PHILADELPHIA — Bill de Blasio, the current mayor of New York City, just spoke to Democratic National Convention delegates at the Wells Fargo Center about the merits of Hillary Clinton and the evils of Donald Trump. He spoke at around 5:30 p.m., when many TV viewers are still working or on the way home, and there were noticeable holes in the arena crowd.
Philadelphia — It’s hot as hell here in the city of brotherly love, but I’d give up all the air conditioning and the free “I’m a Union Fan” fan for a good wifi connection. Here inside the white media tents, now blessedly free of Bernie protestors, the chairs are free but the wifi is not—media outlets, companies and some woman named Doreen all refuse to share their kbps with me, and I’m having a hard time guessing their passwords.
Daniel Driffin, a 30-year-old Atlanta-based HIV/AIDS activist, addressed the DNC today. His three-minute speech touched on the history of AIDS, Hillary Clinton’s advocacy regarding the epidemic (which she has a vast experience doing, brain farts aside), and most importantly, the current state of the epidemic, which disproportionately affects black and Latino gay and bisexual men.
PHILADELPHIA — Bill Clinton is a brilliant speaker, and more often than not it’s completely off-the-cuff, prepared remarks be damned. In fact, the DNC media team was unable to distribute an advanced copy of his speech, as it does for many of the speakers, because he was reportedly working on it up until he delivered it. And even then, he ad-libbed most of his remarks.
In Philadelphia on Thursday, poverty activist Cheri Honkala plans to host “the world’s largest ‘fart-in,’” during Hillary Clinton’s nomination acceptance speech, as a silent but deadly rebuke to the Democratic nominee. Given the handwringing from Clinton supporters and surrogates about Sanders supporters booing and jeering the Democratic elite (including their own candidate), one can only imagine the outrage that will greet such a bodily demonstration on Thursday. The presumptive nominee, this thinking goes, is supposed to accept her nomination without disruption or distraction—despite the fact that having such a vocal, activist wing of the party is, in fact, a very good thing!
Donald Trump is an attention-hungry, inauthentic charlatan driven almost entirely by an insatiable appetite for fame and, if he can swing it, fortune. So to treat Donald Trump as if he’s trying to convey any actual message is to miss the point of him entirely. Donald Trump’s only message is that Donald Trump exists.
The first speaker of the Democratic Convention on Tuesday night was Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who was once described by the Washington Post as “close as family” to the Clintons. His buddies did him a nice favor getting him a slot on the main stage tonight, though I can’t imagine this is how they imagine being thanked.
As I sat down in the media tent across from the Wells Fargo Center to write this post, there were 40 or so Bernie Sanders delegates and other supporters in here with me, milling around and talking to the press, and a couple hundred more just outside. They had just staged a walkout from the Democratic National Convention, when Hillary Clinton was formally named the party’s nominee, and made their way here to demonstrate. But if you’ve been following the news from the DNC, you probably don’t need me to tell you that.
PHILADELPHIA — As the prophets foretold, a generation born under the first Clinton presidency would grow to know many misfortunes: A recession, lots of Dick Cheney airtime during its formative years, and “Gilmore Girls.” This generation, the fates dictated, would rise up in pained chorus against that misfortune to be super whiny about the idea of a second Clinton presidency. When it finally came time for a woman in office, those prophets sang from the heavens that, the women of this Cursed Generation would claim they “do not even see gender.”
Larry Sanders is a Green Party politician in the UK, and a delegate with the Democrats Abroad delegation here at the DNC in Philadelphia. He’s also Bernie Sanders’s older brother. A few minutes ago, during the roll call of states, the delegation allowed him to personally deliver his vote to his little brother, which he did, after brief, emotional remarks about their parents, and how immensely proud they’d be. It was a nice moment.
Bernie-supporting delegates were out in full force during the Democratic National Convention speeches last night. Over the telecast, it was easy to hear boos and chants of “we can’t trust her” during pro-Hillary speeches. I wasn’t on the floor, but I’d heard that a small crowd of California delegates were delivering the loudest jeers. Bernie was even booed by a crowd of his own California supporters when he urged them to back Hillary. This afternoon, a few delegates from the state said they might deliver a similar protest tonight.