Friday, August 21, 2020

‘Choose hope over fear,’ Biden says. We should believe him

     The paper asked me to write a short column for Friday, reacting to Joe Biden's acceptance speech at the end of the Democratic National Convention, with a hard deadline of 10 p.m. Thursday.
      So how does that work? Well, the key is assembling ahead of time. What is called "A-matter"—information that can be plugged into the column. Or in my case, preparing what I think of as a "holding column," a version that could go in, even if he didn't speak by 10 p.m., which I use as a framework.
      At 9 p.m., I plugged in information from the first hour, and then sat to see if Joe would start speaking before the witching hour. At 9:50 I phoned in: Could I have until 10:05? Sure. Biden began at 9:52, and luckily he weighted some of his most powerful remarks up front. At 9:55 p.m. I bolted upstairs, got the column together, wrote a headline and moved it at 10:02. Faster than I like to work, but what the circumstances required.  Then I went up to watch the rest of the speech. It was an exciting, hopeful, perfectly-measured address, and gave me hope that we just might drive our traitor-in-chief from office.
      "Trump isn't going to just roll over," I told my wife after. Now we face the cornered beast.

     ”Keep the faith, guys,” Joe Biden said early in the fourth and final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention on Thursday, talking to four union workers in a video.
     Biden later accepted his party’s nomination for president, promising, “I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.”
     The whole night was a powerful, unexpected yet effective blend of religion and humor, of Common and John Legend singing “Glory,” and Julia Louis-Dreyfus hosting and delivering probably the sharpest line of the night:
     ”Joe Biden goes to church so regularly that he doesn’t even need tear gas and a bunch of federalized troops to help him get there.”

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  1. I hope Biden remains low key throughout the rest of the campaign. If I were he, I'd skip the debates entirely, even at the risk of being charged with cowardice. Trump can make a fool out of himself without any help. Let him do so.


  2. Thanks for the explanatory paragraphs leading off this post. I love reading behind-the-scenes stuff like that. Nice job with the column, especially given the circumstances.

    Based on your account, I thought it would be a fun day to look at how other papers handled the late-breaking news for their print editions and visited the Newseum's front-page round-up.

    Many went with AP stories, of which there were at least 3. One which actually reported on the speech a bit -- and two which alluded to it, but were seemingly written before the speech. Others just had a box telling you to go their website for coverage. And a number with no mention of the convention at all. Freaking red states...

    The go-to snark tabloid, The New York Daily News? A choice photo of Steve Bannon, with the screaming headline "Yachtzee!"

  3. My mother, who was then 88, backed Joe Biden when he ran for POTUS in 2008. Then she switched to Obama, after I gave her a yard sign in Hebrew. She displayed it until the day she died. She loved both Obama and Biden, but she didn't live to see them win a second term.

    The New Yorker ran a long piece on Biden in the summer of 2014, and that's when I started Ridin' With Biden. I've been hoping for a night like last night for the last six years. And Kamala Harris is going to increase Joe's chances in November.

    But we need a Democratic landslide, maybe the biggest ever, in order to forestall the most blatant GOP shenanigans and chicanery. I don't think we'll get one, but it won't be a squeaker, either. I'll gladly settle for an Obama-style ass-kicking. Then, back up the rubber truck, and start preparing the XXL orange jumpsuit.

    I'm a lot more optimistic about a Democratic win than I was earlier in the summer. But the Storm Trumpers will not go quietly, and this coming winter and spring will probably see even more chaos than we've already experienced in 2020.

    Right now, I'm hoping for the best, including a Biden victory, but I'm also expecting the worst. Sixty years as a die-hard Cub fan will do that.

  4. All well and good. The DNC did a good job for once.
    None of it will mean anything if Joe flubs during the debates.
    I’m holding my breath.

  5. He can hold his own much better thank I realized. Fingers toes and each hair follicle crossed.


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