With Convention Speeches, It's All In The Timing

President Clinton speaks in Newton, Iowa. i i

hide captionPresident Clinton speaks to residents of Newton, Iowa, in support of his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign for president on Dec. 10, 2007. Clinton will address the Democratic convention on Aug. 27, the 125th anniversary of the Krakatoa volcano's eruption.

Evan Sisley/Sipa/AP
President Clinton speaks in Newton, Iowa.

President Clinton speaks to residents of Newton, Iowa, in support of his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign for president on Dec. 10, 2007. Clinton will address the Democratic convention on Aug. 27, the 125th anniversary of the Krakatoa volcano's eruption.

Evan Sisley/Sipa/AP

The thing about conventions — you knew there was a thing about conventions, didn't you? — is that they're supposed to be about the future, even while they're connecting with the past.

Which is why the Democrats are sitting so pretty going into Denver in a couple of weeks — they've given themselves plenty of ways to link up with history.

Barack Obama's acceptance speech on Thursday, Aug. 28, for starters — you know that that's the 45th anniversary, right to the day, of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

And Hillary Clinton will be the headliner on Tuesday, Aug. 26, which is the 88th anniversary of women's suffrage — American women getting the right to vote. Talk about perfect timing!

And, of course, Bill Clinton is speaking on Wednesday, Aug. 27, which is the 125th anniversary of the eruption of the great Krakatoa volcano.

That's right: the great Krakatoa volcano. You know, in Indonesia. It went totally ballistic on Aug. 27, 1883 — exactly 125 years ago.

You're going to tell me the timing is an accident?

Krakatoa was heating up for months before it blew. On the 26th, nearly continuous explosions. And then, on the 27th, several gigantic explosions. Debris thrown 50 miles high. Tsunamis over 100 feet tall in some places.

And the sound: They say that one of the explosions was heard in Australia, more than 2,000 miles away!

You're free to draw your own parallels.

I know — there's nothing in the Krakatoa accounts about wagging fingers or red-faced rants. And Krakatoa never pouted.

But come on: Do you really think the Obama campaign missed this one? Do you really think they scheduled Bill Clinton without even thinking about volcanoes?

Give them a little credit, will you?

Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist based in Milwaukee.

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