great. Individuals made themselves what they are and this country what it is. Democrats think that government should get the credit.

    Here’s the Democrats disdain for individuality.

    “For decades, Americans have been told to act for ourselves, by ourselves, on our own. Democrats reject this recipe for division and failure.”

    Individuals should take responsibility for themselves and their families. It’s those who refuse or fail who want government to bail them out.

    Once the socialist welfare gates are thrown open, there will be far less incentives for individuals to meet their own needs. Then, it’s just a short step to where the government can’t do it either–after they ration our resources and take away our freedoms.

  • Forgive some of the 75,000 people amassed at Invesco Field Thursday if their thumbs are bit weary by the time Barack Obama takes the stage for a triumphant acceptance of his presidential nomination.

    In the hours before he made his entrance, these supporters were being asked to text message the Obama campaign and their friends and to make phone calls from specially tailored call sheets as part of an unprecedented effort to mobilize voters and get nonvoters to register.

    The speech itself may or may not become a seminal moment in the campaign. But this effort to combine telecommunications, microtargeting techniques and Obama’s known ability to draw a crowd could be remembered as a shrewd and groundbreaking calculation to expand Obama’s vote base.

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