Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DNC Day 1: The Good and Bad (and Ugly)

It was a light first day of the Democratic National Convention, but some participants certainly had good days and bad days:

The Good

Republicans: It's a good day any time you control the media message when your opposition is holding a convention. On Monday, that message was a question straight out of 1980: Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Administration and campaign officials stumbled over the question on Sunday talk shows, so on Monday, Republicans rode the theme hard. Paul Ryan channeled his inner Ronald Reagan in Greenville, N.C., asking The Question and helpfully supplying some iffy but effective supporting statistics.

By the end of the day, Democrats had found their voice and declared that yes, America was better off than when George Bush left office. "General Motors is alive and Bin Laden is dead," vice president Joe Biden said.

Still, it's a difficult question for Democrats to navigate, and Republicans will surely keep asking it today. Will convention speakers feel compelled to respond?

CarolinaFest (Part 1): The day started out wonderfully on Tryon Street. A strong lineup of musical performances. A diverse crowd enjoying the sun and spectacle. People-watchers looking (in vain, mostly) for a celeb who might have wandered out.

And also, no trouble to speak of, save some unsurprising traffic issues in uptown. All in all, the kind of festive day organizers had hoped for, until ...

The Bad

CarolinaFest (Part 2): So it rained. On a hot, humid afternoon. In early September. This is not a surprise, but it sent spectators scattering before they could fully enjoy the biggest of the musical performances, including North Carolina's James Taylor.

It was a reminder that while the Carolinas in September can be glorious, there are some perils in scheduling outdoor events. (Like, um, acceptance speeches?)

The Ugly

Protesters: Another non-surprise. We didn't expect protesters would be satisfied with a meek, police-choreographed march through uptown Sunday. On Monday, demonstrators freelanced a bit, sneaking into a Labor Day parade during the day, then blocking uptown traffic on a march to Marshall Park at night.

As happened Sunday, police showed the kind of flexibility that has kept Charlotte calm thus far, letting the protesters have their say without any real trouble. The ugly? We could've done without the obscene signs that some demonstrators brought to the family-friendly Labor Day parade.

“Arrogance is disrespectful,” one protester said. “ ‘F------’ is not.” Or, maybe, both are.

Peter St. Onge


Wolfey79 said...

Just an editing comment, James Taylor is not a North Carolina native. He grew up in NC but was born in Boston, so while he lived in NC his formidable years he is not a native.

Curmudgeon said...

Just a "use of the English language" comment: The word is "formative"...NOT formidable!

The Observer Editorial Board said...

The editors are awake this morning! Actually, formidable works fine, but thanks for the suggestion.

Wiley Coyote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skippy said...

So at the end of the day, "they found their voice"? You mean they were told how to respond and lie through their teeth while doing so?

George Roux said...

No worries about the weather. Major meteorlogical events only impact states with Republican governors. Hurricane Isaac spewed most of its furor on Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Lousianna,and Texas. A coincidence? I think not.

Karl said...

@George: So, when we see epidemics of cancer and syphilis in California, New York, and Massachusetts, we'll know the reason why?