Live blog, Day three: Obama describes his many achievements


11:54pm The convention recesses until Thursday afternoon at 4pm ET. More speeches, including Clinton’s acceptance remarks. Obama’s speech tonight was a little more than 4,100 words, almost as long as a State of the Union, which he won’t be giving again either.


11:44pm Obama waving to the crowd. Clinton comes on-stage as if a surprise. They hug. And then spend nine minutes, arms around each other, walking side to side waving to the crowd.

11:40pm Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus issues a statement saying:

“President Obama was elected to the White House with voters demanding change. And fittingly, that is how he will leave. After coming into office promising to transcend politics, tonight he spent more time in his final major address attacking Republicans, than discussing key issues.”

11:38pm Obama: “Time and again, you’ve picked me up. I hope, sometimes, I picked you up, too. Tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me. I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me. Because you’re who I was talking about twelve years ago, when I talked about hope….Let’s keep the journey going.”

11:36pm Obama: “Anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end….

“I have confidence, as I leave this stage tonight, that the Democratic Party is in good hands. My time in this office hasn’t fixed everything; as much as we’ve done, there’s still so much I want to do. But for all the tough lessons I’ve had to learn; for all the places I’ve fallen short; I’ve told Hillary, and I’ll tell you what’s picked me back up, every single time. It’s been you.  The American people.”

11:26pm Obama: “If you want to protect our kids and our cops from gun violence, we’ve got to get the vast majority of Americans, including gun owners, who agree on background checks to be just as vocal and just as determined as the gun lobby that blocks change through every funeral we hold. That’s how change will happen.”

11:16pm Obama: “I know Hillary won’t relent until (ISIS) is destroyed. She will finish the job. And she will do it without resorting to torture or banning entire religions from entering our country.”


11:12pm Obama: “No matter how daunting the odds; no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits. That’s the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire. And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman, not Bill not me, more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States.”

He mentions Trump. Crowd boos. “Don’t boo. Vote!”

11:06pm Obama endorses Hillary Clinton. He recalls eight years ago how tough his competition was with Clinton. “She was doing everything I was doing only like Ginger Rogers, backwards in heels.”

11:04pm Obama: This election “is not just a choice between parties or policies, the usual debates between left and right. This is a more fundamental choice about who we are as a people…But what we heard last week in Cleveland wasn’t particularly Republican and it sure wasn’t conservative.

“What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other and away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions, just the fanning of resentment and blame and hate. And that is not the America I know.”

10:52pm After an endless laudatory video hailing him with only a glimpse of Clinton, President Obama addresses his fourth and final party convention as an elected official.

He recalls his first speech to the DNC 12 years ago, hails his daughters and wife, declares how young he was that first time in Boston and how he was filled with faith in America, the hopeful country. “I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before. How could I not be after all that we have achieved?”

“By so many measures our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started. Change is never easy…Yes, we’ve still got more work to do…We’re not done perfecting our union or living up to our founding creed.”


10:24pm Kaine seems quite comfortable on-stage. He mocks Trump’s “Believe me!” phrasings. “Does anyone in this massive auditorium believe that Trump has been paying his fair share of taxes?…Folks, you cannot believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth. Not one word.”

10:08pm Ex-city councilman, ex-mayor, ex-lieutenant governor, ex-governor, ex-party chair, current Sen. Tim Kaine: “I humbly accept my party’s nomination to be vice president of the United States….I tell you, if any of you are looking for the party of Lincoln, we’ve got a home for you right here in the Democratic Party.”

9:32pm Michael Bloomberg, who was elected New York mayor as a Republican and had the law changed to allow himself a third term,  says he’s speaking not as a member of any political party: “I am here for one reason: To explain why I believe it is imperative that we elect Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States….

“Whatever our disagreements might be, we must put them aside for the good of our country. We must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue…We need a president who is a problem-solver, not a bomb-thrower.”

9:20pm Biden: Donald Trump “tries to tell you he cares about the middle class? That’s a bunch of malarkey!” Crowd chants: “Donald who?” “We lead not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example…God willing Hillary Clinton will write the next chapter in our history.”

9:12pm  VP Joe Biden, who charges the Secret Service rent for his cottage they use to protect him, takes the stage to the Rocky theme. He appears moved by the crowd’s cheers: “We’ve all seen over these last eight years what Barack Obama means to this country. He is the embodiment of honor, resolve and character. One of the finest presidents we have ever had. That’s right! And he’s become a brother to Jill and me.”


9:00pm Jill Biden, a Phillies fan, introduces her husband, who has tremendous empathy and support for America’s working people, she says. “He has a deep commitment to justice. And has spent his whole career standing up to the abuse of power. He knows at its best politics is a matter of the heart. And he remains today, even after all he’s been through, the most optimistic person I know.”

8:48pm Ex-Secy. of Defense Leon Panetta, who didn’t order rescue forces into Benghazi: “I have worked alongside nine presidents, Republican and Democrat, all experienced, all believing in the U.S. world leadership role. In this election, there is only one candidate for president who has the experience, the temperament and the judgment to be commander-in-chief and that’s Hillary Clinton. This is no time to gamble with our future.”

Chants from people waving Bernie signs drown out Panetta. “No More Wars. No More Drones.” “In an unstable world, we cannot afford unstable leadership.”

8:36pm Retired Admiral John Hutson: “I used to vote in the same party as John McCain. I served in the same Navy with John McCain. Donald., you’re not fit to polish John McCain’s boots. But America we have a better choice. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who knows how to work with our allies, who has a plan to defeat ISIS. She’s smart and steady. She has the experience, the temperament and the spine to be commander-in-chief.”

8:16pm Former astronaut Mark Kelly ties his combat and space missions to climate change and the gun violence “tearing so many of our communities apart. We have to do better and Hillary knows we can. That we can do more to keep guns out of the wrong hands. She will do what is right for the nation, not what is political expedient.”

And he introduces his wife, a recovering gun violence victim, ex-Rep. Gabby Giffords. “In Congress I learned a powerful lesson: Strong women get things done. Hillary is tough. Hillary is courageous. She will fight to make our families safer. In the White House, she will stand up to the gun lobby. That’s why I’m voting for Hillary.”


8:10pm Several family members of gun violence victims from around the country tell their stories movingly and agree with Clinton the country needs more gun restrictions. Strangely, none of the family members are from Chicago, the nation’s murder capital, which has the toughest city gun restrictions. It would have been good to hear from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s close friend and ex-chief of staff.

7:36pm Gov. Jerry Brown: “Trump says global warming is a hoax. I say Donald Trump is a fraud…While Trump talks and talks and talks, Hillary does stuff.”

7:24pm Martin O’Malley, who forgot to put on his suit coat: “I have worked alongside Hillary Clinton. I have competed against her. And I can tell you she is as tough as they come. She will stand up to ISIS. She will stand up to the Russians. And with Tim Kaine at her side she will never stop fighting for our children and our families…I say to hell with Trump’s American nightmare. We believe in the American Dream.”

7:12pm Rep. Ruben Gallego: “Donald Trump is a scam artist.”

6:54pm Sen. Harry Reid in dark glasses, led onstage. Chants: “Harry. Harry.” : “I’ve spent a lot of time in a Republican Senate. So, it’s nice to be in a room that respects reason and facts….I give a never-ending tribute to our next president, Hillary Clinton…Donald Trump and Mike Pence wanna let big banks run wild again…I have never seen anything more craven than Mitch McConnell and what he’s done to our democracy…

“The only thing Republicans like Mitch McConnell have accomplished is setting the stage for a hateful con man, Donald Trump…Republicans who won’t stand up to Trump believe in one thing and one thing only–party first. And this year 2016 they’ve gone even farther, nominating the poster child of Me First.”

6:18pm Rev. Jackson still reading, head down, biting his lips. : “My words rang true in ’84 and they do today. If blacks register and vote in great numbers, progressive whites win. The only way they win. If blacks and Hispanics vote in great numbers, women win. When women win, children win….It’s healing time., It’s hope time. It’s Hillary time. I know it gets dark sometimes. But the morning cometh.”


6:14pm Rev. Jesse Jackson. Is he OK? He slowly dons eyes glasses and, head down, reads, sometimes mumbling, in a labored monotone from notes: “Tonight I stand proudly for the next president of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton. Let me also congratulate Bernie Sanders for energizing this campaign with hope. The Bern must never grow cold.

“We brand her trusted and tested and tried. Hillary can be trusted to appoint a fair Supreme Court. A skilled administrator including a man in place like Sen. Tom (sic) Kaine. She can be trusted to ban assault weapons…She can be trusted to honor the most progressive platform our party’s ever had. She will feel our pain and never forget us.”

6:02pm Debbie Almontaser, teacher: “To my fellow American Muslims, this November get out there and vote.”

5:32pm New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is in trouble and in the news elsewhere on this site. Read Jazz Shaw’s account here.

de Blasio is in Philadelphia: “Hillary Clinton will be armed with the most progressive agenda in modern times. One that rewards work instead of wealth. One that flips the script on economic polices of and by and for the one percent. From paid sick leave and paid family leave to universal pre-K and debt-free college.”

6:02pm Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL, Pro-Choice America: “I wanted a family. But it was the wrong time. I made the decision that was best for me. To have an abortion and get compassionate care at an abortion clinic in my own community. Now, years later, my husband and I are parents to two incredible children….We need Hillary Clinton.”

4:56pm Speaking of endless conventions, did you know Democrats hold the record for longest ever. New York City. 1924. They took 15 days. And 103 ballots to pick John Davis to lose to incumbent Republican President Calvin Coolidge that fall.

Pssst. Here we go, Day 30 of the Democratic National Convention.

Oh, wait. No. It’s only Day 3. How time flies when you’re having so much fun. Here’s our quote and color highlights from Day Two.


4:48pm We’re kicking things off tonight with Eleanor Holmes Norton, ex-New Yorker, now House member from the District of Columbia. She wants D.C. to become the 51st state. Part of her argument centers on the fact that the District’s government spends more money on its civic budget than 13 states. Wow! Not good news for taxpayers, to be honest. But, hey, what do they know? And what does she care?

I interviewed this lady in the late 60s before she got the D.C. gig. “We are home to our most powerful institutions. Yet we have been denied our power as American citizens.” Maybe she should return to New York.

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Jazz Shaw 8:31 AM on December 09, 2023