PHILADELPHIA — The Democratic National Convention kicked off last night, and I am struck with two immediate takeaways.
First, we have two dysfunctional political “families” in America today: Republicans and Democrats. Both are on the verge of what looks like a messy divorce. The difference is that the Democrats pulled it together for prime time and put on a happy face. Maybe they did it for the kids, maybe they did it to keep the family together, or maybe they just did it to keep up appearances, but they did it.
Despite a disastrous opening to the DNC, the adults on stage (mostly) refused to air any dirty laundry. In this regard, it was very different from what happened at the Republican National Convention, where a spurned Ted Cruz publicly refused to endorse the Republican Party standard bearer. In contrast, the Democrats at least got their shit together for the TV audience. (Of course, in fairness to Cruz, it does not escape me that Hillary Clinton never accused Bernie Sanders’ dad of being part of the JFK assassination.)
My second takeaway has to do with what was, so far, the best speech of either convention. I’m speaking, of course, about First Lady Michelle Obama. In political terms, it’s hard to criticize anything in this speech. But there was one line that struck me as being both audacious and hypocritical. “Don’t let anyone tell you that America isn’t great. This right now is the greatest country on earth,” she lectured us.
This, of course, is a stark contrast to something she famously said in 2008. I talked about it on CNN’s “New Day” this morning:
The first night ended up being a bit schizophrenic. It went from chaos around Debbie Wasserman Schultz to unity around Michelle Obama—from the great divorce to American greatness—in the span of hours. And they’re just getting started.