A Virtual Convention

The Democratic National Convention started on Monday, but like the 2020 version of everything else it was far different than usual. There were no ballrooms filled to the brim with button-wearing delegates, no bands playing campaign theme songs, and no network cameras or press scribes filling their notebooks.
That’s because the coronavirus version of the convention is “virtual,” with the candidates and delegates and party officials spread all over the country but connected by the modern miracle of the internet. Otherwise, it was pretty much the same old show.
Otherwise, it was the same old show.Some very famous celebrity we’ve never heard introduced four speakers, all of whom spoke on behalf of presumptive nominee. The choice of speakers, though, was a bit unusual.
Up first was Vermont Sen. and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders, the darling of the Democratic party’s sizable bolshevik faction and the runner-up in the last two Democratic primary races. He spent the first part of his speech castigating Biden as a corporate sell-out for not endorsing Medicare for all and other far-left pipe dreams. This was a big favor to Biden, as it reassured swing voters that Biden’s not the looney left figure that Trump hopes to portray, and Sanders finished by imploring his followers to not let Trump win. He was followed by Michigans constantly upbeat and staunchly centrist Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who gave the impression of a fully unified Democratic party.
The next speaker was highly unusual because he’s a Republican, former Ohio Sen. and Governor John Kasich. Kasich has been one of the very, very few Republicans willing to criticize Trump, and eventually the criticisms mounted to a point that he’s endorsing the Democratic nominee. He can expect to be reviled by his erstwhile party, at least until he’s called upon to help revive it. The finale was by former First Lady Michelle Obama, whose famously heartfelt style came through as she described her personal relationship with Biden, but was able to strike a far harsher term when criticizing Trump.
All in all, a pretty good start for the Democrats. Assuming anyone was paying attention.

— Bud Norman