OK folks, it's night two of the Democratic Presidential Convention in Denver... let's hear what you think!
Take a look at our evening buzz for a complete lineup of tonight's speeches... what to expect from Hillary Clinton's speech tonight... see the new ad Sen. McCain released, using Hillary's words (and her 3am ad) against Sen. Obama... all this right smack in the middle of the convention...
Be sure to check out our streaming webcam from the convention floor
We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.
You know you've been up too long when you start taking hits of oxygen with your producers. It was John Roberts who got me hooked. He handed me a small steel cylinder and said "try it." Jack, my associate producer, and I passed it around and then tried to see how long we could hold our breath. The problem was we kept laughing. It's supposed to help with the altitude, though frankly I haven't had any problems with that, I'm mainly just punchy.
I've been in the CNN workstation since about 7 this morning. I'm not sure where the day has gone. It’s been kind of a blur of reporters and politicians, delegates and speeches.
I suppose it’s easy to be cynical about these conventions, the scripted speeches, the programmed party – but there is something remarkable about these gatherings, these celebrations of our process. It is hard not to get caught up in the excitement of Republicans and Democrats gathering to give voice to their longings, their hopes.
There is a storm brewing, of course, today it hit Haiti, and we are watching with concern. By some models New Orleans is in its path. It’s been almost three years to the day Katrina touched down, and the thought that the Gulf Coast could once again be battered is almost too terrible to consider. There could be political consequences if the storm hits New Orleans hard, but the personal consequences for that city, and it’s people, is foremost in our minds.
Are you ready for night two of the Democratic National Convention? It's Hillary's night, even though she's not the keynote speaker (see the schedule below for who got that honor). Senator Clinton's prime-time speech will draw a lot of attention. After all, this isn't the role she and her supporters wanted at the convention. But, her supporters are glad she even has a role. Tonight, Clinton's message is expected to focus on party unity. The ultimate goal: get her followers to support Barack Obama. Do you think her "sales pitch" will work?
John McCain would love to adopt the Clinton supporters who don't like Obama. Today, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee unveiled a new 3 a.m. ad (watch it here). The 30-second spot uses footage from Clinton's original ad, but goes a step further detailing the security threats America faces. Speaking to delegates in Denver Monday, Clinton said she didn't support Republicans using her past words against Obama. "I am Hillary Clinton and I do not approve that message," she said. But do you approve of McCain's message?
Back at the convention, Democrats are focusing on the theme of "Renewing America's Promise with 60 speakers taking to the stage today. There are 40 office-holders, including two mayors, 13 governors, 14 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 11 Senators - nine of them women. The 20 other speakers include two people described as lifelong Republicans. One is a retired Navy admiral and the other is an unemployed nurse.
Stay with CNN for special coverage of the convention. Here's tonight's prime-time lineup of speakers:
A tray seems like an essential part of the cafeteria equation. Even if all you’re grabbing is one plate, a drink and a fork, attempting to balance all of that – especially at the register – could easily turn into disaster. When you’re a natural klutz like moi, the chances of ending up on the floor with spaghetti in your hair are multiplied exponentially. Lucky for me, my days at the mess hall are pretty much over, having long said goodbye to the campus cafeteria.
For tens of thousands of students across the country, however, the challenge is just beginning. Luckily, it’s for a good cause. Getting rid of all those trays means less water – especially important in drought-plagued regions of the US. At the University of Florida, home to 50,000 students, the school expects to save 470,000 gallons of water a year. For the University of Maine at Farmington, which has just 2,000 students, the savings is some 288,000 gallons.
Ready for today's Beat 360°?
Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.
Check back here tonight to see if you are our favorite!
Here is 'Beat 360°’ pic of the day:
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, makes an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Monday.
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!
Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
But wait!… There’s more!
When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!
Good luck to all!
Update: Today's Beat 360° Winner is Sean from Manhattan Beach, CA who wrote:
I thought they were asking how many episodes of House I’ve seen.
Editor's Note: You can read more Lisa Bloom blogs on “In Session”
In Session Anchor
The pundits applaud and cheer for the newly softened Michelle Obama after her speech. Flattened, more like it, by the American political machine’s insistent steamrolling of intelligent, accomplished women into one dimensional wifeys, apparently still the only mold of First Lady palatable to the electorate.
She came to us in last night’s speech, she said, as a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother: identities in which she exists only in relation to family members, identities which have defined women for centuries. The first two require only birth. The third and fourth define women solely in relation to our husbands and children.
Are these identities important to strong women? Of course, just as they are for men. Our identities as children and siblings and parents and spouses are key parts of who we all are. But can we imagine a successful man introducing himself on a national political stage as a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and devoting his speech exclusively to these roles? Can we imagine him omitting his work entirely?
There was one drumbeat in Michelle’s speech, surely carefully vetted by the campaign strategists: family, family, family. Breaking news: she loves her daughters, she loves her husband, she loves her mother and her deceased father. Family values are important to her. Of course they are.
When she talked about work at all, it was Barack’s, not her own. She waxed eloquent for hundreds of words about her husband’s work on the South Side of Chicago, but not about her own career in the Chicago mayor’s office, or in public interest programs. There was just one brief throwaway line about how she left a big law firm job for community service, and how she loves America because a working class girl like her got into law school (just as girls are accepted in law schools now around the globe).
The 3 a.m. ad is back.
John McCain's campaign is reviving the most famous political commercial of the Democratic primary cycle, launching a new 30-second spot Tuesday that uses footage from Hillary Clinton's original ad and declares "Hillary's right."
The ad, set to run in key battleground states and specifically in Denver this week, also goes a step further than the New York senator's original ad, explicitly detailing the national security threats America faces.
"Uncertainty. Dangerous aggression. Rogue nations. Radicalism," the ad's narrator states as images of tanks and launching missiles flash on screen.
The ad also includes Clinton's attack on Barack Obama in March 2008 in which she declared "I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And, Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."
The commercial is the fourth Republican ad in the last week to invoke Hillary Clinton's past criticisms of her party's presumptive presidential nominee, and comes the same night the New York senator is set to make a public urge for unity at the Democratic convention.
AC360 Senior Producer
Tonight is Hillary's night–will it work? She'll try to galvanize her supporters to back Obama. Her historic drive for the nomination, and her 18 million votes will be acknowledged in a deal letting her be nominated, and then she herself might call for Obama's nomination by unprecedented acclamation.
Now THAT would be historic. Everyone happy now? Will Hillary supporters stop flirting with McCain, and back the big O?
Separate question-James Carville and others have argued the Dems at this convention are making the same mistake all over again–playing too nice, and not fighting the GOP hard enough.
Yes, Hillary will take'em on tonight, but it's easy to dump the bad cop role on her. You know from all the cops'n'robbers shows - If the good cop never gets tough, the bad guys run circles around him. Witness McCain's appearance on Leno, his newest 3a.m. ad, his expected mockery of Obama at the American Legion convention today.
Mccain is not playing the usual quiet role during an opponent's convention. While Dems understandably get misty over Kennedy and Michelle, McCain is in Obama's face, and tweaking his nose.
The bell has rung. McCain is coming out swinging. Will the Dems stop smiling at the crowd in time, and get fighting?
We'd love your thoughts...Thank you.
Editor's note: During CNN's coverage of the Democratic National convention last night, CNN's Senior Political Analyst, David Gergen made some observations after Michelle Obama's speech. The transcript is found below. What did you think of Michelle Obama's speech?
CAMPBELL BROWN: Anderson, I want to ask David to follow up on the point that he had made earlier, a complaint, David, that you had had earlier, about sort of the lack of compelling message coming out of this convention so far. Did that change, do you think, when she took the stage tonight?
DAVID GERGEN: I think she rescued the evening for the Democrats. But much more importantly, she gave the validation for Barack Obama and the Obama family that I think Americans were looking for. You wanted to have some better sense of who are these people, what are their values, where do they come from? And more importantly, what do they believe our future ought to be about?
And it was a very deft speech in all sorts of ways. Not just the grace points - I mean, she did this so well about reaching out to Hillary Clinton, talking about the 80th anniversary. She did it well by wrapping together the anniversary for women and the anniversary for Martin Luther King, the two strands that define her as an African- American woman.
And she was - but she spoke so movingly about her own personal life and where she came from and why she went to public allies and began to get so interested in public service but then linked it up to Barack Obama and what he's all about.
Let's start from the beginning.
The concept of catharsis has a powerful pre-Freudian connection to the sacred feminine. In 355 B.C., Aristotle developed the idea of collective purging in response to tragedy based on the medical term katamenia, which described reproductive fluids. Hundreds of years later, devotees of Mary Magdalene found inspiration in his idea and called themselves the Cathars. Freud adopted the term centuries later, using it to describe a gender-neutral, beneficial release of repressed emotions.
Repressed emotions, indeed. Hillary Clinton may be making the right gestures this week, taking on John McCain for his bold attempts to woo her disaffected supporters. But in embracing the idea of catharsis, Team Hillary has set the scene for the Democratic National Convention to act as a kind of mass purification ritual. The podium is the sacrificial altar; the floor to ceiling monitors, dozens of television cameras and throngs of political priests and priestesses are perfectly orchestrated for optimal alignment. Bill serves his perfunctory role as emperor. Hillary is the oracle who will perform the ritual bloodletting.
So what exactly will be purified? Will the woman down the street's house escape foreclosure? Will incarcerated mothers and fathers be returned to their families—sane, intact and ready to love? Will dead soldiers come back to life? Will Gloria Steinem recant her statements that gender trumps race and that all young women (except her own white, well-resourced protégées) are naïve? Will a black woman in Harlem be able to get a tomato without having to walk for 40 minutes?
If not, it seems that the concept of catharsis is little more than a cog in a larger political wheel whose only aim is to maintain the influence of a select and privileged few.