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Michelle Obama reminded all of that empty seat at the table

By       Message Mary MacElveen     Permalink
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In watching the Democratic convention coverage via CNN, I heard continually that no red meat was offered to we the viewers.  While that may be so, we the television audience were not given the chance to hear from all of the speakers on the opening night of the convention.  They consistently stated that if folks wanted to view these speeches in their entirety they could do so by visiting the CNN web site.  What they are forgetting is that not everyone in the United States is hooked up to the Internet, so they are at the mercy of the broadcast and cable media to hear from all invited to speak.


It was only the opinions of the various pundits that we who viewed this convention were hearing from instead of what a convention is supposed to be. What a convention should be is where all speakers are heard from and without interruption.  All who viewed it via CNN heard from Donna Brazile, James Carville, Paul Begala, David Gergen, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and many other pundits and news people and we must remember they will not be a part of an Obama administration.  So, what do they bring to the table as viewers watched the convention?  They bring their opinions and not plans to solve America’s problems.


Which brings me to this point; is it the job of the presidential candidate’s wife, in this case Michelle Obama, to offer said red meat?  No it is not.  Her job is to portray what she would be like as our First Lady and often it is the job of the First Lady to welcome dignitaries to the White House and tonight, she welcomed all who viewed her outstanding speech as dignitaries who are deserving of respect.  Her job was to connect with all of us on a human level and show how we are all connected.


She did remind all that an unforgivable war was still being fought when she said, “The military families who say grace each night with an empty seat at the table. The servicemen and women who love this country so much, they leave those they love most to defend it.”


If one asks did she bring up any red meat, it can be found in this passage reminding all how Senator Obama has honored our troops when she said: “It's what he's done in the United States Senate, fighting to ensure that the men and women who serve this country are welcomed home not just with medals and parades, but with good jobs and benefits and health care -- including mental health care.” Under whose administration did the Walter Reed scandal break?


To further address the red meat issue, I wonder how much that resonates with John and Jane Q. Public across America who are working one, two or three jobs to make ends meet.  With Bush’s polling numbers at an all-time low, you better believe they are angry, but they are also tired of hearing who is to blame for their lot in life.  I would like to think that average Americans not totally engaged in the world of politics want to hear of solutions to their problems.

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One thing that Senator Edward Kennedy touched upon was health care for all Americans and I am sure that resonates with my neighbor across the street who has no health insurance.  This past weekend he hurt his back and had to break down and visit the emergency room, and his wife had to wait to get paid before purchasing the prescription medications which the doctors ordered.  Does he really want the red meat tossed about or how he will finally get medical coverage?  By the way, he cannot stand Bush, so any red meat thrown around would be lost on him.  I do suspect there are many more like my neighbor.


Another bone to pick with the media, and CNN to be specific, they kept throwing around the term liberal as if it were a bad thing.  They said that tonight’s line up had a liberal bent to it and it may not play to moderates.  So, is it the politicians that are dividing us or the media?


If any label is to be disparaged it is the conservative label.  Just look at the despair many Americans have had to endure during these past eight years under a Republican presidency.  By the way, President Bush is not a conservative.  A conservative does not blow the budget funding a war built on lies.  I seem to remember what Senator John Kerry stated in the 2004 DNC convention when he was the Democratic candidate, “You use the military when you have to and not when you want to.”


I would like to ask the news people and pundits of CNN: What is wrong with being liberal?  The moderates and conservatives across this country have the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt to thank for their Social Security checks, and that is an important social program.  They have the late President Lyndon B. Johnson to thank for their Medicare coverage, and that too is an important social program.  Both men were Democrats and both men delivered not only for liberals, but for all.  They both united Americans in putting forth programs that would look after them in their senior years.  If you are a moderate or a conservative, chew on that red meat for a while.  Oh, and both programs were solutions and not divisive rhetoric.


I suspect in the coming days we will hear more pounding from the podium coming from Senator Hillary Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Senator Joe Biden and to wrap it all up, Senator Barack Obama.  But tonight’s theme was to pay homage to a man who has given so much to all of us over the past four decades, and his name is Senator Ted Kennedy.  It was also to introduce America to its next First Lady, and that is Michelle Obama.


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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog I have been published by, and I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)

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