The Ross Report: Ted Kennedy, the Clintons, and Daryl Hannah
Since we couldn’t see Ted Kennedy in person, we got the next best thing. Boston City Councilor Mike Ross is attending the convention as a member of the Massachusetts delegation. Over the next week, he’ll provide you with an insider’s view of what’s happening in Denver.
Today, we get his reaction to last night’s speeches, some star sightings, and a noticeably absent local news outlet. Take it away, Mike.
Prior to Monday night’s epic events, it appeared that the Clinton issue wasn’t going away, and that it was capable of taking down the entire convention. Yesterday morning, a dark cloud hung over the Massachusetts delegation. Committed Clinton supporters again resented the way they were “treated,” and laid their blame at the feet of the Obama campaign.
All that changed Monday evening. If the Democrats aren’t united now, they never will be. Monday night belonged to the one-two-three punch of Ted Kennedy, Michelle Obama, and a non-scripted moment with an all-American family.
The unofficial leader of the Democratic Party once again grabbed hold of the reigns during his surprise appearance last night. The message to his flock was clear: it’s going to be OK, you can trust Obama. Kennedy was clearly not the same liberal lion that we have known for all these years. Yet his labored speech was stronger than ever—his presence made the greatest statement. For anyone sitting in the hall last night, they know they saw something special.
Michelle Obama spoke as a mother, a wife, a potential first lady, but most of all, as someone that could relate to America. Her testimony was powerful and passionate. Her presence was more permissive than presumptive. She came to gain the acceptance of a divided crowd. When she was done speaking, she had accomplished what she had set out to do—explain to those attending (especially the Clinton supporters) in her words, “why I love this country.”
Finally, in a moment fit for Hollywood, Obama appeared live on a video screen to tell his wife and two daughters that he loved them. All those in attendance and the Americans watching at home may have seen the side of a family that was much like their own.
When the night was over, I turned to a known Clinton supporter and asked, “Did those speeches affect you like they did me?” Her answer? “Yes.”
Elsewhere at the DNC… Where FOUR art thou? Most Boston TV stations are here covering the convention from the eyes of the Massachusetts delegation, but the one local station that is notably absent from the festivities is WBZ. But WBZ media rock-star Liz Walker is here. She’s got a video camera and is working on a “special project.”
It’s not exactly the A-list, but outside the convention hall, Daryl Hannah spoke with reporters about her support for the Democrats. Later, Joe Pantoliano, a.k.a. Ralphie Cifaretto from The Sopranos, attended a John Kerry event to promote his new cause.
One prominent Massachusetts delegate’s roommate is none other than radio host and member of Sha Na Na, Jon Bauman, or Bowzer as he likes to be called. Thursday’s big speech might draw more prominent names—we’ll keep you posted.
Call it an organizing technique, call it being slightly anal-retentive—but the Massachusetts delegation is present and accounted for. We know this because, unlike other states, we’re seated alphabetically. The best thing about it? We know if someone is sitting in our seat.
Mike Ross is a Boston City Councilor, pledged delegate for Barack Obama, and one of our MySpace top friends.