At Invesco

by: Matt Stoller

Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 19:33


I'm at Invesco, the lines are ridiculously long.  I spent about an hour and a half on the floor without a floor credential, covering up my Hall credential with an American flag before my friends got me a Floor pass.  I interviewed Jerry Nadler, who told me that whether Obama prosecutes the crimes of this past administration is an early test case for what his administration will be like.  I also asked him about Glenn Greenwald and what is missing from this convention, namely a focus on habeas, torture, etc.  Nadler is terrific, and his best guess is that those issues don't move voters.  I'll have more on that soon, and hopefully my flip video captured most of the interview.

I also got good video from Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid, as well as Republican Senator Jon Kyl, and I'll be releasing that over the next few days.  Stay tuned.

The general sense is that the convention has gotten better as it has gone on, from a listless start to a rollicking finish.  Obama has a big task tonight in terms of his vision for the country.  I spoke to a delegate from Florida who regaled me with her story of how her insurance company won't pay for her daughter's cancer treatment, and when we talked about Obama and how he may not be willing to take on the insurance companies the way she wants him to, she started crying.  That is his burden, to take power from the selfish elites and improve everyone else's lives.

This is by far the coolest political convention I've ever attended.  By far.  The people are good-looking, fun, well-dressed, young, and they have style.  Very different from 2004, or any state convention I've attended.

This is an open thread on tonight's speech.

Matt Stoller :: At Invesco

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At Invesco | 13 comments
crowds (0.00 / 0)
Marc Ambinder said that Obama aides are worried the lines are too long, and that therefore there'll be a lot of empty seats when Obama gives his speech.

Serious? .. (0.00 / 0)
most of the uber-bloggers having been saying they are there already .. or at least have been warned to get there as early as possible .. we'll see

[ Parent ]
Bill Richardson (0.00 / 0)
Rockin' what appears to be a mini-mullet along with the beardo!!! Though as a governor of a southwestern state, why isn't he wearing a bolo? that would be flippin sweet...

"I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that."
-Lawrence Summers


Did he just make the first mention of McCain's shoe bill? (0.00 / 0)
Thought Richardson had a decent line about the cost of his flip flops anyway.

[ Parent ]
Richardson was the first I heard on torture (0.00 / 0)
He did mention the torture. Couple of quotes:

"John McCain even changed his mind on torture."

This one is only a paraphrase: we need a President who swears "defend the Constitution of the United States and then DOES it. .. who will shut down Guantanomo and stop torture."

Pleased to hear this. Don't imagine many did. I was on the DNC feed at the time.

Can it happen here?


[ Parent ]
Good heavens Matt (0.00 / 0)
Did you really just make a woman cry?

QT

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Al Gore (0.00 / 0)
Kind of screwed up how he went after McCain for being "browbeat" by the Republicans into abandoning his support for climate caps, when Gore previously lauded McCain for his efforts.


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I like the reports (0.00 / 0)
but why are you writing about how you had to wait in line like everyone else or how you get cool-club access? i like your writing matt, but sometimes there is the air of typical insider trappings. 'press' access for all manner of things (events like this to local mayoral press conferences) remains a critical problem for small time independent journalists. i'm unclear if your trying to help or just relishing having broken through. and if its the latter, maybe i could just ask you to think of doing more of the more former.

sorry this is kinda negative.

post some sweeping photos from the upper deck, that would be sweet!

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare


Taking power from elites (0.00 / 0)
I spoke to a delegate from Florida who regaled me with her story of how her insurance company won't pay for her daughter's cancer treatment, and when we talked about Obama and how he may not be willing to take on the insurance companies the way she wants him to, she started crying.  That is his burden, to take power from the selfish elites and improve everyone else's lives.

Not to be a wet blanket, but taking power from the selfish elites is our burden, not the President's.  At this point in our nation's history, the presidency is about expanding American (corporate) hegemony and managing the national security state.  If we decide to throw up the barricades, the President -- any President -- will be on the other side of them from us.  That's where the Oval Office is.


Putting Barney Smith ahead of Smith Barney (4.00 / 1)
Wow!

Save Our Schools! March & National Call to Action, July 28-31, 2011 in Washington, DC: http://www.saveourschoolsmarch...

Nadler may be correct, but that's not the only reason (4.00 / 2)
Sure, civil rights and constitutional issues are not polling high on the list of issues that voters are most focused on--and never have, as far as I know. But I think that two other, unspoken but as important if not more important reasons, account for why these issues are not being played up at the convention (with several notable exceptions).

One is that Dems continue to be scared to death of being seen or painted as "far-left radical loonie fringe DFH's who want to coddle terrorists and are weak on national security", if they pushed these issues more prominently. No need to elaborate on or prove this, I think.

And two is that, having openly voted AGAINST these issues time and again over the past 7 years, many (but not all or even most) of them are hardly in a position to come out and speak FOR them at the convention. I'm not just talking about FISA, but the Patriot Act, Protect America Act, AUMF, war funding, Kyl-Lieberman, etc., as well as their refusal to properly and forcefully investigate the administration for its many crimes against the constitution.

I mean seriously, when I heard some of the very Dems who voted with Bush on many of these issues suddenly take up the mantle of staunch constitutional defender last night, I wanted to puke. The time for leadership on these issues was over the past 7 years, not the convention. That will have to wait for next year now (unless the 110th finally starts to get it right in what time it has left, but I wouldn't bet on it).

We are, instead, left to contend ourselves with the hope that, if elected, and pushed by the left, Obama and the 111th won't be as bad as Bush and the preceeding congresses on these issues, and will start a process of rolling back these policies, and properly investigating and prosecuting those who violated the law. I think that we can pretty much count on the first one, but the other two are total mysteries--and will likely stay so until next year, if he wins.

Oh, and Nadler's a great congressman, my former one and high school alumnus (several decades apart). And yes, I did drink lattes and sip merlot when I lived on the upper west side. No Volvos or Birckenstocks, though. Karl Rove can kiss my elitist Ivy League yuppie ass.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


Good catch that this set voted for lawbreaking (0.00 / 0)
The two I heard tonight repudiate torture and speak for the rule of law were Gore and Richardson -- not in Congress.

Can it happen here?

[ Parent ]
Unkewl (0.00 / 0)
The people are good-looking, fun, well-dressed, young, and they have style.

Pre-Iraq-War, I remember Ezra Klein talking about some hippie types on campus demonstrating against the threatened invasion of Iraq. Bearded, scruffy, they provoked in him the conviction that we SHOULD go to war with Iraq. When he admitted that, it was the last I ever took his opinion seriously.

And I've never yet yelled at any kid to get off my lawn.

But at 55, I have no desire to impress anyone with my fashion sense. I think I'm fun, sociable, reasonably attuned to popular culture and capable of functioning intelligently without pooping in Depends. And even when I was young, better-dressed and at my pinnacle of appearance, I took offense at comments like that.

I mean, WTF? After all the smart work you've done over the past few years, does your definition of a great convention really boiol down to shallow attributes like that?


At Invesco | 13 comments
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