Yesterday, we heard from Farah Jasmine Griffin about her impressions of the DNC's opening day. Now, Princella Smith gives her account. She serves as Chief Advocate for the Platform of the American People at American Solutions, an organization founded by former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. This entry is titled Sightings, Stars, and...Protests?
The weather? Beautiful. My hotel? Grandiose. The streets? Well -- it depends on where you were. ... At first I thought it was mainly media hype: "The Clinton backers are still upset that she didn't win." "There will be unrest at the convention." But then I saw it for myself! There were protests from various groups including P.U.M.A. which stands for "Party Unity My @#!" outside of the capitol and on surrounding streets.
They actually still plan to make a fuss about Hillary not being the nominee and hope to continue the fight to place her on the ticket. I even overheard super delegates saying that they had to make up their minds once the convention played out as to whether or not they would support Obama on the convention floor. MANY of the delegates still say that they plan to vote for Hillary...
At my hotel, I spotted various members of the Democratic congressional leadership including Speaker Pelosi, Henry Waxman, and others. John Stewart made it down to the lobby for pictures, and Alan Colmes and I ran into each other in the doorway.
Tom Brokaw walked into the John Elway steakhouse where I was enjoying delicious fillet and was of course immediately surrounded by admirers. As is true to form of the Democratic Party's huge functions, there were stars everywhere. Oh, and randomly, I ran into the guy who was sitting next to Jesse Jackson when Jackson was caught making disparaging remarks about Obama while a hot mic was on his lapel. He was catching a flight OUT of Denver...
I made it onto the floor today and observed the various rehearsals. R&B favorite, John Legend practiced with a choir, and drew quite the press and media draw...
Heart Strings And What Was Missing
Ideology aside, the tribute to Ted Kennedy was touching. To see him take the stage when even up to the hour there was uncertainty about his abilities due to his illness was definitely a heart-string tugger. Michelle Obama's biographical video followed by a "look at my repackaged, motherly, graceful, strong, gorgeous image" speech was one for the books followed by the trotting out of the her two beautiful daughters, who seemed more than eager to take the microphone from Mommy to speak to Daddy via satellite.
This imagery game is exactly what the Obama camp felt it needed to do to make middle America feel comfortable with him. The middle-class working white citizen -- especially the females need to feel "comfortable" with this unknown anomaly called Barack Obama.
The issue with this is that the Democrats spent hours of a prime-time infomercial for their candidate and their party and used no opportunity to highlight the fact that they rolled out their platform today.
They failed to answer the questions about solving the energy crisis, the mortgage crisis, the future of education, and a plan for a secure America as leaders of the free world. Noted Democratic strategist, James Carville said it best tonight on CNN: "If this party has a message it's done a hell of a job hiding it tonight, I promise you that."
If the Obama camp truly wants to make a difference, they will have to do more than talk about change and do heart-warming speeches. So far, that only worked for a limited amount of time, and then it wore off because the American people want ANSWERS. They want true leadership. The fact about rock stars is that soon people tire of them and run on to the next thrill. If the Obama camp isn't careful, their candidate can turn into that "old CD" that the young people will burn out on, and the rest of America will choose the alternative candidate who by appearance, substance, and resume appears safer and more substantive.
**Note of interest: What we did on behalf of American Solutions
I arrived early to the convention floor accompanied by our company president to present the 1.5 million names on the American Solutions petition to Congress to act immediately to lower gasoline prices and diesel and other fuel prices by authorizing the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries. The time is now for the leaders of both major political parties to listen to the voices of American people who are struggling each day in this energy crisis when they say: "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less."