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First Night of the Democratic Convention: A Continuation of the Olympics

A hallmark of American coverage of the Olympics  is the way it takes the viewer "up close and personal" -- involving the audience in the personal lives and struggles of the athletes. In its portrayal of the Obamas, the first night of the Democratic convention took a similar approach -- fitting in seamlessly with what audiences had been watching on NBC for the last two weeks. The warm personal vignettes, the family scene at the end, and the stories of relatives were all designed to run up the score on what Slate has called the "sap-o-meter." And, given what TV audiences covet, it probably worked well.

But close personal portraits only work if the athlete in question wins the event. Tune in Thursday to see how that goes. The next two days belong to the runner-ups. 

  • LorenzoJennifer said:

    Michelle Robinson Obama used her "up close and personal" time to identify with the working class voters that have thus far eluded Barack Obama.  She repeatedly referred to her own dad's blue collar background and made specific references to Sen. Biden not forgetting his working-class background, and emphasized her and Barack's community work in Chicago's South Side. Watched it off-and-on and most speakers seemed quite rehearsed and too well-paced.  Michelle showed genuine feeling and commitment to her family and Barack's ideals. Seems that Michelle is the anchor and compass in he Obama family much as Hillary is the anchor and compass in the Clinton family. If there were background music to her speaking about Barack, it would have been, "Isn't he a lot like you and me?"  

    August 26, 2008 10:06 AM
  • LorenzoJennifer said:

    A delight to watch Illinois Congressman Jesse L.  Jackson, Jr. on "first night."  Shows that the apple falls not far from the tree. Telegenic, he addressed the home audience through the camera while turning to face the Pepsi Center audience front and side to side.  The Reverend's son evoked his daddy's brilliant oratorical skills with gems such as, "the well-being of the we depends on the well-being of the he and the well-being of the she."  And, "America is not perfect but it can be perfected."  To this day, I'd like nothing better than to meet his father, the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson.  Congressman Jackson, additionally,  mentioned Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act of the mid-1960s.  Too many liberal Democrats  fail to recognize LBJ's successful efforts to bring about equality for African-Americans.  John F. Kennedy introduced Civil Rights legislation during his presidency but the bills remained stalled in Congress.  As LBJ would later observe, "I'm the one who got the bills passed."

    August 27, 2008 8:46 AM

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