A rundown of ridiculousness
"This election is the Gettysburg of the culture wars," famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein told CNN's Brian Stelter yesterday, before predicting, "It's definitive. It's the seminal battle. The effect of it is going to be felt for the next 30, 40 years ... And Trumpism, this new phenomenon, is really the big issue at both conventions." So if you were someone who thought nothing could top the drama of last week's Republican Convention, the Democratic Convention is already proving you wrong.
Here's a list of things that have somehow already managed to happen on Day 1:
- Fueled by new fury over the leaked Democratic committee emails that seemed to show their candidate had been deliberately undermined by the party, Bernie supporters borrowed the RNC's Hillary hate via jeers and protests. "I'm not overstating this: the mere mention of Hillary Clinton's name fills the entire arena with sustained boos," observes NPR's Sam Sanders. "In hindsight, a convention at a Philly sports venue HAD to involve booing of some sort," quips NYT's Matt Flegenheimer.
- The FBI thinks Russia was behind the email hack because Putin hates Hillary. "Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you. I wrote something on Russia and the DNC hack," shares BuzzFeed's Miriam Elder.
- Vocal Bernie supporter Sarah Silverman had to tell the Bernie or Bust people "you're being ridiculous," and the chants only grew louder.
- Bernie tried to get his unhappiest followers in line, and even he got booed. "Fact that Sanders supporters won’t listen to Sanders when he calls for unity makes you wonder how much their outrage is really about Sanders," CNN's Dylan Byers comments.
- Chants of “Black Livers Matter” popped up after New Jersey senator Cory Booker told the crowd, “change is needed in the system."
- Sen. Al Franken tossed out some classic kids-and-microwaves jokes during his speech. "Al Franken and Sarah Silverman riffing should be a nightly TV show," concludes Variety's Maureen Ryan.
- Plenty of Trump-related digs, both direct and indirect. "Al Franken seems to be at a roast of Donald Trump," notices Bloomberg's Jennifer Epstein.
- In a moment that inevitably will be compared side-by-side with Melania Trump's, Michelle Obama gave a stunning speech that will be hard to beat (and likely her last before an audience this size, as some observed). “I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” FLOTUS stated. Jody Rosen with New York Times Magazine tweets, "Obama 2024."
- Songstress Demi Lovato gave an impassioned speech in support of mental healthcare before a knockout performance.
- Marijuana activists carried a 51-foot joint through the streets of Philadelphia.
More highlights through the eyes of reporters:
- Bernie supporter Susan Sarandon "having literally the worst time at the #DemConvention," as noted by Ian McKenna at NowThis News.
- "I think this gif has potential to outlast the election season," muses Washington Examiner's David Freddoso.
- The Wall Street Journal was plagued by leaks of a very different kind. "Media tent is about to collapse and is made of metal but the upside is that we'll go down in style," jokes
... and in case it needs to be said, again, this is only Day 1. What new wonders will the remaining weekdays bring us?