[EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK] Inside the DNC
PHILADELPHIA—An impressive roster of speakers, celebrities and musical acts has characterized the Democratic National Committee (DNC) convention, which is being held inside an often frantic Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia. Wednesday night’s program hit warp speed with rousing speeches by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Vice President Joe Biden, and Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine, with his “Todos Somos Americanos” remark sparking chants of “Sí Se Puede” from the entire crowd. Afterward, there was Obama’s entrance, which was hard to top, and a stellar ending with Obama embracing Hillary in a hug. Tough to beat.
Uber GO: The strategic partnership between Uber and the DNC, which together in German means an outstanding DNC—True, except when you are chasing the damn cars down, which is something like playing Pokémon GO. Imagine this scene—this editor trying to keep up with reporter Luis J. Valentín running at breakneck speed with his phone held forward as he chases our car on his iPhone. In fits and starts, we chased down our car, from among hundreds that descended on the Wells Fargo arena. The editor lost 10 pounds; Valentín was already fit.
Suspended, Aha: Just as Caribbean Business had reported, procedural rules were suspended by Sen. Bernie Sanders to declare Hillary Clinton the official Democratic Party nominee for the U.S. presidency. This despite much ire stirred by “Wassermanngate”— the leaked e-mails implicating the DNC’s top brass in a smear campaign that intended to malign Bernie. Bad timing no? Few in the DNC were sorry to see her go. Next question: who else will follow?
Worse Than Zika: Yes, for Brazile, as in Donna Brazile—the leaked e-mails caused the party’s top brass to move swiftly into triage mode. The morning of the convention’s launch, Brazile, who is the chair of the Black caucus, was charged to become the interim Chair of the DNC. She went into damage containment mode with a media tour and visits to the Hispanic and Black caucus meetings to issue a formal apology.
Latina to the Rescue?: Rhode Island Secretary of State Nelly Gorbea, who is Puerto Rican, told Caribbean Business that the Democratic Party’s Platform Committee was on its way to healing wounds through the Commission for Unity. Bernie’s brigade remained combative until First Lady Michelle Obama delivered her address on Tuesday—panpan y a dormir? Not really; some rabble-rousing followers remain vocal with spot protests against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The chants of “No More War” during the speech by former CIA Chief Leon Panetta were particularly loud—Scary mother flockers.
Top Billing: Wednesday’s program closed on a high note with U.S. President Barrack Obama showing his heavyweight status on the world stage. From a 45 degree angle—the teleprompter follows the speaker not the other way around.
Up today: The roster tonight kicks off with a performance by legendary Carole King, and includes speeches by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Rep. Xavier Becerra. The evening features celebrities Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, and—Oh, by the way, Chelsea Clinton introducing Hillary Clinton.