Sunday, August 17, 2008

NY Times previews convention themes

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

One of the first images prime-time viewers will see of the Democratic National Convention next week is that of Michelle Obama, who will begin the four-day introduction of her husband, and her family, on her terms. Like everything else at the orchestrated gala, that is by design.

Democrats face a number of imperatives at their convention, none trickier than making more voters comfortable with the prospect of putting a candidate with a most unusual background — the son of a black Kenyan father and a white Kansan mother, who grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia — and his family in the White House. No one, his advisers believe, makes the case better for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois than his wife, who will expand her profile by delivering one of the marquee speeches carried by television networks.

Through four nights there will be testimonials from family members like Mr. Obama’s wife and sister who will tell his “very American story,” in the words of one adviser, and from party luminaries like Senator Edward M. Kennedy (by videotape) and former President Bill Clinton (live) who will give Mr. Obama, the presumptive presidential nominee, the imprimatur of the party establishment.
They are seeking some intimacy amid the grandiosity of Mr. Obama’s acceptance speech in the Invesco Field stadium before an audience of more than 70,000, the sort of cheering throng Mr. McCain’s aides have sought to use against Mr. Obama by portraying him as presiding over a cult of personality.

When he delivers his speech on the last night of the convention, Mr. Obama will not be addressing the crowd from a lone lectern at the edge of the field; he will be standing at the 50-yard line, surrounded by a diverse set of people he has met throughout the campaign, whose presence is intended to signal to viewers at home that people like them are O.K. with Mr. Obama. Ten people selected by the campaign from all corners of the country will meet backstage with Mr. Obama and be shown to the television audience, also intended to convey their comfort level with the senator. - NY Times
It will be very interesting to see how the visuals look for the acceptance speech.