September 21st, 2018


Is this what really goes on inside the Democratic dance and beer hall?

Dave Barry

By Dave Barry Miami Herald /(TNS)

Published July 27, 2016

PHILADELPHIA --- It's really hot here. How hot is it? It's so hot that, to get out of the sun, I actually went into the convention hall.

Usually I avoid the convention hall, because it is frankly not a fun environment. It's sort of like a gigantic cocktail party, except that:

1. There are no cocktails.

2. There is nowhere to sit.

3. Everybody you meet is running for lieutenant governor.

4. There is always somebody shouting into a microphone about fighting for the Working People.


I was in the hall when the convention was gaveled to order. Originally the gaveling was supposed to be done by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but she has been banished and was last seen fleeing on foot across southern Delaware with the Democratic Party Canine Unity Unit snapping at her heels.

After the gaveling, the singing group Boyz II Men performed a catchy song, and I noted, as I often have in previous conventions, that Democratic delegates tend to be better dancers than Republican delegates. Democratic delegates generally move with the beat, whereas for many Republican delegates, the beat is more like a pesky invisible mosquito - they know it's around somewhere, but no matter how hard they swat at it, they can never quite hit it.

(Yes, I am making flagrantly unfair and possibly offensive generalizations. That is my job.)

Anyway, the gaveling and the Boyz II Men portions of the Democratic convention went smoothly, but right after that there was a major outbreak of non-unity. This happened during - I am not making this up - the invocation. It was delivered by the Rev. Cynthia Hale, who was basically asking God to bless the Democratic Party. It went OK until she said the words "Hillary Rodham Clinton." At that point the hall erupted, with the Bernie Sanders delegates shouting "BERNIE!" and the Clinton delegates shouting "HILLARY!" It was so loud that for a while the Rev. Hale was unable to say anything else to God, who at this point, having presumably also monitored the Republican convention, was up there rolling His eyeballs and thinking about going third party, or maybe even creating a new planet.

The Rev. Hale finally got through the invocation, after which they had the Pledge of Allegiance, which went smoothly, but only because it does not mention Hillary Clinton.

There continued to be sporadic outbreaks of disunity throughout the day, but by evening things had calmed down. The most anticipated speaker of the night was Sanders, who issued a heartfelt appeal to his followers to support Clinton on the grounds that "otherwise they will shoot my dog."

No, seriously, Sanders gave Clinton a strong endorsement. Granted, he had a pained expression when he did so, but he always has a pained expression. Even when he's saying something upbeat he looks like a man passing a kidney stone the size of a box turtle.

Sanders' speech was well received, but the big hit of the night was Michelle Obama, who brought down the house with her hilarious pitch-perfect impersonation of Melania Trump. Also performing at the convention were some celebrity entertainers, including Demi Lovato, Eva Longoria and Paul Simon. They were all good. But they were no Scott Baio.

Leaving the convention hall, I stopped in at the Instagram Happy Hour. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is an app that my teenage daughter uses to carry out the critical task of exchanging comical photographs 24/7 with every other teenager in North and South America. I assume the reason Instagram is hosting a happy hour at the Democratic convention is that it wants the government to do, or not do, something. Whatever it is, I totally support (or oppose) it, because they had free beer.

I will conclude today's report with the following:

UPDATE ON TIM KAINE: At this point, all we know for certain about him is that the letters in "Tim Kaine" can be rearranged to spell "I eat mink."

Dave Barry
Miami Herald

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