Highlights of the DNC and RNC

Jake Sorensen

A few weeks back, you might’ve heard about the two conventions held in the names of the two largest political parties in the United States. Although the primary event at each convention is when the presidential candidates accept their nominations, there is still a lot be seen at these assemblies. Witness the speeches spoken by Obama and Romneys’ running mates, learning about their goals and character in the process! Meet people all across the political spectrum, showing you perspectives you’ve never even heard of! Even more was available at both rallies, but since they’re quite over and done with, here’s a look at the highlights from each. This won’t be a deep analysis, however; it’ll only be an overview.

Starting with the most important of both, Romney and Obamas’ acceptance speeches were sights to behold. Romney firsts presents himself as someone who deeply cares about the U.S. as a whole, with himself saying that he wished Obama was successful in “making America succeed”. His proceeds to talk about how his previous business experience would help in making economically beneficial decisions in office, and he also talks about how he himself understood and dealt with the hardships of being financially destitute here in the states. Overall, he basically promised that the American people have the will to get out of this debt crisis, and that he as president will help organize the completion this goal. Obama, straight out of the gate, criticises the fact that these campaigns and assemblies are overblown wastes of the dollar, but later notes that the votes of the people are still important in deciding the future of America, no matter how much money is thrown around. Later, Obama decides to mention of the recent economic successes we’ve had, such as industrial improvements and less of a reliance on foreign oil. It basically seems that Obama says that things can only get better from here, but he still cares what the people have to say about his own policies, and appreciates feedback.

From the potential VP’s, Paul Ryan and Joe Biden would’ve had very different approaches when it comes to speaking at the podium. Ryan goes up there, quite gung-ho about being thrusted into this campaign. He manages to be quite charismatic, backing up Mitt on plans to restore the nation’s economy. He especially plays into the hearts of the crowd by smoothly pointing out his invited family to the audience, who are ready to be adored by thousands of eyes looking at them, further boosting the Romney/Ryan reputation of being family men. Biden, who has been poked fun at for being dull, made quite an effort to appear expressive. He, like Ryan, also backs up the head honcho of this convention, even though he does stress ideas similar to Romney’s in that the people are “on a journey” to fix America, as they can with willpower. Biden shows incredible faith in Obama, and hopes that we can, too.

Neither of the conventions were executed with utmost perfection, however. Both in fact have at least one glaringly embarrassing moment, which I’m sure aren’t even too obscure for someone who deliberately avoids such political mishaps. For the RNC, it was the cringeworthy case of featuring Clint Eastwood, at the tender age of 82, on the podium debating with an unfortunately absent Obama. While this is the more famous of the two, the DNC’s “usage of the words God and Jerusalem” debacle could be considered just as grating.

At the RNC, one of the featured speakers was Hollywood actor and director Clint Eastwood, known moreso for shooting bullets than political statements. It was quite a surprise, which he himself remarked, to see a man from Hollywood up there, giving a speech at a Conservative convention. Of course, since he was quite old and not particularly used such an occasion, his delivery wasn’t particularly good. After analyzing what he was saying instead of how he said it, it was clear that he put a lot of thought into his words, but was ultimately held back by his aging body. One moment that critics cruelly compare with his descent into senility was when he proceeded to “talk” with Obama in the empty chair beside himself. The crowd seemed to appreciate his presence and jokes, but that might be partially due to his awkward handling. I thought he seemed well prepared for the speech mentally, but if he were only a bit younger, he could’ve done great up there.

During the DNC, a lesser known but equally embarrassing situation was the reviewing of two words specifically avoided throughout their convention speeches: “God”, and “Jerusalem”. Now, this wouldn’t be shocking to see at first, since their platforms revolve around openness towards more controversial ideas of their fellow Democrats, but what followed was poll that could possibly have defined the atmosphere as un-unified. In an attempt to reconcile the word omissions to the public (in case they were offended), the chairman of the DNC, Antonio Villaraigosa, decided to hold a ⅔’s vote to decide whether or not they’d bring them back in their speeches. Although the crowd wasn’t completely formed at the time it was conducted, a vote that was for bringing back the words took place, with the return of God and Jerusalem be obviously favored. However, the audience began to fully form, and when the vote was taken again, the yays and nays were equally shouted. Another vote occurred, with the same results. Finally, Antonio decided to go with the original vote of re-entering the words to the speeches, much to the chagrin of about half the audience. While disagreement within a convention itself isn’t a bad thing, and could lead to newer and better ideas, it certainly wasn’t a pleasant sight to watch.

All in all, it was still great to see that such interest in politics is alive and well. Its especially good to see with all that talk about “choosing the lesser of two evils” vibe we had (and probably still loosely retain) almost a year ago, which only encouraged disinterest and pessimism. Both sides did put up a fight for their places in D.C., but ultimately, its up to us to decide the winner. And hopefully, our better judgement will bring about a better age for America once we reach the voting booths.