Olympics… Political conventions… what more can I ask?
I should be in a literal heaven. I have a strong love of the Olympics, made much stronger by working at the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid. I am a political junkie and the next two weeks bring conventions that only come once every four years. The only thing that would make life better would be that winter and summer Olympics were still in the same year. Right?
Wrong. The Olympics were great. I watched a lot of them but the crap that the US networks pass off as coverage and “live” is annoying. I realize that China is a 12 hour time difference but to have to cruise the four or five – I couldn’t really remember which of NBC’s channels were and were not showing coverage – to find coverage of the “non-ratings” sports is annoying. The friends and family of that equestrian are as interested in seeing the event “live” as we all are of Michael Phelps. I did enjoy my five day trip to Niagara Falls where I could watch coverage on CBC, actual coverage more of the time than interviews and “bits.”
I started to watch the Democratic convention on three 24 hour networks last evening. CNN – which tends to be on at my house during the day as background noise – was saying Jimmy Carter was speaking before Caroline Kennedy and the tribute to her uncle. I am a huge Jimmy Carter fan. No, I never voted for him. I just am a huge fan. I was deeply disappointed when Carter did not actually speak. CNN had said it would be approximately 8:35 pm, after Nancy Pelosi. Well, CNN is broadcasting from the floor of the convention and talked right through Pelosi. MSNBC did air her comments live. CNN also talked straight through the “tribute” to Jimmy Carter, which was really a very long endorsement/commercial for Barack Obama. I know that is what the convention is truly about – the anointing of the new chosen one – but this is not what was billed. After the pre-recorded bit, Carter and his wife Roslyn walked out on stage to applause but no speaking at all.
The Ted Kennedy tribute did not disappoint. This is mostly because the man could actually speak. I know he wasn’t scheduled to necessarily but he did. He also, for a 76 year old who is undergoing stringent medical treatment for brain cancer/tumor, looked pretty darn good. Caroline Kennedy – you would realize that only Fox News reported her as Kennedy Schlossberg which is what she has always been up until now – looked like she was ready – if she lived in Massachusetts still – to step right into the family shoes when Uncle Teddy decides to step down. Being a good political operative, when asked earlier in the day if she had ruled out politics, she didn’t give a straight answer.
By the time the keynote was to start – Michelle Obama, I was ready to go to bed. I realize that there is a nation on different time zones. I tried to stay focused. But by 10 pm – and I am not sure exactly when she started – I was watching local news and re-runs of Sex and the City. Even finding out what the possible first lady was wearing was not enough to keep me interested. I caught, during commercials, bits and pieces of her speech. She is a good orator. I wondered – as did many pundits this morning – if maybe the country was backing the wrong Obama. She delivered what her husband needed.
My problem is that a man who people want to be president needed to ask his wife to make him more “down to earth.” If he can’t do that on his own – and I do not think he can, is he really the candidate we want?
Maybe tonight will be a better night at the convention. I have not totally given up on it but will tell you all … After last night, I am seriously thinking college football on Thursday night, not Obama’s convention speech.