It's no Clint Eastwood + Invisible Obama, but Democratic National Convention organizers are apologizing for their own strange gaffe last week: During a carefully orchestrated tribute to veterans -- 50 were honored onstage -- the video onscreen behind them included an image of Soviet-era Russian warships.
The gaffe was "due to vendor error" -- but one Navy vet accused Dems of being out of touch with veterans: "Is the Democratic Party that far removed that they can't check up on a simple picture?"
I was elected to lead, not to read!
No gaffes from VP Joe Biden, so it's on to President Obama, who accepted the Democratic Party's nomination Thursday night in a speech much more heavy on policy and specifics than his convention rhetoric of 2008. Here are the Cliff's Notes.
The policy checkmarks:
The GOP-directed zingers:
And the requisite humble brags:
Obama ended by circling back to his 2008 message of hope, though he projected it onto voters for the occasion: "As I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America. ... I'm hopeful because of you."
Slate economics writer Matt Yglesias put it best: "This is the speech you give when you think you're winning and just want to avoid screwing up."
Fact-checking to come, as usual.
President Obama was smart to get on that stage before the Dems flipped on him and nominated Bill.
The Romney camp, naturally, was dismissive: "President Clinton's speech brought the disappointment and failure of President Obama's time in office clearly into focus."
UPDATE: According to FactCheck.org, Clinton's speech, with few exceptions, checked out:
The worst we could fault him for was a suggestion that President Obama's Affordable Care Act was responsible for bringing down the rate of increase in health care spending, when the fact is that the law's main provisions have yet to take effect.
Clinton said that "for the last two years, health care costs have been under 4 percent in both years for the first time in 50 years." That's true, as reported by the journal Health Affairs in January of this year. But Clinton went too far when he added: "So let me ask you something. Are we better off because President Obama fought for health care reform? You bet we are."
Actually, the major provisions of the 2010 law — the individual mandate, federal subsidies to help Americans buy insurance, and big reductions in the growth of Medicare spending — haven't yet taken effect. Experts mainly blame the lousy economy for the slowdown in health care spending.
Michelle's speech -- and her dress! -- were lovely as always, but the scene-stealer of the DNC's opening night was the late Ted Kennedy.
The Dems' video tribute to the Lion of the Senate included footage of Kennedy skewering Romney in their 1994 U.S. Senate debate:
Romney: "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country."
Kennedy: "I am pro-choice, my opponent is multiple choice."
Kennedy, in a speech shown later: "Now he's for family leave, now it looks like he's for a minimum wage, now he's for education reform, and if we give him two more weeks he may even vote for me."
RNC Chair Reince Preibus immediately tweeted that the decision to resurrect Kennedy was "classless."
But The Washington Post's Ezra Klein called BS in a tweet of his own: "I, for one, am shocked that Democrats would inject politics into a video about politician Ted Kennedy during a political convention."
What say you? Was the Dems' use of a dead Kennedy in poor taste or totally legit?