All Articles Tagged "democratic national convention"
Gabrielle Douglas really is the “girl on fire.” Fresh off of her Olympic gold medal wins, her whirlwind celebrity appearances and a mini-gymnastics performance with Alicia Keys during the MTV Video Music Awards last night, we have news that she’s got a two-book deal with HarperCollins.
Her first book will be a memoir, Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith, which will be out in time for Christmas. Bonus! It’ll come with a free poster.
“Of course, there’ll be a lot of stories about gymnastics, but the book will also be about how much my family and I have overcome during our journey. It hasn’t been easy. I want people to read my story and say, ‘If Gabby can do it, I can do it too. Anything is possible,’” the phenom said in a statement.
There’s no word yet on what her second book will be about.
Douglas was joined by her Fierce Five teammates at the VMAs. She also appeared this week at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.
Were you able to catch President Obama’s closing speech during the Democratic National Convention last night? If not, we’ve got a breakdown of the cutest, most poignant, Holy Ghost shout moments below. Check it out.
Gabby Giffords says the Pledge of Allegiance
If you watched the DNC at all, you were able to see it was an emotionally charged event. Everyone in the spot talked about the energy. But in the midst of all the excitement, there were moments that truly tugged on people’s heart strings. One of the biggest being when former U.S. Rep, Gabby Giffords, who was shot and wounded last year at a political rally, took the stage to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. She really embodies a spirit of determination and resilience that we all, regardless of our political affiliation, can relate to.
Conservative pundit Ann Coulter was in her usual form last night, firing off several tweets directed at Democratic National Convention speaker Sandra Fluke and Presidents Clinton and Obama that have been roundly criticized as racist and sexist.
Fluke, the Georgetown law student called a “sl*t” and a “prostitute” by Rush Limbaugh following her Feb. 2012 congressional testimony on women’s reproductive rights, appeared on the second night of the convention, shortly before Clinton took the stage for what would be a rousing endorsement of Obama.
Shortly after Fluke picked apart Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s policies, Coulter tweeted, “Bill Clinton just impregnated Sandra Fluke backstage.”
“They’re spicing things up with a live abortion on stage!” Coulter later wrote, in response to a follower who called Fluke’s speech a “snooze.”
See the negative remarks Ann made about President Obama on EurWeb.
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The First Lady’s DNC speech caused quite a stir, to put it mildly. Her performance was praised by the media, constituents and viewers. Her wardrobe was the talk of the town. But there was other news about Michelle Obama’s speech — she made oratory history.
According to an analysis by a University of Minnesota political scientist, her speech read at a twelfth grade level. “[B]y that measure,” writes The Raw Story, it was “the most complex speech delivered by a presidential candidate’s spouse at a nominating convention.”
On the other hand, the speech delivered by Mitt Romney’s wife Ann was only on a fifth grade reading level — making it “the lowest reading level for a spouse’s convention speech since the practice [of measuring the speeches] first began in 1992.” (The President, by the way, generally delivers his union speeches on an eighth grade level, according to The Raw Story.) The speeches were measured using the Flesch-Kincaid readability test.
There was also another competition between the two women — TV ratings. Obama and Romney both opened their respective conventions. But Michelle Obama pulled in higher ratings for the opening night of the Democratic National Convention than Ann Romney did for the opening of the Republican National Convention, reports CBS News. Nielsen Co. data revealed that about “26.2 million people watched the opening night of the Democratic National Convention where the first lady was the featured speaker. Compare this to the 22.3 million who watched the first night of the Republican National Convention featuring potential first lady Ann Romney.”
Obama, says CBS News, even had Twitter jumping. “[S]he was responsible for at least 28,003 tweets per minute shortly after she delivered her speech.” Romney’s Twitter peak was just 6,195 per minute.
Everyone is talking about Bill Clinton’s speech at the DNC last night (including its length), tossing in some chatter about Massachusetts Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren and a little extra for women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke. Overlooked by many were the brief remarks from the top administrator for the Small Business Administration, Karen Mills.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re familiar with the SBA and all of the information it provides for those launching a new company. (If you’re not, check it out here.) President Obama has been accused by the Republicans repeatedly of not only standing in the way of small business owners, but discouraging small business ownership through his policies, including the new healthcare law. The mantra of the Republican convention — “We built that” — even stems from a willful misinterpretation of a comment President Obama made with reference to small businesses. The Washington Post reports on a poll showing that the President trails Romney by a significant margin among small business owners.
Last night, Mills set the record straight.
“President Obama understands that small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” she said, noting the impact that small businesses have on our economy. Half of Americans work for or own a small business, according to Mills, and they create two-thirds of all jobs.
When President Obama took office, the economy was a mess and “credit was frozen.” He has cut taxes 18 times for small business owners, made it easier for small businesspeople to adhere to rules and regulations and shortened the time it would take for them to get paid by the federal government, she said.
“He understands that Washington doesn’t create jobs; small businesses do. Government’s role is to put the wind at their backs,” she said. You can read all of her comments and watch a clip of her speech here.
We have no doubt that the President supports small business. The fact remains, however, that minority-owned and women-owned businesses are still having a problem with funding and other resources. We’ve covered that topic here, and went into detail about one alternative, microloans, here. Maybe it’s an issue he’ll address further in his second term.
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Did you see FLOTUS at the DNC Convention last night? Vogue editor-at-large said it best in this tweet last night:
Michelle Obama: You ARE the Best of the American Spirit. Its not the clothes you wear, its your grace, your kindness, your caring. PURE JOY
But just for the record, the dress was a custom Tracy Reese worn with suede J.Crew shoes. According to Tom + Lorenzo, they were not only getting bombarded with questions about the First Lady’s outfit but the shade of her nail polish. “[T]o which we have to respond ‘Really?’” they write. No really. I was curious about it too. We’ve seen a couple of people predict that those shoes (in “rhubarb”) will probably sell out. And she could do for Tracy Reese (already a popular designer) what she did for Jason Wu. Reese has already got a story on today’s Wall Street Journal Speakeasy blog, which notes that the First Lady wore Tracy Reese on the cover of Ebony previously.
Michelle Obama’s riveting speech overtook Mitt Romney’s GOP Convention speech last week on the Twitter leaderboard, peaking at 28,003 tweets per minute versus Romney’s high point of 14,289 per minute, Politico reports. Here, the site lists what it thinks are her top 10 lines from the speech. And here’s coverage of the speech from another of the night’s notable speakers, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
And as we noted yesterday, Michelle Obama focused on the middle class and President Obama’s values.
“The address was meant to lay the foundation for a convention program devised to remind wavering working- and middle-class voters — the same ones Mr. Romney is working so hard to woo away — what they liked about the president when they supported him four years ago, and how his own humbler roots have helped inspire his policies to help them,” The New York Times says. Moreover, the speech painted a personal picture of the President and the life he has shared with Michelle. We watched on MSNBC and Chris Matthews, post-speech, noted how the camerawork caught the emotion of the attendees, rapt and even a little teary-eyed as they listened.
“Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it,” she said.
The Democratic National Convention is getting underway and among the speakers taking to the podium tonight will be our FLOTUS, Michelle Obama. Recently coming in at number seven on Forbes’ list of women who run the world and riding a wave of popularity that USA Today says has two-thirds of Americans holding a favorable view of her, the First Lady is “expected to echo the middle class message” she has delivered in previous speeches, according to MSNBC. It’s a message that is meant to “draw a contrast” to Mitt Romney.
“She implies that Romney, who had a privileged upbringing, can’t relate when she tells middle-class voters that President Barack Obama understands their economic struggles because he has struggled too,” reports the Associated Press. “And she suggests Romney would have other priorities when she says her husband’s empathy will result in a second-term agenda focused squarely on middle-class economic security.”
The article says the speech will also be “sprinkled” with talk about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that President Obama made law. The Act eases the process for women seeking to sue employers for equal pay. In addition, her speech will tackle the healthcare law and other policies that reflect the “values that drive my husband to do what he has done and what he is going to do for the next four years,” the First Lady said in an interview on SiriusXM.
ABC News sums up the speech as one that will showcase the Democrats’ “one big idea: ‘How you build an economy meant to last with a strong middle class at its core.’”
This issue of the middle class is a particularly important one at this point with new jobs numbers coming on Friday and research from the National Employment Law Project showing that many of the new jobs being created in this economic recovery are paying less than the middle range of wages — $13.84 to $21.13 — of a chunk of the jobs lost during the recession.
Separately but still on the topic of the Democratic Convention, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is the chairman of the Democratic National Convention, has said outright that this convention “will be the most diverse in history,” which also creates a contrast with the Republican National Convention. During last week’s events, writer Baratunde Thurston, who was covering the GOP convention, started a hashtag, #negrospotting, pointing out the lack of African Americans in attendance.
Also speaking tonight will be Mayor Julian Castro from San Antonio who will be delivering the keynote.
(WBTV) — A Charlotte-based group called the Carolina Regional Minority Partnership Coalition (CRMPC) just launched its new website. The site is geared toward connecting minority business owners with job opportunities during the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Vereda Elliott is the owner of Eloquent Creations Catering in Charlotte. She’s catered for everyone from Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to pop star P. Diddy. Now she’s getting ready for what could be her biggest gig yet–the DNC. She thinks the new website, which lists her business along with several dozen others, will help minority-owned businesses like hers get a piece of the DNC pie.
(Charlotte Observer ) — The momentum – some have called it disillusionment – has been growing for a while now. Ever since former Bobcats owner Bob Johnson challenged Charlotte’s black business owners in 2010 to become more deliberate in their efforts to gain a bigger slice of the city’s economic pie, that goal has risen to the top of many to-do lists. So, too, has the topic of economic inclusion. Once reserved for hushed tones and closed office doors around town, race and business have found their way into public discourse. These days, academics hold court at Johnson C. Smith University about the barriers for black-owned startups in gaining access to capital. Business and political leaders mix it up at the Center for Intentional Leadership about the economic value of a racially diverse economy. And black business owners vent in focus groups about their struggle to reverse their fortunes in Charlotte.
(Huffington Post) — Party insiders say the Democratic National Committee awards few contracts to companies controlled by racial minority groups, despite repeated pledges to increase business to such firms. Instead, Democratic leaders claim progress by leaning on a broader definition of “minority contractors” that includes white women, the disabled and the gay community, according to internal memos and emails obtained by The Huffington Post and corroborated by those insiders.
The apparent dearth of contracts has fueled frustration and criticism, mostly from African American Democratic loyalists who accuse the party of failing to use its institutional finances to advance the cause of fair racial representation in the lucrative business of politics. ”There is no more loyal group of voters to the DNC than black people, and yet they have done nothing to ensure that that constituency is able to participate fully in the economic benefits of party business,” said a DNC member who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
DNC leaders say while they take such concerns seriously, having launched a broad review of the committee’s hiring practices, they have been and remain committed to diversity, as does the broader party. ”I appreciate that some folks may think the party has some serious challenges in this regard,” said Patrick Gaspard, who was recently appointed the executive director of the DNC, “and one can, in all these kinds of instances, work hard to be more inclusive to make absolute certain and to make sure that the Democratic Party has as big a tent as possible.