There were a lot of good speeches on Day 1 of the DNC. Julian Castro, the Mayor of San Antonio and First Lady Michelle Obama were two outstanding examples. But the best of the lot by far in my opinion was the one delivered by the real Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick. I’ve heard Patrick speak before and he is a fantastic orator. His 2008 DNC Speech was little heard but one of the best of that convention. It was probably a good idea that the DNC operatives put him on one day before the President to reduce the prospect of an overshadowing situation. With former President Clinton introducing President Obama tonight, there is the risk that Bill will thrill the crowd too much and take away some of the excitement that might otherwise be reserved for our current President. Whatever the case, Governor Deval Patrick set the mark high and both men have their work cut out for them.
He spoke of the American Dream and how it must be kept alive by investing in education, giving an example of a turnaround school in Boston. He critiqued Romney’s record in MA as only he can – 47th in job creation, cuts in education, a man who says it’s ok to have 30 kids or more in a classroom. Hey, Mr. Romney, the classroom is not a shop floor! By the way, Romney tried to gut adult education programs in MA and he supported a ballot initiative that passed and effectively ended bilingual education in the Bay State. Not exactly a immigrant friendly thing to do. I keep hearing people say that Romney is a nice guy, but I don’t know – he’s cordial and all, but his actions tell another story.
Governor Patrick spoke convincingly in great oratorical flourishes of President Obama’s accomplishments despite a persistent GOP strategy of obstructionism. But he left out one accomplishment that should have been key to his American Dream theme and that was the Dream Act, a version of which the President enacted by executive order granting undocumented youth who meet certain criteria legal status so that they can stay in the country, work and continue their education. I know that Governor Patrick supports the Dream Act. Perhaps he had a mention in his speech that the DNC operatives excised, maybe thinking that immigration reform ought to fall to a Latino speaker – Julian Castro, for example, who did mention it.
Notwithstanding the Dream Act omission, Governor Patrick’s speech was outstanding and one that ought to sway a few independents who might have been watching.