. . . Tuesday July 27, 2004

Unity’s Grandfather Clause

Mr. Kerry, tear down that wall.

A few months ago, I was at a Q&A session with some big political donors and key Kerry strategist Bob Shrum. At one point, a guy who was still in college complained that his friends were discouraged by the political landscape and didn’t understand why there was almost never a sense “that we’re all in this together.”

Shrum answered that not only did he think that the young man made a great point, but that the Kerry campaign would increasingly offer lines, ads and slogans featuring variations on that very message.

While getting out the unity message across party lines (or at least over to undecideds in swing states) is a work in progress, the unity (and the quiet sense of confidence that goes along with it) within the party this week in Boston could hardly be more extreme. There are virtually no signs of discord. Even leading up to the convention, we heard very little debate about who would take the podium, etc.

The first major speech of the convention was delivered by Al Gore and perhaps the key line of that speech came in its first moments: “There’s someone else I’d like to thank, and that’s the man who asked me to join him on the ticket at our convention 12 years ago, my friend – and my partner for eight years – President Bill Clinton.”

It turns out that the Democratic Party’s unity has a grandfather clause. They are not only unified for this election. They are going back and reunifying elections past. Al and Tipper’s Kiss 2, the Sequel was not out of the ordinary this time around. Instead, it serves as a perfect metaphor for the Party’s lovefest. I’m not sure if those are balloons in the Fleet Center’s rafters or rather a few acres of mistletoe.

I mean come on. Even Bill and Hillary were at the same place at the same time.

In 2000, the Dems were more like the Lakers. Great record. Impressive and experienced team. Winning system in place. But ultimately, the teamwork may not have been there. This season, the Dems are more like the Pistons. Kerry may not be Shaq or Kobe, but he’s a solid player who leads by example.

The Piston’s style worked and led them to an upcoming visit to the White House. The same just might happen for the Dems.

Wait. Maybe I need to come up with another metaphor. I’m pretty sure this one makes me Marv Albert.

Concentration is important!