Democratic Convention Notes

Thoughts on the First Lady's speech and others who spoke at the DNC in Charlotte.

Michelle Obama wowed the crowd last night at the DNC, just as Ann Romney did last week at the RNC.  Everyone loves the First Lady and potential First Lady – and rightfully so. Both are attractive, intelligent, and dynamic speakers who appear to love their husbands and their children. Both value education and the American Dream, and of course, support their husband’s competing visions for this country.

It’s a relatively new phenomenon to use the candidates’ wives as character witnesses, and while both these women are impressive, let’s remember that it’s not really news when Mrs. Obama asserts that “we can trust” her husband, or Mrs. Romney tells us her husband “will not fail.” Both these women are tremendous assets to their spouses, but it’s important to keep in mind that we’re not electing them to run the country.

Hazel Dukes and Voter ID

Yesterday, I met Hazel Dukes, the president of the New York NAACP. Formerly of Roslyn, the 80-year-old activist said she’s “too busy to get old.” She’s been traveling to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in an effort to help those without drivers’ licenses, comply with new requirements that they need official identification to vote. “I’ve met people who are 96-years-old, are registered voters and have voted in every election; they don’t understand why they need identification now. But we take them by the hand, and help them get what they need.”

On the other hand, the Charlotte Observer reported that The Voter Integrity Project, a North Carolina group focused on cleaning up voter fraud, presented the North Carolina Board of Elections last week with a list of 30,000 names of dead people statewide who are still registered to vote. The group, which calls itself non-partisan, supports requiring photo ID to vote, which Republicans typically support and Democrats typically oppose. Charlotte Observer

12-Year-Old Volunteer at DNC

The youngest person at the Democratic Convention floor is Joseph Block of Westchester. He’s just 12-years-old and a seventh grader at SAR Academy in Riverdale, NY. He’s serving as a page at the convention. His responsibilities include “running around the hall,” and helping to distribute information to the delegates. His father, Herb, a DNC volunteer, said, “It’s a good job for kids.” Herb was a Congressional page during the summer of 1982, so Joseph is following in his father’s footsteps.

Joseph said he got interested in politics when he was seven years old, and this is his second Presidential Convention. He attended the DNC in 2008 when Barack Obama was nominated for the first time. “I get to hear great people speaking about our country,” he told me. I get to see how things work behind the scenes, and it helps me understand more about politics and government. It’s cool.”

Not surprising, social studies is his favorite subject. “I can’t wait till social studies,” he said. Joseph said he likes learning activities, rather than textbooks, and thinks good teachers “care” about their students. “They’re not just doing it for a job; they like teaching, educating kids.”

In regard to politics, he admitted that his friends are “not into it” and are more interested in sports. Joseph said he doesn’t aspire to be a politician because you get “a lot of people criticizing you, and you have a really tough job” but he might want to work behind the scenes.

Joseph will be campaigning for President Obama this year. He plans to give out flyers, signs, and knock on doors. He said if he had the opportunity to speak to the President, he would say: “You have a really tough job. You’re doing good.”

He estimates that about 70 percent of his classmates support Gov. Romney this year, reflecting their parents’ views. He said that in his school’s mock election in 2008, Obama lost by 18 votes out of 700.

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Jaguar-Guy September 07, 2012 at 03:09 PM
No MB, the Dems are the party of intolerance for Israel and for God. What a clear and obvious case of the Democratic Party not even knowing their OWN PLATFORM !! HA !!! They interviewed the Muslim faction of Delegates from Michigan and they were FURIOUS that God was put back in and said to all reporters that they were "railroaded" by their party. So glad you believe in God, just too bad your party does not believe in God, or Israel either.
Jaguar-Guy September 07, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Barack Obama had the U.S. credit rating lowered for the first time in history Rose. He stinks.
Fugu Maki September 08, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Dr. Meryl, I am a little disappointed in this fluffy human interest piece, after your commentary following RNC I expected you to outline the differences in the parties in regard to education. The Dems want to let all of our kids (even the economically disadvantaged one) have a chance at higher education. The Republicans on the other hand want to gut student loans and grants. Let's face it, even going to SCC can add up. The grants are small and loans are meant to be repaid... So what's up with the GOP?
John Gruber September 08, 2012 at 02:20 PM
as opposed to Ryan who calls rape "another form of conception"? pot. kettle. black. except in this case i'd rather pay for birth control than force them to have a baby
John Gruber September 08, 2012 at 02:23 PM
that's probably because of all the writing you've done for the past 2 conventions. stop trying to make it look like just one party lies, Romney and Ryan lied as well so again, stop trying to act like your side is holier than thou
John Gruber September 08, 2012 at 02:25 PM
yea, cuz god knows democrats have never come up with a good idea. so it's only the republican's fault when democrats control the houses? again, interesting logic absolving the people you like of responsibility. I'm sure that'll work in life
John Gruber September 08, 2012 at 02:26 PM
believe me, there's PLENTY of ignorance
Happy Daze September 10, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Hey Jag, if women are so smart then why did they elect a complete incompetent in the last election?
Happy Daze September 10, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Hey Matt how dare the government tell women what to do?!?! Doesn't the government know that the only minority it can boss around anymore is white males? Sorry Charlie, even though you're one of my best workers, have been with the company for 10 years and scored highest on the supervisory exam, the government says that I have to promote a dark skinned latino female for the job otherwise I'll might lose my job. So say hello to your new boss, I'm sure you're familiar with her, you trained her when she started here 2 years ago.
Happy Daze September 10, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Hey Ratchet, I see your post is just chock full of failure and some has already been addresses. Let me address another point you failed to make. Lost the competitive edge? American companies are making record profits due to the CHEAP labor they employ in the countries you mentioned. It's got nothing to do with competition, it's simple greed.
Happy Daze September 10, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Who wouldn't be terrified of 4 more years of complete incompetence?
Happy Daze September 10, 2012 at 03:25 AM
The grants are not small and many loans go unpaid. Maybe you've never researched the amount of federal money that goes to institutes of higher learning. Usually about 1/4 to 1/3 of a college's income comes from the fed. Why should our tax dollars go to private schools that already charge 20 to 40,000 or more per year? WTF do we need all these well educated people when there are no jobs?
Happy Daze September 10, 2012 at 03:27 AM
"You elected me to tell you the truth!" "There were no shovel ready jobs". Oh so you lied and after being elected you told the truth. I see. Thanks for playing....nextttttt.
LittleTimmyBishop September 11, 2012 at 12:12 AM
No voter fraud here. Nothing to see. Move along. I just keep registuring weekenders from the city so I can use their absentee votes to disenfranchise the local full time residents of the hamptons.... P.S. can my dear departed Dad still vote? though he is buried in Florida he is still registered in Southampton.
LittleTimmyBishop September 11, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Free Cheese
LittleTimmyBishop September 11, 2012 at 12:22 AM
did I mention free cheese
highhatsize September 11, 2012 at 01:16 AM
to Love This City: You have a "right" to vote. Your list is a list of "privileges". The government cannot deprive you of a right, it only "enumerates" the inalienable ones that you have. Not true with privileges. Ergo it is of paramount importance that the government enables your right to vote, even were doing so also enabling others who were voting fraudulently. All of the "voter id" laws will be struck down precisely because of the sacrosanct quality of every Americans voting right. It's that important.
Jaguar-Guy September 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM
Tom, there were 1099 illegal votes counted. 177 have been tried and convicted of fraud with 66 waiting to be tried. So, you are 100% correct - nobody knows how each Felon voted, but we have all been around enough to know the vote went 2-1 Franken - and that put him over. Why is the government deliberately trying to cut out the military vote. They are and have been trying to end those absentee ballots for years now - but are you fine with screwing the men and women who serve us their rigth to vote. Theirs should count first !! All I want is for a person to show a valid ID to pull the handle - that is it. As for changing days, closing polls early and on weekends - I strongly oppose those stupid steps.
Jaguar-Guy September 11, 2012 at 10:42 AM
He left in 1999 to save the Salt Lake Olympics. His name is on SEC filings since he was winding down business at Bain. Amazing you are concerned at his name on that form - but you're OK with Obama's Birth Certificate listing Guyana as Obama Sr'.s Countyof birth, but Guyana was not established until two (2) full years after he was born. Glad info on forms only bother you when they suit you Tom. Must make life so convenient to by so miopic.
Jaguar-Guy September 11, 2012 at 10:44 AM
No Tom, I got exaclty what he wrote - both hype and then do little to deliver - especially Obama.
Jaguar-Guy September 11, 2012 at 10:45 AM
Wrong - it was on NBC all weekened and I am amazed they showed it over and over !!
Jaguar-Guy September 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM
I will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term.
Tom Gillen September 11, 2012 at 12:44 PM
@RobertDann - seems as though the priority shouldn't be the requirement to provide photo ID but rather the more urgent change to voting practices should be more of an emphasis on who makes the roll in the first place. No dead people on the roll = no one trying to impersonate them. You are trying to walk before you can crawl.
Tom Gillen September 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM
@Jaguar Guy - so in one sentence you say we don't know how the felons voted, but the next sentence you say that's what put him over. Remind me again how requiring those felons to show ID would have prevented them from voting. You haven't answered that yet. I want specifics. Keep in mind these felons, for the umpteenth time, WERE ON THE VOTING ROLL. Showing ID would have only proven that they were in fact the same person on the VOTING ROLL. But if you have a different take on how showing ID would have somehow prevented them from voting then please speak up.
ARice September 11, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Because he was not the one we were waiting for. "Forward." Because Julia needs to get off her lazy, federally subsidized butt, get a real job, and pay for her own damned birth-control pills. Because lots of people fail at their first real job. Because "Winning the Future" was not a very good slogan back in 2005 when it was Newt's. Because the country is ready for its first African-American former president.
ARice September 11, 2012 at 04:10 PM
To give him the free time to write his third memoir. Because he'll have even more "flexibility" after November if he's back in Chicago. Joe Biden. So that dissent will once again be the highest form of patriotism. Because he didn't quite get the message in 2010. For claiming that he would cut the deficit in half.
ARice September 11, 2012 at 04:15 PM
And then adding more than $5 trillion in new debt. To remind him that debt used to be, in his own words, "unpatriotic." Because the buck never stops. For blaming President Bush. For blaming headwinds. For blaming Japanese earthquakes.
Tom Gillen September 11, 2012 at 06:32 PM
what do you mean he was "winding down business at Bain?" Did he leave Bain in 1999 or didn't he? Simple question. Should be a simple answer, right? His name was on SEC filings in 2002. You'd figure if he "left Bain" in 99, his name wouldn't be on filings 3 years later. If you are STILL on the birther thing, seriously, then I just got the best laugh I've had in a while. Concerned about Romney's name on that form? Nope. Not one bit. I mean, if the guy was still working there in 2002, he should just say it. Why does he have to lie about leaving Bain in 1999? Romney and you are the ones that seems to be concerned. As for the birth deal - nope, not concerned about that at all. I don't concern myself with imaginary scandals. Hey - how about those tax returns, Mitt? Why the secrecy?
Tom Gillen September 11, 2012 at 06:32 PM
but please continue to try to change the subject...
Tom Gillen September 11, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Obama's father is not the one running for re-election. Next.


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