Amid Turmoil, A Decent Showing for Massachusetts Politicians at DNC

Hometown heroes including Elizabeth Warren, Marty Walsh, and Joe Kennedy survived the battleground in Philadelphia on night one of the DNC.

All things considered, it was a pretty decent night for our hometown heroes.

Day one at the Democratic National Convention turned out to be a big one for Massachusetts names, with a primetime speakers’ list that included Elizabeth Warren, Joe Kennedy III, and Marty Walsh before our neighbor to the north, Bernie Sanders, took the stage.

Walsh kicked things off with a short, sweet, and punchy little speech on Hillary Clinton’s principles and the value in “second chances,” which he began with this pronouncement: “My name is Marty Walsh, and I’m an alcoholic.”

He also broadcast, to the audience tuning in at about 7:15, that his is “a city of big dreams and big hearts.”


But it wasn’t all good vibes on inaugural night of the DNC. “Troubled water” indeed, Paul Simon.

Warren took the stage later, with an introduction from Kennedy, who told a charming story about how tough a professor she was when he was her pupil at Harvard Law.

She spoke after the nearly-impossible-to-follow First Lady Michelle Obama, and took on the role of trying to sell the Clinton candidacy to a Bern-feeling crowd in Philadelphia. By that point the rift in the audience had become pretty apparent, and noisy.

Chants of “We trusted you!” could be heard even by TV viewers at home, where it’s not always easy to get a good read on how loud things are in the stadium, where all the action is.

If ever you wanted to know how your elected officials hold up when facing a Springsteen concert-size crowd rife with screaming, LED jacket-wearing hecklers—and Susan Sarandon, no less—this was your chance to see that oddly specific desire come to life.

Just look at Susan Sarandon!

But Warren soldiered on, declaring, “I’m with her,” and dedicating much of her speech to more carefully crafted jabs at Donald Trump—the kind of fiery critiques that have thrust her into the spotlight as an anti-GOP attack dog and bolstered her cred among progressives. It was trademark Warren, although maybe with a little less of the oomph we’ve come to expect.

Then came Sanders himself.

The man could barely get a word in when he launched his speech over the cheering, and when he finally got around to endorsing Clinton, some of his supporters openly wept on the convention floor.

It’s pretty clear Democrats are convening this week as a deeply divided party. But even though on night one the wounds were still fresh from a bitter end to the primary season and a leadership-shaking scandal, our DNC stars made it out mostly unscathed.

A big winner Monday night, though, was Michelle Obama, a speaker even a raucous crowd steered clear of heckling.

And as further proof there’s always a Massachusetts angle, her speechwriter was Sarah Hurwitz, a Wayland native and Harvard grad.

Was she really that good? See for yourself.