Last night the Democratic National Convention wrapped up in Denver with Barack Obama delivering his acceptance speech before more than 75,000 at Mile High Stadium. Now officially the Democratic Party’s nominee for President, Obama’s speech capped off four days of efforts to bring the party together behind him for victory, to heal some of the divisions in a characteristically fractious political party, to define the party’s image, and define more who its candidate is.
I didn’t watch the entire convention, but did see a few of the key speeches. Obviously the convention is largely there for show; party conventions haven’t really been where candidates are chosen for years. But as scripted as they are, it is useful to watch at least some of it to see what the party thinks is important and how it chooses to talk about those things.
For me, there was no question going in, and really no question coming out of the convention who I will vote for this November. Every candidate is, simply by virtue of the process, a compromise. Barack Obama is no different, nor will John McCain be. And while neither may be everything everyone would wish them to be, I will be watching and listening for the best chance for our nation to regain international credibility and for the restoration of civil rights and economic justice in a time when they are sorely needed.
To be fair, I will watch the Republican National Convention next week. Now that John McCain has announced Alaska governor Sarah Palin (Any relation to Michael, I wonder? No, probably not.) as his running mate, I suspect there will be even more attention paid to the convention than there would have been anyway. What I will be listening for is what the Republican Party’s vision, and its nominee’s vision, are for our nation.