Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Notes from the Democratic National Convention

Family, Friends,

Here are some notes I have been compiling last night and today. Rough notes! I offer them for any who weren't tuned in...(or even those who were.) :-)

It was amazing watching the convention last night on Public TV. Listening to speeches again, today, rebroadcast on Public Radio, I am inspired all over again.
I just want to note the voices I heard, the stories that came across last night as part of the Opening of the Democratic Convention:

1. Nancy Pelosi, First Female speaker of the House. I so appreciated the video introduction of her, underscoring her move from the "kitchen to congress." The FIRST FEMALE to be Speaker of the House. Amazing.

2. Barack's sister - a half-sister who is a History Teacher. Deep-voiced, well-spoken with her sense of history and people. Wow.

3. President Carter, at 83, Nobel Peace Prize winner, whose intense awareness around POVERTY and the call of this country to care for ALL of its citizens. He was the epitome of a wise elder statesman, Public Servant....He champions the efforts it takes for ALL of us to care and serve....especially in the wake of his first hand experiences of Katrina, and the aftermath in the South.

4. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Who knew!? He was the most rousing, inspiring, prior to the 8pm time slot.

5. Caroline and Ted Kennedy then just walloped me in their appearances -- calling back the dynasty, the legacy of the Kennedys and the invitation of JFK for all to public service, and all coming from this Catholic clan....It inspires critical questions of the largest kind of catholicism and faith in action and how that is present in our political candidates...

6. Michelle's brother - the teacher/ coach who spoke lovingly, proudly, of this sister, and bore witness to their upbringing...

7. Michelle. Wow. Michelle. She could run for office. Yes. A solid, smart woman/wife/mom/leader in her own right.
She and Barack met because she was picked by the law firm to MENTOR HIM!
Ha. Amazing.

Her reflection on her parents, on her dad, on meeting Barack, on her call to public service and to parenting....I loved the image she shared of Barack as dad, bringing their first daughter home 10 years ago, and how he holds the well-being of his children at the center of his ideals....What is best for children? What is best for all of the children in the United States?

8. Tonight, then, Hillary was outstanding. Her essential question:
"Were you in it for me? Or this country?"
A message of Unity! .....And so we keep going!
I loved the Harriet Tubman tale, and words of encouragement toward freedom, emancipation....Yes: "Just keep going!"

It will be really good to balance out this week weighing the messages around unification and goals of the RNC.
I am interested in the way that diversity of voices and the seeming invisible classes has become so visible and audible at the DNC....

I look forward....
Just a tally of the populations represented in VOICE at the DNC thus far:
White women,
Black women,
Mixed Race woman,
Black men,
White men.
Young leaders.
Gay, straight, catholic, muslim, jewish, wealth, working class....it's all been visible...
In appearance alone, this represents this country more so than I've ever seen before in a political convention. This is exciting! This is a new face toward what democracy really looks like, what it aspires to be in this country!!
And the stories....
How many tales of coming up from poverty, and acknowledging the SUPPORT and resources and Hard work it takes?

9. Did anyone catch the Governor of Massachusett's appearance- and his tale? Gov. Patrick. From a Single mom. South side of Chicago. Two bunkbeds, three in his family. A reader. But rotating beds....(reminded me of this brother and sister my parents mentor in Norfolk..) In one generation, went from these conditions, to the governor's house with his wife and daughter? How? Earning a scholarship and being supported to get a good high school and college education....

That support and journey just cannot be overlooked, we all know!
Peace, Questions, Hope, as I take notes...and we all discern our votes,


Anonymous said...

Melissa! Ha! this is just precious....

My favourite lines from Hillary last night ... and I paraphrase ....

"No way, No how, No McCain!!"


"Next week McCain and Bush will be in the Twin Cities .... quite appropriate since you can't tell the two apart."

Ha ha ha! Loved it. She did what she needed to do. Especially when she told her 'on the fence' supporters "were you in it for me or this country?" (Although frankly, I do believe that the media has been exaggerating this. Trying to make the party look divided. I do not believe that there are that many Hillary supporters who would vote for McCain).

And did you see the moment when she walked up to the podium and people were clapping, while she was waiting for them to simmer down, the camera panned to Bill and he mouthed "I love you" several times. Ha ha! Orchestrated or not ... that was something.

So tonight it's Bill ... I can hardly wait!!

Jody said...


THANK YOU. Thank you for writing this and sharing it with me. It is one thing to watch, listen and absorb on my own and something totally different when you write this and so succinctly share your thoughts and make me think all over again.

Looking forward to another email with your notes from the rest of the convention.