Watched some of the Democratic National Convention last night, and caught all of John Edwards speech accepting the Vice Presidential nomination. He's quite the public speaker, isn't he? Very charismatic, very engaging. I first noticed it during the primary, whenever he spoke in public he was projecting this sort of "down home" vibe - kind of an appeal to the everyday people to connect with him because he has been where they are and stands for what they stand for. Don't personally know if I buy all of what he's selling, since I don't ever really trust malpractice attorneys, but he's damn good at selling it. Cute little kids too. We'll see if his vision of the One America he wants to help us reach holds out once he and John Kerry get elected in November (boy, am I optimistic or what?)
The problem for the Democrats is the divisiveness within the party - a case in point was Al Sharpton's speech at the convention last night. He strayed from his "approved" speech - which I don't have a problem with at all, he made some great points and had some valid observations and calls to African Americans across the country to make their vote count, and to slam the Republicans who seem to thing those same votes are for sale - "Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age - Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of (civil rights activists) Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner, soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us. This vote can't be bargained away. This vote can't be given away. In all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale." He received a few standing ovations during his 24 minute speech (he was scheduled for only 6 minutes), and got great responses from the conventioneers for statements like the preceding and this comment, "The issue of government is not to determine who may sleep together in the bedroom, it's to help those that might not be eating in the kitchen." Fiery stuff indeed, but here's the problem. The Democrats can't afford to even have the hint of division - the margin of support between Kerry/Edwards and Bush/Cheney is so close right now, and we can't afford to have another Presidential election like the last. Hopefully the Democrats can pull together the different elements developing within their party, like the delegates who still stuck with Dennis Kucinich during the roll call. A lot is riding on their ability to show the public what Kerry and Edwards are all about - and convince people to get out and vote. Not much time left till November guys - you had better really get on it.