The only things missing from the opening night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday were Beyoncé, the Rolling Stones and Barack Obama – and the former POTUS is coming later this week.
Other than an audio glitch at the beginning of kingmaker Rep James Clyburn’s stint in front of the camera from his home state of South Carolina, the first of four nights of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ official bid for the White House was just over two-hours of fast paced television that may just seal the deal.
Cutting to the chase, this wasn’t your grandmother’s Democratic Convention or even a redux of the mistaken confidence of 2016. Hosted with a strong hand by Eva Longoria and full of punchy short segments and speeches from the biggest names in the party and the world of entertainment and sports, the beginning of the Bidenathon was a polished political ad that successfully masqueraded as an event.
From the jump, this was a remix of The West Wing’s aspirational tenets, America’s Got Talent and the superstar-packed multi-network One World: Together at Home concert from early in the COVID-19 chaos. With a mix of partially live and pre-recorded programming, the multi-cultural architecture of the first installment sought to reach beyond the usual policy wonks to Americans looking for a new show to binge.
Which is another way of saying, based on Night 1 alone, longtime Tony Awards kingpin Ricky Kirshner would be a lock on another Emmy if they handed out Emmys for producing political conventions. Far away literally and figuratively from the traditional balloon-dropping convention that was originally set in Milwaukee, Night 1 was about setting the virtual stage and seeking to hold the casual viewer/voter’s interest until November.
With a constant chorus decrying Donald Trump’s corruption and incompetence in this era of racial divide, the fatal coronavirus crisis and the consequential economic collapse, the Biden team put its focus-grouped playbook into practice tonight .As the race already tightens with the ex-Celebrity Apprentice host, the narrative of the ex-Vice-President was built up to heavyweight status.
Former rivals like his running mate Harris and the Nero name-dropping Bernie Sanders, old friends, a rousing Bruce Springsteen song (and a nanosecond cameo by the Boss himself), and carefully chosen regular folks all lined up behind the candidate – which doesn’t come naturally to Democrats:
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