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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Real stupid

Thank God the Democrats are going to allow a few real people at their convention, as opposed to, what? The usual Democrats?

An Indiana railroader, an Iowa mother and a Michigan truck driver are getting a moment at the Democratic convention to help portray Barack Obama as the people's champion and counter GOP characterizations of him as an out-of-touch celebrity.

The idea is for these "real people," as the campaign calls them, to share personal stories about why they are supporting the Democratic presidential candidate and how they think he will help folks like them and the more than 20 million expected to be watching the convention at home.

[. . .]

During the weekend, the campaign formally invited these people to the convention, providing airfare, lodging and great seats to watch Obama accept the nomination from a circular stage on the 50-yard line at Invesco Field. The real people and delegates attending their first convention will be among the roughly 300 people sitting directly around the stage.

Professional speechwriters are helping prepare their remarks, timed to about three minutes each. And just like any senator or other VIP speaker, an assigned staff member will oversee their schedules and logistical movements, including media interviews, speech coaching and on-stage rehearsals.

Hey, I'm a real person, too, Give me airfare, lodging and the best seat in the house, and I'll give you a great three-minute speech, too, and say any damn thing you want me to. You can even skip the speech-coaching. "Leo Morris, reporting for duty!" (Imagine a little salute, or, as they used to say on Hee-Haw, "SAH-LOOOT!")

You know, if your campaign calls ordinary Americans "real people," I'm not really sure you've got a handle on that out-of-touch thing.