Democratic National Convention put on a fantastic show last week.
You did understand that it was a “show,” don’t you? Political parties
put on conventions to show their spirit, to show their platforms
and positions, to show their inclusion, to show off their future
party leaders and to show that they can convince voters, and more
importantly, independents, that they are the party of choice in
the coming November election. The Democratic Convention went off
without a hitch, almost. Everybody did what they were supposed to
do to promote party unity. Said the right things. Did the right
stuff. Even the Clintons acted right. There was no rain on Barack
Obama’s parade. His moment in history went unsullied and unsoiled,
to the chagrin of the Republicans, who would have had a hard time
matching the intensity of the Democrats, even if they hadn’t scaled
back their convention to show ”sensitivity” to the Gulf Coast region
residents in the midst of Hurricane Gustav.
you can acknowledge that Bush and the Republicans may have learned
some lessons after Katrina (despite having made little progress
in the past three years in the post Katrina clean-up), you really
wonder if such pre-hurricane preparations would be in effect if
they weren’t trying to win an election in November. The Democrats
will experience a huge bounce in the polls this week, largely because
of the impact of Obama’s acceptance speech, combined with the fact
that key factions of the Democratic Party stayed on message – which
brings us back to the Clintons.
pre-convention chatter was more WWCD (What Would Clinton Do - Hillary
and Bill) than could Barack unify his party. You know, most black
people were still upset with both those Clintons for the way they
acted up in the primaries. We snatched Bill’s “honorary First Black
President” title and gave Hillary the bizniz like nobody’s business
for giving John McCain everything he needed to attack Barack this
fall. By the way they tried to play Obama (and us), we were tired
of some Clintons. So, by the time convention came around, Hillary
had all but intimated a convention takeover if her peeps weren’t
heard. Hillary’s demand to have her delegates heard turned out to
be a largely symbolic roll call vote that gave Hillary the opportunity
to call for a unanimous endorsement of Obama. Her speech offered
the nation an opportunity to see how deep the Democrats bench was
and rebuked any opportunity to play Hillary against Barack.
Clinton’s speech was even more empowering for the Democrats as Bill
did (much of) what he was asked to do, which was speak on foreign
policy (though he wanted to speak on the economy and wouldn’t give
up his speech in advance). Bill said whatever media pundits suggested
that Hillary didn’t say (namely that Barack wasn’t fit to lead),
and provided the most effective tag-team scenario since early in
the primaries. Between the two Clintons, they got it done in aggressive
(not passive) endorsements of Barack and set the table nicely for
the perception of a unified Democratic party, leaving the question
of a divided party on the kitchen cutting floor of the Republican
Vice President, Al Gore allowed us to see what apathy and indifference
in a national election has cost us in the past eight years. Barack
knocked it out of the park with his speech that couldn’t help but
leave a whole nation understanding exactly what we need to do to
get the nation back on track. All that had to happen next, was the
traditional “joint unity appearance” at the end of the speech with
Hillary Clinton. That would have sealed the deal. The photo op of
the year would have been Hillary handing up Barack’s hand at convention’s
end. But, for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. Hill and Bill were
nowhere to be found. And just as black people were ready to give
them back their “ghetto passes.”
those ghetto passes. We need to wait and see what the Clinton’s
do on the campaign trail for the next two months. Now that the lights
are out, and the convention party is over, let’s see what Hill and
Bill do to get Barack over in Ohio, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Florida
and other “big” places Hillary claimed hard working white people
needed a voice. They
haven’t earned their ghetto passes back yet, and we really need
to see if they even want them back. Were they trying to save Barack?
Or were they saving themselves for the next time around? One thing
Democrats know, they won’t win any election without us.
will tell, and the Clintons’ ghetto passes will remain in our back
pockets until we find out.
Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, is a national columnist, managing director
of the Urban Issues Forum
and author of Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom.
His Website is AnthonySamad.com.
to contact Dr. Samad.