Convention Compare: A-List vs C-List Speakers

Brian Beutler: Convention SpeechSenator Cory Booker’s pre-primetime speech was the first to overpower the Sanders holdouts. Michelle Obama’s, by universal acclaim, will join the pantheon of great convention addresses. And Sanders himself spoke well past the 11 pm network TV cutoff point, in part because the delegates of both candidates interrupted his remarks with standing ovations over and over again. The range of talent on display was such that the keynote address, by Senator Elizabeth Warren — one of Hillary Clinton’s most effective surrogates and a trusted figure among Sanders supporters — largely disappeared behind the others. And it was a good speech, too.

In a different climate, clustering so many big draws into one night, when they could have been spread out more evenly, would have been an error. But in this case it was a matter of necessity. The coming three days will feature headline speeches by Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine, Barack Obama, and Hillary herself. Packing the lineup on Monday night was simply a matter of necessity…

Clinton’s convention lineup wasn’t designed to contrast with Trump’s brigade of C-list celebrities and agitators, though it did do that. It was instead meant to serve as a demonstration that Clinton is widely respected in the Democratic Party, which is much less divided than a handful of Sanders delegates would have you believe. Where Trump insists to the public that Republicans are unified, Clinton and her supporters showed that they are.

—Brian Beutler
The Democrats Just Showed Republicans How It’s Done

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Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

23 thoughts on “Convention Compare: A-List vs C-List Speakers

  1. Monday is also the first day where they didn’t have anything that required a very long time to go through-roll calls take forever.

    • I haven’t seen much of the convention at all. I haven’t even read much about the convention. Too busy with work. Also: it seems pointless. Trump got a bounce from a completely incompetent RNC? Do people really long for the days of George W Bush? Do they want an administration that that is even worse? I’m beginning to think that Paul Bibeau was being optimistic in Trump Tales of Terror.

      • The media has been whining nonstop about the convention but the people I know who were there (Sanders AND Clinton delegates) have been so happy and joyful. And of course the people watching at home on my Twitter feed have been over the moon.

        So far it is better than 2008-probably because I can see everyone on the stage unlike then when I was crammed in crowds and confused as to what was going on.

  2. Have the GOP had a good public speaker since Reagan? They’ve had lots of good sound-bite masters. Nobody I can think of who actually can sustain a 15-minute speech. Pat Buchanan, maybe. Dingbat though he is, he’s not an unskilled writer.

    • Sure. And Trump has his excellent 5 minute bit. At 1.25 hours, he’s horrific. But apparently, my fellow Americans don’t think so.

    • I remember when the GOP had their convention here in St. Paul. The biggest-name music act they could get for after-hours parties was Styx. What, was Ted Nugent previously engaged?

      Also, I heard from local servers, the convention attendees didn’t tip worth a damn. But that’s no shock.

      • As I watched the RNC last week, I kept asking myself, “Would I play that gig?” And my answer was, “Yes!” I’m a total whore when it comes to the one form of art that people pay me to do. On the other hand, when I thought about writing a speech for Trump, I had second thoughts. Maybe I’m not as big a whore as I think I am. And playing a gig is not an explicitly political act the way writing a speech is. I tend to think that G E Smith’s career will not be harmed. I was impressed with him, actually.

        • Oh, sure, I don’t blame Styx for playing (though I thought the name hilariously appropriate!)

          John Oliver had a funny bit on campaign songs. Apparently Trump has used Queen, and — amazingly — REM’s “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”. Wowza!

    • I haven’t been following, so I didn’t know that. That does kind of sum the whole thing up. Not that it matters. Americans aren’t known for their good taste.

  3. I was so excited after the roll call that I was like how are they going to top this?!

    Then Bill Clinton did a hour and a half love letter to her and I was like a puddle. This convention has been THE BEST.

    • I heard some people complain that his speech was too much about him and maybe sexist in that it referred to her as “this girl” for the first bit. I didn’t see it, though; I thought it was sweet. Of course, one couldn’t help but think of the affairs and scandals, but… well, that’s their business. If she doesn’t mind, why should I? The Roosevelts were the same way.

      • Hillary takes her vows seriously. And she said for better or worse-she didn’t have to. But once she did, she stuck with it.

        • I’ve been watching YouTube clips today. Al Franken, Sarah Silverman. Obama comparing Trump to Hitler & Stalin. I got a little weepy during his speech. I’ve had many disagreements with his decisions over the years, but how great has it been to have him as an inspiration for so many people. Time to make US history again, Hillary!

          It’s so much better than most conventions I remember.

          • Yes it has been.

            2008 I was stuck in huge crowds, I was tired and confused as to what the hell was going on. It wasn’t until the last night that I started feeling the hope and change. Being stuck in a stadium for five hours can do that.

    • And last week’s was a clusterf#@k. Yet it didn’t seem to matter. I don’t know. I’m really depressed. If last week didn’t convince people, I don’t know what does.

        • It does seem that way. See today’s post. And it’s even better than indicated. She’s at 66.1%, which is ahead of where she started. Of course, I don’t think these conventions do anything in the long term. We’ll see where we are in a month. It still bothers me that Trump has any chance at all.

            • I haven’t seen 69%. The most recent is 68.4%. It’s still worrisome. That means she has the odds of winning of a football team that comes into the 4th quarter with a field-goal up. It’s better to be up than down, but still I’m not happy.

              • welp the polling from his attacking a gold star mom hasn’t been released yet. Nor has the “kicked a baby out of his rally” polling occurred yet.

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