Mark Plotkin’s Convention Diary 2016: Delicious Leftovers

Here are my leftovers in no particular order. Take what you like, and discard the rest. My Proustian ramblings …

Most sorry and lonely sight: Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts, speaking to one lonely, young TV guy holding a handheld camera in the vast expanse of the media tent in Philadelphia. Weld is running on the Libertarian Party ticket as veep. Didn’t look a bit happy with the paucity of media coverage.

Wednesday morning, D.C. Dems’ breakfast: Karl Racine, D.C.’s attorney general, spoke to the D.C. Dems and started by saying, “You got to be nervous,” concerning Trump’s fortunes in the polls, but hopeful that Trump “has no ground game.” Mayor Muriel Bowser was nowhere in sight. Racine will likely be her opponent in 2018. Emphatically said, there needs to be a PAC set up to push D.C. statehood all across the country.

Hillary Clinton’s plea to Sanders people: “I heard you. Your cause is our cause.” Will Bernie’s people vote for the nominee, or will they opt out in some large number and vote for the Green Party candidate?

Clinton left out a phrase, when she said “expand voting rights.” Why couldn’t she have added, “and that means D.C.”?

Conversation with Ed Rendell, governor of Pennsylvania: He reminds me that there are 900,000 more Democrats in Pennsylvania than Republicans. But Obama has to be dedicated to getting the African American voters to vote.

The video played before Hillary’s speech was narrated by Morgan Freeman. What a voice. There is no one better.

Beautiful murals all over Philadelphia, created by local artists. They are striking and enhance the look of the city.

One speaker at the GOP Convention who might want to take back his words: First and foremost Speaker Paul Ryan, the permanent chair, who Trump has said he will not endorse. Ryan faces a primary opponent.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: When he walked to the podium, he was loudly booed. He presented very brief remarks and quickly departed.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Definitely a crowd favorite. He must have said to himself, where were all these people when I ran for the nomination?

Pastor Mark Burns in Cleveland: Super animated, a preacher in the truest sense. The benediction was far too constraining for him.

Linda Lingle, former Republican governor of Hawaii, who is Jewish, gave the most ardently pro-Israel speech.

David A. Clarke, Jr., is the charismatic sheriff of Milwaukee. By far, he was the most well-received, stirring the crowd up into a frenzy. He is an African American law enforcement figure with a very bright national political future.

Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican Party, was permitted to speak at his own convention, unlike counterpart Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Fran Tarkenton: Pretty good speaker for a jock. Tremendously likeable and maybe will help Trump keep Georgia in his column.

Tom Barrack: Business executive who is a big buddy of Trump. Tried to paint his friend as a regular guy with a big heart.

In Memoriam at DNC Convention. Some D.C. Democrats whose picture was shown on the big screen and were recognized: Lawrence Guyot, Civil Rights activist; Marion Barry, four-time mayor; Julian Bond, Civil Rights icon; Alma Brown, wife of Ron Brown and mother of Michael Brown.

Overlooked speech at DNC Convention: Minority Leader Harry Reid went after Mitch McConnell with a vengeance. Best line: “Even if you don’t think you can win, stand up and fight.”

Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland and former presidential candidate, called Trump a “carnival barker,” who has an opinion of himself “that’s way too high.” And if that wasn’t enough, O’Malley urged the country to “put a bully racist in his place.” In an earlier interview, he said Trump was a “fascist.” O’Malley wants to be the new Democratic National Committee chair and was auditioning for this slot.

Illinois delegation: Still a Daley in attendance — Michael, son of Richard J., the least known Daley.

Admiral (retired) Jon Hutson said about Trump: “You are not fit to polish John McCain’s shoes.”

Jesse Jackson: The great improviser, who now reads his speeches. Too bad. Miss the dynamism of the old Jesse.

Bernie Sanders remarks:

“A person who works 40 hours a week — that person should not be living in poverty.”

“$7.25 is a starvation wage.”

“Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.”

“8 million individual contributions.”

“13 million voted for a political revolution.”

“$27, the average contribution.”

Leslie Rutledge: first female attorney general of Arkansas (Republican). Watch her, she wants to go places. The “Clintons launched their careers of corruption” in her state.

Ron Johnson: Republican senator from Wisconsin, reminds everybody that his opponent, Russ Feingold, was the “only senator to vote against the Patriot Act.”

Sign in Philadelphia hall: “All Gender Restroom.”

Howard Dean: Same tie he wore in 2004.

Who is that guy? Perfect white hair, standing in California delegation, think I know him — but can’t quite place him. Finally it clicks: that’s former recalled California Governor Gray Davis.

And finally, most creative panhandler walking with sign which read, “Need money for hookers and beer.”


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