There were several things that struck me about the national conventions. One was the composition of the delegates and other attendees. The Republican Convention was a sea of white faces. By contrast, the Democratic Convention showcased the party’s diverse, sometimes odd, and often contentious base. The RNC tried to show it was inclusive by parading people of color to the podium, but the effort seemed forced, especially in light of Republican initiatives to make voting by minorities more difficult.
There was no mention at the Republican Convention of George W. Bush, not even as close as it was to the anniversary of 9/11; no claim about Bush’s policies, such as the Patriot Act, keeping the nation safe. There was nothing about Bush’s massive Medicare drug bill, and nothing about his tax cuts. It was as if the first eight years of the 3rd millennium never happened.
By contrast, the featured speaker at the Democratic Convention was former Democratic President Bill Clinton, whose ringing endorsement of President Obama was by all accounts, the highlight of the convention. For Republicans, the highlight seemed to be Clint Eastwood’s rambling, sometimes incoherently, and often off-message talk to a chair.
Republicans delegates were enthusiastic about VP pick Paul Ryan’s speech, but the media picked up on numerous false or misleading statements and in retrospect, Ryan’s stretching of the truth is liable to be the impression that a lot of voters are left with, even as a Romney staffer huffed, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”
Never miss a local story.
But what stood out most for me was what was not in either convention — a public recognition of the big money donors that since the Citizens United decision have poured untold hundreds of millions of dollars into getting their preferred candidates elected. At the very least, convention organizers could have arranged an on-stage gathering of their respective donors and asked the audience to give these people a big round of applause. They are after all, the people paying for the conventions, and making every effort to buy the election.
— Richard Badalamente,Kennewick