Dispatches From the Democratic National Convention

Democrats Aren’t Interested in Playing Nice in 2012 
Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Sept. 4 2012 11:41 PM

Dispatches From the Democratic National Convention

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

They are kicking Mitt where it hurts.

John and Sasha, 

Convention floors are designed, by teams of very talented elves, to reflect our stereotypes of the parties. The Tampa convention setup was busy, but navigable. The Charlotte convention floor is a mess, even on Night 1. Your short conversation with a delegate will be cut short by a well-meaning, tired-eyed delegate who NEEDS TO CLEAR THE AISLE! CLEAR THE AISLE! The effect of all this is that people seem to be hyped up constantly, jumping to grab hunks of bloody meat with their back teeth.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Convention Confusion
Confused delegates at the Democratic National Convention.

Richard Kalvar/Magnum Photos for Slate.

I got to the floor right after the Ted Kennedy tribute video. It was a little jarring. We've seen Kennedy/Camelot videos before, but we've never seen them change up halfway through and turn into attacks on the guy the Democrats are running against. Delegates lit up when the spectral Ted debated Romney, and laughed when the 1994 version of Romney defended Roe v. Wade. "The ghost of Ted Kennedy really brought it all together," said Nathan Wilkes, a Colorado delegate. (We would have talked more, but he started pumping his fist when openly gay Rep. Jared Polis came onstage, and a very nice floor guide encouraged me to KEEP MOVING.)

It all started to remind me of the 2004 Republican National Convention. Every important moment from that week was brutal on John Kerry. The memorable stuff from tonight—pre-Michelle—was aimed right at Mitt Romney's groin. The Kennedy video was the most surprising, but the tone was there even during the softer-focus segments on Barack Obama's domestic record. Republicans, said Rep. Gwen Moore, "have even tried to change the definition of rape." Romney had, apparently, personally insulted Tammy Duckworth—the icon of Dems' veteran outreach efforts—by failing to mention Afghanistan.

This was before the Assault on Switzerland. Harry Reid: "We learned he chose Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island tax shelters over American institutions." Martin O'Malley: "Swiss bank accounts never built an American bridge." Ted Strickland: “Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport." There was policy buried in there, kind of (it's about tax rates), but it was more about repainting Mitt Romney as a gormless, passionless, arrogant rich jerk. Even the Julian Castro speech went after Romney with that "Gee, why didn't I try that?" line about borrowing money from your parents. If Castro's keynote was meant to evoke Obama's 2004 speech, well, that Obama speech was representative of the whole post-9/11 "you can trust us, we're nice" Democratic theme. Obama never even mentioned George W. Bush in that speech. None of that nicety this time.

Dave

Read the rest of Slate’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.