What You Missed While Not Watching the Second Night of the Democratic Convention

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Callie Shell for Time

President Barack Obama hugs former President Bill Clinton on stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5, 2012.

5 p.m. The first night was mystical, magical, all “Kumbaya,” cheers and tears. The second night begins with chaos and discord. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tries to amend the platform to deal with GOP criticism, adding a mention of God and stating that Jerusalem is the proper capital of Israel. “The matter requires a two-thirds vote,” he says, and then calls for yeas and nays. The hall is still mostly empty, and sounds evenly divided.

5:04 p.m. “Let me do that again,” he says. The “No!” is as loud as the “Yeah!” — or louder. He tries a third time. Same result. And then, egged on by the bureaucrats, he rules: “In the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative.” There is just no way he believes what he is saying. Boos in the hall.

5:06 p.m. The program moves on to the benediction, as if none of that just happened. Those in the hall bow their heads to pray all will be forgotten. The colors come out. Olympian Gabby Douglas says the pledge. Branford Marsalis, on soprano sax, does the national anthem. Maybe it is working.

5:15 p.m. It is working. Back on script, a cavalcade of minor dignitaries with similar messages mostly tailored to niche interest groups take the stage. Members of Congress, a sheriff, a mayor, a state controller, a caucus chair, a green-energy booster, Chuck Schumer. They blur together, until Schumer says, “Our family always associated the smell of roach spray with love.” In proper context, the line is less interesting.

6:41 p.m. Congressional Black Caucus chairman Emanuel Cleaver brings the old-time religion. “Color me a Democrat. Color me a liberal,” he shouts. “Mr. President, hope on! Hope on! Hope on!” He stamps his feet, then the crowd starts stamping, and the hall fills with thunder. It’s a tough act to follow, a fact that Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy acknowledges before listing some talking points in a nasal monotone.

(MORE: What You Missed While Not Watching the First Night of the Democratic Convention)

7:17 p.m. These conventions start to blur together after a while. Four or five hours a night, for nights on end, the flashy videos, the American Dreams, the partisan bile. Which is to say, another busload of speakers take turns onstage, a mixture of congressional leaders, Cabinet Secretaries and regular folk, though the crowd is less fired up than the night before. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the election is about “the character of our country.” “When you go to the polls, vote for Medicare,” she says. “Vote for President Obama.”

7:31 p.m. Roll on, convention train. Roll on. Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski comes out with eight other female Senators. “We are going to keep fighting, our shoulders square, our lipstick on,” she says. They go out to Katy Perry: “Baby, you’re a firework/ Come on, let your colors burst/ Make ‘em go oh, oh, oh.” Education and North Carolina praise follow. “This is not the time for America to believe in magic,” says Jim Hunt, a former governor, losing Obama votes in Orlando.

8:07 p.m. Cecile Richards, daughter of former Texas governor Ann Richards and president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, says Mitt Romney wants to make it harder for women to get health care. “It’s like we woke up in a bad episode of Mad Men,” she says. Pants on fire. There are no bad episodes of Mad Men.

8:30 p.m. Fireworks launch in the Meadowlands as Michael Strahan, the gap-toothed former New York Giants star, hoists the Lombardi Trophy. This is what millions of Americans are watching: Cowboys vs. Giants, kickoff night in the NFL. Here in Charlotte, people are waving miniature American flags at U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.

8:38 p.m. As Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth walk America through the pregame ritual, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper walks delegates through the case for Obama’s re-election. “He knows, to move our country forward, it takes we, and not me,” Hickenlooper says. At kickoff, Sister Simone Campbell, a liberal Catholic activist, defends government aid to the poor and says Paul Ryan’s budget is immoral. “We all share responsibility,” she says to applause. “This is part of my pro-life stance.” It’s hard to think of the last time a crowd of Democrats cheered the phrase pro-life.

8:58 p.m. America watches the Cowboys force a fumble. In Charlotte, Small Business Administration director Karen Mills says Obama reduced the time the federal government can take to pay contractors. Then comes Kamala Harris, the attorney general of California, with one of those off-the-shelf convention speeches. “That’s not leadership” is her refrain.

9:14 p.m. For the first time in modern U.S. political-convention history, an undocumented immigrant takes the stage. Benita Veliz is from San Antonio and is a high school valedictorian who graduated at 16. She will benefit from the President’s recent decision to give many young undocumented immigrants temporary work visas. She is followed by Cristina Saralegui, a Cuban American who once had a television show with 100 million viewers in 40 countries. She quotes Romney’s praise of the Arizona immigration law, then says, “Don’t boo. Vote.”

(PHOTOS: Democratic National Convention 2012)

9:26 p.m. Following immigration, it’s the auto-industry part of program. Apparently Obama did a good thing, and Romney did bad things. Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen attacks Ryan’s performance in Tampa. “If Paul was being honest, he would have pointed to that debt clock and said, ‘We built that,’ ” he says.

10 p.m. Sandra Fluke, of Rush Limbaugh fame, comes out right as the networks cut to coverage. A big standing O. It’s a full-throated attack on Republican policies, from contraception to “invasive ultrasounds.” “We talk often about choice. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s now time to choose,” she says.

10:07 p.m. It’s halftime at the Meadowlands. Curious Americans surfing over to convention coverage find a former Costco CEO reading a speech about his chain of discount-retail outlets off a sheet of paper. Mercifully, it ends.

10:15 p.m. Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren comes out and tries to introduce herself, but chants drown her out. It’s a populist stem winder about a political system rigged against hard-working people. She scolds Romney for saying “Corporations are people.” “No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love.” It’s industrial-grade liberal catnip. The crowd is in ecstasy.

10:31 p.m. A video primes the crowd for the next speaker. It’s all coming back: the booming ’90s. Five percent unemployment. Big hair. Bigger surpluses. Bill Clinton in action.

10:34 p.m. The Big Dog bounds out. “We are here to nominate a President,” Clinton begins. “I’ve got one in mind.” He begins to describe this President as “a man who’s cool on the outside but who burns for America on the inside.” A man “who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.” Any Democrats who might have been worried he was talking about himself are quietly relieved.

10:39 p.m. Clinton says Obama is right for the job because the economy has added more jobs under Democratic Presidents than under Republican ones since 1961. Of course, many of those piled up in the 1990s and relatively few were added under Obama, but he glosses. “Poverty, discrimination and ignorance restrict growth,” he says.

(MORE: The Clinton Speech)

10:44 p.m. It’s hard to tell who’s enjoying this more, the crowd or Clinton. He keeps going off his prepared remarks. Democrats know how to compromise, Clinton says, while “the far right … seems to hate President Obama.” But he does not hate his opponents, and neither does Obama. “Heck, he even appointed Hillary,” Clinton says. “Democracy does not have to be a blood sport.”

10:52 p.m. Clinton makes the tough economic case for Obama’s re-election. Things were bad in 2008. “No one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years,” Clinton says. “But he has laid the foundation for a new, modern, successful economy of shared prosperity. And if you will renew the President’s contract, you will feel it.” He begins a long list of Obama’s accomplishments in office: the stimulus, the auto bailout, fuel standards, energy, student loans. This goes on for quite some time. Clinton chews over each issue like a bite of expensive steak he’s reluctant to swallow.

11:02 p.m. He spends several minutes explaining why Ryan’s claim that Obama “raided Medicare” is disingenuous. The local newscasts are standing by. The Giants and Cowboys are wrapping up. But Clinton is still going. “Now you’re having a good time, but this is serious,” he says. Clinton is having a good time too, so he spends another three minutes on entitlements. Ryan’s budget is “going to end Medicare as we know it.” Then it’s welfare reform. “It’s a real doozy,” Clinton says. “Here’s what happened …” It’s been 40 minutes since he walked onstage. But the crowd is in a trance. They would follow him anywhere.

11:15 p.m. “Now, let’s talk about the debt.” No one groans, but the cheers aren’t deafening anymore. Clinton’s started another list. Or a sublist. Hard to remember. But Clinton’s still slinging A-grade stuff, going off script, describing himself as a country boy from Arkansas. “We cannot hand the reins of government to someone who will double down on trickle down,” he says. A roar.

11:20 p.m. Dare to hope. This sounds like a conclusion. “If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility, a we’re-all-in-this-together society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden,” Clinton says.

11:23 p.m. It was not the conclusion. “For more than 200 years, through every crisis, we’ve always come back.” He’s taking it in for a landing. “You must vote and you must re-elect President Barack Obama.” Wild applause. Obama emerges from backstage. Clinton bows to the current President. The two men embrace. They leave to Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” and chants of “O-BA-MA!” We’re done here, but the hall is just getting started. The roll call has begun. Each state will now officially vote to nominate Obama as the Democratic candidate for President. The outcome is not in doubt.

PHOTOS: The Obama Brand in Pictures

183 comments
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Gary Schaefer
Gary Schaefer

Only problem I see is that Obama is NO Clinton. He's clueless and floundering.

As much as I honestly respect Clinton, I'm the opposite for Obama.

It's a real shame the Democrats didn't endorse Hilary in 08. They'd have it locked up if they had. The very fact that the GOP has the Democrats worried is a joke considering the GOP's candidate.

tma_sierrahills
tma_sierrahills

"9:14 p.m. For the first time in modern U.S. political-convention history, an undocumented immigrant takes the stage. Benita Veliz is from San Antonio and is a high school valedictorian who graduated at 16 ..." 

... and, being your typical illegal alien, now performs heart transplants at Johns Hopkins, when she is not singing opera at the Met or doing dangerous malarial mosquito research in the Congo swamps.

By the way, the article above was delightfully written and had such a pleasantly hypnotic effect that I was glad I cancelled cable and could get my convention coverage in such a way.

Yeshuratnam
Yeshuratnam

What is there to be praised? During the Obama administration, Americans have experienced deep economic recession and widespread unemployment. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, is not going to save American economy. He didn't see the last financial crisis coming, and even after things started falling apart he continued to insist that housing prices would not go down and that Americans would not have a recession. In handling foreign policy, Obama is a total failure. Taking advantage of Obama’s weakness, Putin is trying to revive the former Soviet Union. He has the temerity to send the Russian sub to the Gulf. Clinton intervened in Serbia in spite of opposition by Beijing and Moscow. Obama is mainly responsible for the bloodbath in Syria. If he is hesitant to intervene directly due to the opposition of China and Russia, he could have armed Turkey and the rebels. Cameron and Serkozy boldly intervened in Libya and saved several thousand lives. Obama has allowed the terrorist group, Muslim Brotherhood, to flourish both at home and Egypt. Obama has given several billions of dollars as loan to Egypt, while America itself is reeling under heavy loans. Egypt is now evolving into another Iran and Mursi another Khomeini. Already under President Morsi's first two months, Islamists have become more emboldened—whether by pressuring women to wear the hijab, by killing a Muslim youth for publicly holding hands with his fiancée, or by disseminating flyers that call for the total genocide of Egypt's Christian Copts. The flyers include the names and contact points for those Muslims who wish to collect their rewards for killing Christians. Another term for Obama will be disastrous for America and the world. He will destroy Israel by having surreptitious dealings with Iran. 

Tess Comments
Tess Comments

You probably missed

Julia Rodriguez, a woman that identified herself as a New York delegate to the Democrat National Convention, made a threat against GOP nominee Mitt Romney, stating that she “would like to kill him.”

 http://freedomoutpost.com/2012...

paulejb
paulejb

Tess Comments.

Apparently the Secret Service did not miss it even though the MSM did.

"SECRET SERVICE: WE‘RE ’AWARE‘ OF DNC DELEGATE’S THREAT TO ‘KILL’ ROMNEY"

http://www.theblaze.com/storie... 

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

"There's nothing there that tells anyone that they have to believe."

===========================

Nope. You can believe in gaia, Tinkerbell, the tooth fairy or nothing at all but you probably wouldn't want to put it in your party platform when most voters believe in a God.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Why? You're the only one claiming that dems don't believe in God after it's included it in the platform.

Just let me know when you finally figure it out. Maybe you're one of those insecure people who always need people to pamper your specific belief, but that's really not the governments job.

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

They just don't not believe in God, they actually booed any mention of God in the party platform. They appear to have a grudge against God. Why do you suppose that is, Ob?

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

"So we HAVE to believe in God because congress can't tell us to believe in a specific religion and no one can prohibit anyone fro exercising it?"

==============================

You can believe in the tooth fairy, Ob. That's your constitutional right.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Correct

So your argument boils down into the fact that you NEED the Dems to specifically mention all the divine players in order to feel safe.

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

Actually, I believe that Democrats should go on dissing God and the people who believe in him every single day between now and the election.

They should write it, broadcast it, shout it from the rooftops. The Democrat party has no use for God!

kiefo
kiefo

Why did Obama and the rest of the red-eyed, frothing at mouth, virulent, militant, rabid, hysterical feminists of the Democrat party invite Boy Clinton to speak when Boy Clinton has been credibly accused of raping Juanita Brodderick; been credibly accused of sexually assaulting Kathleen Willey; paid $800,000 to Paula Jones for exposing himself to Paula Jones in a seedy hotel room and telling Paula Jones to "kiss it" (and lost his law license and found in contempt of court for lying about it) and been credibly accused of sexually harrassing scores of other women?  Is the answer that Obama and the rest of the red-eyed, frothing at the mouth, virulent, militant, rabid, hysterical feminists don't give a damn about Clinton's alleged rape, sexual assaults and endless sexual harrassment because Boy Clinton was/is such an abortion enthusiast?  Will any of Obama's useful idiots (i.e., the entire Washington/New York/American press corps) ask?

COG7958
COG7958

 Kiefo,

If democrats judged leaders by what they did, instead of what they said, Republicans would win every election.  Republicans are not bold and unethical enough to win.  If they just promised voters everything and told them someone else was paying for it they could beat the democrats.

paulejb
paulejb

Liberals are easily confused. They believe that freedom of religion means freedom from religion. That must have guilty consciences.

MrObvious
MrObvious

They believe that freedom of religion means freedom from religion

Yes it does; where in the constitution does it stipulate that you HAVE to believe and in what type of divinity?

Are you seriously claiming that we HAVE to believe?

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

Liberals seem to miss the second part of the sentence:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

(Emphasis mine) 

MrObvious
MrObvious

paulejb

So we HAVE to believe in God because congress can't tell us to believe in a specific religion and no one can prohibit anyone fro exercising it?

Do you have any idea what you're talking about?

bobell
bobell

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."  Tell me how that's NOT freedom from religion.

paulejb
paulejb

Bobell,

You left out the rest: "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

bobell
bobell

That's because it has no relevance to a discussion of whether government may impose religion on people. Exercise your religion freely all you want.  Just don't ask government to shove it down my throat.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Which means that government can't tell you what to believe in and stop you from believing in what you wan't. There's nothing there that tells anyone that they have to believe.

ranger99
ranger99

All imaginary entities, including God, need to stay in the minds of stupid people where they belong and out of the government that is supposed to represent us all equally.

paulejb
paulejb

ranger99,

There is no God than GOVERNMENT and thou shall place no strange gods before it.

"The Government Is The Only Thing We All Belong To"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... 

MrObvious
MrObvious

Render unto Ceasar. Either you believe in Jesus or you don't. Your choice.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Or Yahweh, or Allah, or Bhagavan, or Jehovah or that tree outside your window. Their all covered under the 1st Amendment.

What does this have to do with

There is no God than GOVERNMENT and thou shall place no strange gods before it.

Render unto Ceasar is well understood. Personally I don't care if you believe in the great toad by licking it or whatever you do, but there's nothing in the constitution that prohibit you from doing it either.

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

Or Yahweh, or Allah, or Bhagavan, or Jehovah or that tree outside your window. Their all covered under the 1st Amendment.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" 

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

Fortunately, Obama will speak to the DNC in a couple of hours...and we can all feel clean again.

Note to RepubliKKKrappers: Sorry, guys...I did my best. I searched the internet for days and I just cannot find any report that Bill Clinton was ever arrested, or surrendered for, or was even ever charged with rape. Maybe that's because rape involves an UNWILLING victim...or under age? What do you think?

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#17:  Republican

Mayor Tom Adams was arrested for issuing kiddieporn on the internet.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

#16:  Republican Mayor John Gosek was arrested on charges of

soliciting sex from two 15-year old female_adolescents.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

 

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#16:  Republican

Mayor Tom Adams was arrested for distributing child porn_ography over the

internet.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#15:  Republican

Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for

sexua!!y_ abusin 8- and 10-year old female_adolescents. 

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#14:  Republican

campaign worker Mark Seidensticker is a convicted child rmo1ester.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 #13:  Republican teacher and former city

councilman John Collins pleaded guilty to sexually rmo1esting 13 and 14 year

old female_adolescents.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#12:  Republican

County Chairman Armando Tebano pleaded guilty to fondling a 14-year-old

female_adolescent

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

#11:  Republican petition drive manager Tom

Randall pleaded guilty to rmo1esting two female_adolescents under the age of

14, one of them the daughter of an associate in the petition business. 

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#10:  Republican

Party leader Bobby Stumbo was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old

male_adolescent.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#9:  Republican

judge Mark Pazuhanich pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old

female_adolescent and was sentenced to 10 years probation

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#8:  Republican

County Constable Larry Dale Floyd pleaded guilty to charges of soliciting sex

from an 8-year old female_adolescent. Floyd has repeatedly won elections for

Denton County, Texas, constable. 

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#7:  Republican

chairman of the Oregon Christian Coalition Lou Beres confessed to rmo1esting a

13-year old female_adolescent. 

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#6:  Republican executive Randall Casseday of the conservative

Washington Times newspaper pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a 13-year old

female_adolescent on the internet. 

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#5:  Republican Congressman Mark Foley abruptly resigned from Congress

after "sexua!!y exp!icit" emails surfaced showing him flirting with a

16-year old male_adolescent. 

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#4:  Republican County Board Candidate Brent Schepp was charged

with rmo1esting a 14-year old female_adolescent and killed himself three days

later.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#3:  Republican Mayor Jeffrey Kyle Randall was sentenced to 275 days

in jail for rmo1esting two male_adolescents -- ages ten and 12 -- during a

six-year period. 

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#2.  Republican

prosecutor Larry Corrigan was arrested for soliciting sex from 13-year old

female_adolescents.  

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

WHY REPUBLIKKKRAPPERS ARE

SENSITIVE ABOUT THE WORD “RAPE”

 

#1:  Republican County Commissioner Patrick Lee McGuire surrendered to

police after allegedly rmo1esting female_adolescents between the ages of 8 and

13.