PEORIA TONIGHT

It’s Thursday, July 28, 2016.

Some thoughts after the third day of the Democratic National Convention:

— Yes, I’m blown away by the speeches.

The President was amazing. Joe Biden was great. And there was Bill Clinton on Tuesday night and Michelle Obama the night before.

But, to paraphrase, do they play in Peoria? Are people across the country getting the message?

Most of the people who watch the Democratic Convention are Democrats, as most of the people who watched the Republican Convention last week were Republicans. It’s an affirmation of your beliefs, the extension of why conservatives watch Fox News and liberals watch MSNBC.

So, are the speeches making independents think about voting for Hillary Clinton? And are they inspiring slightly less enthusiastic Democrats – including the Bernie Sanders backers – to get behind her candidacy?

We’ll start seeing the poll numbers next week. For about two weeks now, starting the week before the Republicans met in Cleveland, Clinton’s numbers have been sliding – a combination of the fallout from the FBI report on her e-mail and the GOP consolidating behind Trump.

If these were normal times, we would start to see a bounce in Clinton’s favor starting next week. If we do, the rhetoric worked.

If not, watch out.

— My god, the bar is high for Hillary Clinton tonight.

She has to give the best speech of her life, overcome her tendency to step on her best lines, and thread a needle to avoid saying anything that will piss off the Sanders people.

Over the past three nights, she’s watched her husband, her former boss and his wife leave the arena abuzz. Heck, even the second tier of speakers, including Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, have kept people engaged.

Clinton knows that speaking is not her long suit. She’s admitted it.

But, until the debates, this is her best chance to regain the lead in the polls and quiet the drumbeat of antipathy that beat strong in Cleveland last week.

One thing for certain: Before the convention, there was talk that she wanted to avoid the same negative tone about Trump that was sounded against her by the Republicans. She has let others do the dirty work.

Now, she needs to minimize the anti-Trump talk. She needs to give people reasons to vote FOR her rather than AGAINST Trump. That’s the big challenge tonight.

— I don’t know half the people in the Elizabeth Banks-produced music video that supports Hillary.

But I was thinking earlier this week that Clinton needs a song to galvanize support. And this video of “Fight Song” does a really good job. It’s very catchy, and the video is fun to watch.

“Fight Song” is a hit single by Rachel Platten. I, being the old man I vowed I’d never become, had never heard it until yesterday.

So while it might be fresh for me, there’s a possibility it’s a tired old song for some people.

I don’t care. It’s going on my playlist. It’s the song I’ve been looking to play to overcome the blues every time I see a goddamn Trump sign on the highway.

— Yeah, my jaw is still on the floor from Trump’s exhortation to the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s e-mail.

Hey, Trump chumps, watch the video of what he actually said before you deny that he said it.

As they say in the glassware stores where my wife loves to shop: You break it, you own it. That’s where Trump is with Russia right now, and I don’t see how that isn’t something abhorrent to any American.

Also, a note to my fellow Democrats: I know it’s meant as a joke, but I think even saying that the Russians should hack into Trump’s unreleased tax returns is a mistake. It undermines the seriousness of the treason Trump has introduced.

And, yes, what Trump said yesterday is treason. Plain, simple and despicable.

— I understand that Michael Bloomberg spoke.

Having worked for him, I’ve heard his voice as much as I intend in this lifetime, so that was a good time to do something else.

I suppose I should be glad that he’s on the side of the good guys.

By the way, the fivethirtyeight.com people were speculating what role Bloomberg could play in a Clinton adminstration. Is there a cabinet position for him?

The answer is simple. Michael Bloomberg doesn’t work for anybody. With $48 billion and that ego, why would he?

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One thought on “PEORIA TONIGHT

  1. John says:

    I am concerned that the energy and enthusiasm level of the audience was not as high as the republicans. The Rnc was over the top and contrived but I would have liked to have seen more engagement from the Dems

    Like

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