Posts Tagged ‘Democratic Convention’

I [Heart] Bubba

August 26, 2008

My latest in the New York Sun.

” ‘I [heart] Bubba.’

That’s the slogan that greeted delegates handed a map prepared by the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. The slogan, however, was not a reference to the nickname of President Clinton, who will speak at the Democratic National Convention tomorrow night; it was an ad for the Denver location of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant chain.

But, contrary to the ad’s message, many Democratic delegates no longer love Mr. Clinton. “His comments were devastating,” a delegate, Hellen Sims of San Jose, Calif., said, referring to Mr. Clinton’s references to race during the primary campaign between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Many convention delegates, particularly African-Americans, still bristle at Mr. Clinton’s campaign trail faux pas, which included the use of the phrase “fairy tale” to describe Mr. Obama’s rise to prominence after delivering an anti-war speech in 2002, his reference to the candidate as a “kid,” and his comparison of Mr. Obama to Jesse Jackson.

Wearing a blue Barack Obama t-shirt, Ms. Sims said Mr. Clinton will have some work to do tomorrow night if he is to regain her allegiance. ‘I hope this convention gives him a chance to redeem himself.’

Asked what it would take, Ms. Sims said ‘some humility.’ “

Kennedy Will Speak

August 25, 2008

In what is sure to be one of the emotional highlights of the convention, Ted Kennedy will speak tomorrow night. I’ve heard this confirmed from multiple sources. Kennedy has been stricken with brain cancer; his appearance will serve as a counterpoint to his famous 1980 convention speech.

Labor Troubles at Denver’s Democratic National Convention

June 24, 2008

I devote my New York Sun column to the potential for labor strife in Denver.

“First, school teachers in Denver are militating for a new contract; the current one will terminate the Sunday following the convention. The local paper, The Denver Post, which ran a story with the sub-headline ‘A Teachers Contract Dispute Could Erupt During the Convention,’ is calling attention to the potential for chaos. According to the Post, the school administration and teachers are squabbling about teachers’ compensation.

Second, after decades of tranquility on the labor front, between now and November Colorado is the scene of a the contentious statewide battle between the ‘Right to Work’ initiative, backed by the business community, and several other initiatives supported by labor, drawn up in response to the measure.”

Ironically, Barack Obama had singled the Denver merit pay system out for praise when he announced his education plan in Manchester, NH back in November. For my column, I dug out Obama’s quotes at this event: “”Cities like Denver have already proven that by working with teachers, working with teachers — not doing things to teachers — this can work, that we can find ways to increase pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them and not just based on an arbitrary test score,” Mr. Obama said. “Where our teachers go above and beyond the call to make a real difference in our children’s lives, I think it’s time we rewarded them for it.”