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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Emotional Obama Passes Baton To Hillary Clinton

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The sun has set on day three of the Democratic national convention in Philadelphia. Here’s what happened:
In a wildly applauded appearance interrupted a couple times by various people shouting “four more years!”, Barack Obama took the stage to ask the country to “do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me”.
At the end of the speech, Clinton joined the president onstage – her first appearance in person at the convention. The two hugged and audience cheered a lot.
Obama said he disagreed with a pessimistic vision of the country’s prospects laid out at the Republican convention last week. He framed Donald Trump as neither a Republican nor a conservative but as a throwback to political doomsayers of old.
In listing threats to the country, Obama put alongside fascists communists and jihadists “homegrown demagogues”, certainly a reference to Trump, whom the president said was
“not really a facts guy”.
“Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion?” Obama said.
Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, introduced himself to the country and tried out a Trump impression with the refrain: “Believe me!” Everybody said it wasn’t that good but seemed to forgive him for it.

Vice president Joe Biden made a case that Trump wouldn’t look out for the middle class: “He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Give me a break. That’s a bunch of malarkey!”
A few unruly delegates remained. People chanted “no more war” as former defense secretary Leon Panetta spoke. But when Obama tipped his hat to Bernie Sanders, no hand was left unclapped.
The night saw wrenching testimony from families of victims of gun violence, from Newtown to Orlando. Gabby Giffords gave a heartily cheered speech.
The night featured Republican criticism of Trump – eg video of Mitt Romney – and a well-received speech from Republican-turned independent Michael Bloomberg, who told the world that Trump is a con man.
Multiple speakers hit Trump for asking earlier in the day for Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, in an extraordinary press conference summarized here.
Award for surprisingly strong performance goes to former candidate Martin O’Malley, who said: “It’s time to put a bully in his place, and a tough woman in hers [pause] – the White House!”

Obama: ‘the audacity of hope’
Obama rolls out a familiar phrase that is applauded with gusto:
Time and again, you’ve picked me up. I hope, sometimes, I picked you up, too. Tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me. I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me. Because you’re who I was talking about twelve years ago, when I talked about hope – it’s been you who’ve fueled my dogged faith in our future, even when the odds are great; even when the road is long. Hope in the face of difficulty; hope in the face of uncertainty; the audacity of hope!
America, you have vindicated that hope these past eight years. And now I’m ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen. This year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me – to reject cynicism, reject fear, to summon what’s best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation.

Obama winds toward a close:
And that’s why I have confidence, as I leave this stage tonight, that the Democratic Party is in good hands. My time in this office hasn’t fixed everything; as much as we’ve done, there’s still so much I want to do. But for all the tough lessons I’ve had to learn; for all the places I’ve fallen short; I’ve told Hillary, and I’ll tell you what’s picked me back up, every single time.

It’s been you. The American people.
It’s the letter I keep on my wall from a survivor in Ohio who twice almost lost everything to cancer, but urged me to keep fighting for health care reform, even when the battle seemed lost. Do not quit.
It’s the painting I keep in my private office, a big-eyed, green owl, made by a seven year-old girl who was taken from us in Newtown, given to me by her parents so I wouldn’t forget – a reminder of all the parents who have turned their grief into action.
It’s the small business owner in Colorado who cut most of his own salary so he wouldn’t have to lay off any of his workers in the recession – because, he said, “that wouldn’t have been in the spirit of America.”
It’s the conservative in Texas who said he disagreed with me on everything, but appreciated that, like him, I try to be a good dad.
It’s the courage of the young soldier from Arizona who nearly died on the battlefield in Afghanistan, but who’s learned to speak and walk again – and earlier this year, stepped through the door of the Oval Office on his own power, to salute and shake my hand.
It’s every American who believed we could change this country for the better, so many of you who’d never been involved in politics, who picked up phones, and hit the streets, and used the internet in amazing new ways to make change happen. You are the best organizers on the planet, and I’m so proud of all the change you’ve made possible.
Obama: ‘homegrown demagogues will always fail’
Obama here seems to group Trump, a “homegrown demagogue,” perhaps, though not named, with threats to the country including “fascists or communists or jihadists”:
America has changed over the years. But these values my grandparents taught me – they haven’t gone anywhere. They’re as strong as ever; still cherished by people of every party, every race, and every faith. They live on in each of us. What makes us American, what makes us patriots, is what’s in here. That’s what matters. That’s why we can take the food and music and holidays and styles of other countries, and blend it into something uniquely our own. That’s why we can attract strivers and entrepreneurs from around the globe to build new factories and create new industries here. That’s why our military can look the way it does, every shade of humanity, forged into common service.
That’s why anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end.
That is America. That is America. Those bonds of affection; that common creed. We don’t fear the future; we shape it, embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own. That’s what Hillary Clinton understands – this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother and grandmother, this public servant, this patriot – that’s the America she’s fighting for.
Obama: ‘these values could travel’

Obama tells his granparents’ story:
And it’s got me thinking about the story I told you twelve years ago tonight, about my Kansas [Kansas delegation: YAY] grandparents and the things they taught me when I was growing up. They came from the heartland; their ancestors began settling there about 200 years ago.

Obama throws in a line for run:
I don’t know if they had their birth certificates”
Obama returns to his story:
They were Scotch-Irish mostly, farmers, teachers, ranch hands, pharmacists, oil rig workers. Hardy, small town folks. Some were Democrats, but a lot of them were Republicans. My grandparents explained that they didn’t like show-offs. They didn’t admire braggarts or bullies. They didn’t respect mean-spiritedness, or folks who were always looking for shortcuts in life. Instead, they valued traits like honesty and hard work. Kindness and courtesy. Humility; responsibility; helping each other out.
That’s what they believed in. True things. Things that last. The things we try to teach our kids.
And what my grandparents understood was that these values weren’t limited to Kansas. They weren’t limited to small towns. These values could travel to Hawaii; even the other side of the world, where my mother would end up working to help poor women get a better life. They knew these values weren’t reserved for one race; they could be passed down to a half-Kenyan grandson, or a half-Asian granddaughter; in fact, they were the same values Michelle’s parents, the descendants of slaves, taught their own kids living in a bungalow on the South Side of Chicago. They knew these values were exactly what drew immigrants here, and they believed that the children of those immigrants were just as American as their own, whether they wore a cowboy hat or a yarmulke; a baseball cap or a hijab.