Every four years an event happens that captures the attention and imagination of the world. It kicks off with a bang and ends with a party. In between we watch the participants and ask ourselves how many hours of focused work it took for them to become what they've become. We root for heroes and sneer at villains. It lasts far too many hours for people to watch all of it, but that doesn't stop the networks from showing non-stop coverage and commentary where we hear the same things over and over again. There are winners and there are losers, but we sit on our couches with certainty that we couldn't dare to be like the people on the screen. When it's all over we only remember a name or two, but we know that we'll get to tune in again in four short years. I'm not talking about the little shindig that is wrapping up in Beijing, I'm talking about the Democratic National Convention.
I can't get enough of presidential politics and I thank you dear Democrats for providing the most entertaining primary in recent memory. Seriously, rewind a year or so. Hillary wasn't just the inevitable nominee, but there were debates about whether or not anyone would even challenge her other than the Kucinich powerhouse or a bearded Al Gore. She must wake up every morning in shock that someone else is the nominee - like Political Groundhog Day. I'm pretty sure that Obama's qualifications to be president are limited to the fact that he has in his life actually run for president. Hilary and her still rabid supporters have to continuously ask how the political New York Yankees lost to the equivalent of the Scranton YMCA co-ed softball team. She'll give a great speech through gritted teeth I'm sure, but she may well need dentures after it's over. It would be fun to watch a little more Clinton/Obama friction in primetime, but the party mukitymucks will make sure that doesn't happen.
Sen. Obama gives stunning speeches, so the best he can do is live up to his billing. But the party in Denver will rage and there will be confetti, balloons and a podium to rival all other podiums. The silly inevitability of the conventions is what always gets me. We knew the "result" of the convention months ago. It's like me getting handed a speeding ticket from the policeman and then announcing to him that I was in fact going 78 in a 65. Still, one should never underestimate the desire of geeky political-types to show up in their sport coats and pant suits and party.
Don't think for a second that I won't poke similar fun at the Republicans who bucked conventional wisdom and nominated a white, male, Washington insider, who if he worked at your company would've retired a decade ago.
I'm still holding out hope that Michael Phelps somehow shows up and steals one of these nominations.