Supporters spell out the name of US Vice President Joe Biden at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 6, 2012 on the final day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC). US President Barack Obama is expected to accept the nomination from the DNC to run for a second term as president. AFP PHOTO Brendan SMIALOWSKIBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages
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Updated: October 9, 2012 2:29PM
CHARLOTTE — The business of the evening wasn’t complete.
After Bill Clinton at first held the crowd captive and then seemed to be holding them hostage in the one of the most electric and one of the longest convention speeches you’ll ever hear, after Clinton did that awkward bow move as President Obama bounded onto the stage while the sound engineer executed a segue from “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” to “I Won’t Back Down” that was so clumsy a 10-year-old DJ would have mocked it — after all that excitement in the Time Warner Cable Arena — there was still a little matter of the roll call.
You know, where they actually nominate the candidate.
It was just after midnight in the arena. Many of the colorfully costumed attendees were shuffling out in search of after-parties or bed. On the floor and in the stands, the delegates were going about the business of officially casting their votes for Mr. Obama. (They do it in alphabetical order, of course, which means hardly anybody’s listening by the time West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming get their turn.)
As the count approached the 2,778 delegates Obama needed to officially achieve nomination status, Mississippi deferred so the key swing state of Ohio could elevate the president over the top.
After Ohio Democratic Party chair Chris Redfern noted his state was the “home of Neil Armstrong and John Glenn” and “in spite of Mitt Romney’s efforts, [is] home of the Chevy Cruze and the Chrysler Jeep,” he delivered the votes to make it official: Barack Obama was the 2012 Democratic nominee for president of the United States.
Yes, it’s a foregone conclusion — a parliamentary procedure akin to the priest or the judge saying, “I now pronounce you man and wife” (if anybody outside of the movies ever says, “I now pronounce you man and wife” anymore). We already know why we’re here; now we’re just making it official and celebrating it.
Still. With all those hours of speechifying at the convention center, all that time for various politicians and business folk and newsmakers and inspirational storytellers to have their moment in the spotlight, why not allocate a more prominent piece of calendar real estate to the actual business of nominating a candidate?
The roll call shouldn’t be an afterthought of white noise taking place in the background while the TV talking heads do the Sports Night recap of the events of the evening.
They booed God. And rainbows.
As was the case during key speeches at the GOP Convention, the Twitterverse was humming with heated rhetoric on both sides of the field on Wednesday night, with Clinton and Sandra Fluke seeming to take the worst of it from a depressing number of haters.
It’s one thing to criticize the content of the speech or even the individual making that speech. It’s something else to delve into nasty, hateful, personal attacks. If you’re seething with that much anger for someone such as Ms. Fluke, you might want to ask yourself where that’s coming from.
The other prevailing Hardcore Rightwing Social Media Message of the night basically went like this: “THEY BOOED GOD THEY BOOED GOD THEY BOOED GOD THEY BOOED GOD!”
You’re going to hear that from now until the election and probably after that as well. The simplistic, erroneous, fact-free shorthand is going to be, “They booed God and Jerusalem. You can watch the video and see it for yourself!”
Except of course that’s not what actually, factually happened during that admittedly goofy and embarrassing episode on Wednesday evening, when Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland proposed an amendment to include a mention of God and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa put it to a vote.
The convention center was maybe a quarter-full when the vote was called. Many delegates were roaming about the arena or had yet to even arrive. When the mayor asked all those in favor to say “Aye!” and then all those opposed to say, “No!” it sounded close to a 50-50 split.
So, Villaraigosa called for a vote again.
And a third time.
Finally satisfied, he declared the motion passed, as some in the crowd continued to voice their dissatisfaction.
So what were they booing? The sudden, surprise call for an amendment? The fact many of their colleagues weren’t even present for the vote? The madness of pretending anyone could actually discern by ear just what percentage of delegates had expressed support for the amendment?
Or maybe they were booing the actual changes to the platform (that nobody will be talking about in two days), for whatever reasons.
But in what world, what parallel universe, does that translate into, “They were booing God”? To hear and read what some liberal-despising conservatives are saying, you’d think someone had stepped to the microphone and said, “How about that Almighty, isn’t He something?” and had been showered with boos and catcalls.
Come on people. You want to rip on the Dems and this convention, have at it. Lord knows there’s enough material.
No need to delve into fiction for your arguments.
The motion is adopted and the platform has been amended . . .