The second night of the Democratic National Convention was behind schedule and broadcast against the first night of football season. There was no shortage of hard hits and one high profile platform fumble.
Former President Clinton declared that America is better off than it was four years ago during his involving, detailed, rousing speech, which ended in a joyful hug between the former president and the current Oval Office occupant and capped the speeches of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.
Clinton (unsurprisingly) departed from his prepared remarks to range wide, attacking Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan for his cuts to Medicare and riffing on jobs, education, and the auto bailout, among many (many) other things. And of course, there were jokes. Praising Obama for his spirit of cooperation, he quipped: "Heck, he even appointed Hillary!"
From Yahoo News's Chris Moody:
In a speech that was repeatedly interrupted by standing ovations and often veered from the prepared remarks on his Teleprompter, Clinton took on nearly every criticism that Republicans leveled at Obama last week at their party convention in Tampa. Clinton's wide-ranging speech defended several aspects of Obama's record, including his health care law, the controversial Recovery Act, the restructuring of cash-strapped American auto companies and even his choice of Joe Biden as vice president.
"We believe 'we're all in this together' is a far better philosophy than 'you're on your own,'" Clinton said in his speech that went on for nearly an hour. "I want to nominate a man who's cool on the outside but burns for American on the inside."
Women's rights activist Sandra Fluke, who became a public figure earlier this year when Rush Limbaugh attacked her sexuality and Congressional Republicans forbid her from participating on an all-male panel about women's health, emerged as a bona fide star of the Democratic Party on Wednesday night with her confident speech about choice. Her best line? You can have a president who either "has our back or turns his back."
3. Congressional Black Caucus chairman keeps 'hope' alive
Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver veered off script when he chanted "Hope on! Hope on! Hope on!" and became an Internet hit. The whole convention woke up to Cleaver:
A United Methodist preacher by trade, Cleaver's passionate speech brought the entire crowd in the Time Warner Cable Arena to their feet and even some to tears.
"Yes, President Obama! Continue to have hope," Cleaver shouted. "Continue to speak of hope to the American people, because it is impossible for hope to overdraw its account in God's bank. The tough days our nation faced may have caused us great pain, but they must not and will not cause us to lose our hope. Hope fills the holes of my frustration in my heart.
(Animated .gif tweeted by Yahoo News's Laura E. Davis.)
4. Warren to Democrats: 'Corporations are not people'
Elizabeth Warren, who is running against Sen. Scott Brown for the Senate seat once held by the late Edward Kennedy, drew shouts and applause with her retort to Mitt Romney's "corporations are people" comment at the Iowa State Fair in 2011.
"No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people," Warren said. "People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters. That matters because we don't run this country for corporations, we run it for people. And that's why we need Barack Obama."
5. Democrats acrimoniously reinstate Israel, God into platform
Los Angeles Mayor and DNC chair Antonio Villaraigosa needed three takes to swing a voice vote behind a Democratic platform that explicitly included mention of God and named Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Yahoo! News's Olivier Knox reported:
There was widespread booing on the floor of the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa led delegates in three voice votes that sounded, at best, equally divided on whether to restore language from the party's 2008 document. Observers said the boos were directed at Villaraigosa's decision to skip a formal ballot and declare the platform amended.