Of all the excellent speeches at the Democratic National Convention so far, it’s hard to pick a Top 10 list. But hey, that’s what they pay us progressive activists the big bucks (NOT!) for, so here are not just one but TWO lists, one by Virginia delegate Kip Malinosky (see his Tumbler here; photo courtesy of Kip, from the Virginia delegation’s prime viewing location on the convention floor), with prime seats of the convention in Charlotte; and one by me, with a prime seat…in front of my TV screen in my living room. 🙂
Kip Malinosky’s Top 10 List
1. Michelle Obama – Why Barack Obama is a man to love even more than 4 years ago.
2. Bill Clinton – Why Barack Obama will lead us to prosperity and the GOP will lead us to ruin.
3. Elizabeth Warren – How the Middle Class has been robbed by Wall Street.
4. Julian Castro – On expanding the American Dream and opportunity.
5. Deval Patrick – On what Democrats are for and how Romney messed up Massachusetts.
6. Ted Strickland on Romney’s outsourcing and offshore accounts.
7. Cory Booker on what Democrats can accomplish and how Christie left NJ in the lurch.
8. Lilly Ledbetter on what fair pay means.
9. Sandra Fluke for demonstrating the difference [between Democrats and Republicans] for women personally.
10. Cristina Saralegui for demonstrating the difference [between Democrats and Republicans] for Latinos.
My Top 10 List
1. Bill Clinton: Brilliantly, in a folksy style that anyone could relate to, demolishes every Republican argument this campaign cycle, while making the case for Barack Obama perhaps better than anyone else – including Obama himself – could possibly do. If every swing voter watched this speech, the election would be over right now. Amazing.
2. Michelle Obama: An amazing, tremendously appealing, warm, brilliant, talented woman. As Barack Obama always says, he “married up!” 🙂 More to the point, Michelle made the case for Barack – including “humanizing” him – extremely effectively. That is just what the (political) doctor ordered.
3. Sister Simone “Nuns on the Bus” Campbell: This speech was absolutely superb, on every level. The fact is, Sister Campbell and her fellow “Nuns on the Bus” reflect – and live! – the true, progressive teachings of Jesus, unlike the right wingnuts like Pat Robertson, who are about as far from Jesus’ teachings as is humanly possible to be. It’s great to hear a wonderful Christian like Sister Campbell speak about our duty to help each other, to be each other’s keepers, to clothe the naked and feed the hungry, to welcome the stranger into our land, etc. It’s also great to hear an exemplar of the best in religion take on Paul Ryan’s budget, which was condemned by the U.S. Catholic Bishops for failing a basic “moral test.” More of this, please!
5. Lilly Ledbetter: I loved everything about her speech, which didn’t just make the case that women should be paid the same salary for the same work, but also that the Supreme Court needs a big-time makeover. How could anyone not love Lily Ledbetter? Got me. Again, I just wish that everyone in America hears this speech!
6. Cristina Saralegui: I don’t watch much TV, so I’m not the best judge of this, but my understanding is that Saralegui is the Latino equivalent of Oprah Winfrey, extremely well respected by Latinos. Given that Democrats need a big turnout among Latinos, and a big margin as well, this speech was just what we needed.
7. Elizabeth Warren: A real progressive populist, as opposed to the right-wing populist Tea Party. I just wish we had more Elizabeth Warrens, but I’m glad we had one speaking last night right before Bill Clinton, hopefully doing both Democrats and herself a lot of good for November!
8. Sandra Fluke – A courageous woman, standing up for women’s health and right to choose, even when right-wing misogynists like Rush Limbaugh attack her personally, and eve when Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, etc. sit by and fail to defend her. As Fluke pointed out, Democrats invited her to speak at their convention, while Republicans…well, sure as hell didn’t! To quote Fluke: “During this campaign, we’ve heard about the two profoundly different futures that could await women-and how one of those futures looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past. Warnings of that future are not distractions. They’re not imagined. That future could be real.” So true.
9. Ted Strickland: I can’t say I’ve been the biggest Strickland fan, but he gave an excellent speech, including the hilarious line about Romney firing the reindeer and outsourcing the elves. That alone made his speech worth inclusion in my Top 10 list! 🙂
10 (TIE). Deval Patrick: He called it like it is – including urging Democrats to grow a spine and fight for what they believe in – and rocked the house!
10 (TIE). Julian Castro: Excellent speech that we’ll all remember in the future, when Castro runs for governor, VP, President, whatever. The point is, he has a bright future ahead of him, and it’s not an accident that that future will be in the Democratic Party!