On Tuesday night, the Democratic National Convention started off with one of the most powerful video tributes I have ever seen. It was so powerful that a Republican commentator on CNN described it “as the most effective piece of communication” he has seen at a convention. Some in the audience were even moved to tears.
This followed Newark Mayor Corey Booker's energizing speech as he whipped the crowd into a frenzy, eliciting many instances of standing ovations.
The video tribute documented the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy’s legacy of fighting long and passionately for universal healthcare, where he said that health insurance should be a right of every American not just a few.
Included were clips of where he eviscerated the Republican presidential nomineeduring a senatorial debate fight to represent Massachusetts. This blast from the past effectively highlighted Romney in all his flabbergasted ideological fluctuations and flip-flops. For example—where he once said he was pro-life while believing in a woman’s right to choose but now says he opposes all abortions except rape and incest.
The video also showed Kennedy’s staunch support of then-presidential candidate Obama, making a compelling argument for the then-Illinois senator’s ability to effectively lead America towards the future.
Another memorable speaker was Tammy Duckworth, an Iraqi vet who in 2004 lost both her legs in the war when the helicopter she was flying was hit. She was awarded thefor her bravery and heroic service to her country. Duckworth miraculously recovered to now run for Illinois 8th Congressional District. As a woman, being on that podium made a powerful statement for women’s rights, strengths and accomplishments in a field dominated by men. This is a striking contrast to the numerous legislation and measures pushed by Republicans across several states, attempting to suppress women’s rights to their reproductive lives.
Rick Santorum, one of the candidates for the Republican nominee, once said that he was troubled by women serving in combat because they could be a distraction-- as men might want to protect them rather than do the job at hand. I guess Duckworth showed him.
Stacey Lihn, a mother of two, also took the podium and her speech about her daughter Zoe, now two years old, born with a congenital heart disease, moved the audience to stand, chant and weep all at the same time. You see Lihn’s testament pointed to the absolute necessity for the Affordable Healthcare Act, which afforded little Zoe a chance at life. Her insurance could no longer put that cap on her care - considered “pre-existing.” Even I was crying to see Zoe walk out with her sister and dad to support mom as she spoke.
So far the DNC is intensely electrified from this video, Mayor Booker, Tammy Duckworth, Lihn and others. Still to come, among other speakers, are former White House Chief of Staff, Chicago Mayor, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who will deliver the keynote address and First Lady , whose speech is highly anticipated.
Many are wondering: what will she say to support her husband? Stay tuned.
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