The Democrats rolled out the second night of their unconventional convention, and — Spoiler Alert! — Joe Biden received the nomination for president.
That came during the roll call of states — you know, that cornball process where someone from the state, usually in a dumb hat or dress, gets up to bellow about rhe amazing attributes of their state, before ending with, “Slobovia casts its 14 votes for the next president….”
(Rhode Island managed to call itself the “Calamari Comeback State,” which is, um, memorable.)
Since there were no delegates in the hall, the nominations came from the 57 states and territories of the U.S., which means we got to see snippets of the canyons of New Mexico, and the high plains of Montana, and the lush, rolling hills of the Northern Marianas.
It was an enjoyable travelogue.
Less enjoyable, and raising questions, was the praise heaped upon Biden by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, who had more to say than her husband. Their recorded voices were supported by still pictures, but no video of them. Carter’s voice was a little slurred and his video absence made me wonder about his physical shape.
In great shape, but subdued, was former President Bill Clinton. The Oval Office should be a command center, not a storm center, said the man who was impeached.
No one’s perfect, I guess.
His wife, the last Democratic presidential nominee, was nowhere to be seen. Clinton gave a low key presentation, with little of his trademark quivering emotion.
Moderator for the night was actress Tracee Ellis Ross, best known as Diana Ross’ daughter and the star of Blackish, the TV sitcom. I guess a woman will moderate each night, maybe a tribute to the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote.
In a pro forma presentation, Bernie Sanders’ name was placed in nomination, along with Biden’s. (We know Biden wins, right?)
There were nominating and seconding speeches, but I’ll just cover one — Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Sanders led a movement “to strive to recognize and repair the wounds of racial injustice, colonization, misogyny and homophobia.”
Got to admit, she never lets up.
Then came the roll call and the expected outcome — Biden wins! — but no confetti, no balloon drop, no standing on a stage pointing to and waving at random people in a packed hall.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry had the most biting line of the night. “When this president goes overseas, it isn’t a good will mission. It’s a blooper reel. He breaks up with our allies and writes love letters to dictators.”
The Dems presented another (supposed) Republican, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants.
He said he learned the same values in the South Bronx as Biden learned in Scranton. I grew up a few blocks from Powell and if he says the values were similar, OK, but I know the neighborhoods aren’t remotely similar.
The climax of the evening was a speech from Jill Biden, which was preceded by a brief bio about the girl who grew up in Willow Grove.
She spoke warmly about her husband, in a general way, and about values in a larger way. “Love makes us flexible and resilient,” she said.
The previous night, Michelle Obama hit a home run. Tuesday night, Jill Biden did the same.