Ugh. Can't Boston give me anything to write about? I was all expecting to offer a local's perspectives on the horrific clashes between protesters and police, massive traffic back-ups, and the break-down of the mass transit system. But, oh no! None of that even happened. Didn't they know some two-bit blogger wanted material?
Okay, kidding aside, I'm thrilled Boston went so smoothly. Especially since it completely shows up the Boston Herald for all their fear mongering. Not that they'll notice, but still.
So, in this final installment, read the story of secret trains that were found underneath the FleetCenter! Read the story of the one sorta violent clash between protesters and police! Marvel at how the Boston Herald *again* ignores the actual Convention in order to bash Democrats. And, oh yeah, the Convention.
So, those Secret Trains. Word got out today that the subway authorities ran a special express train from the closed North Station underneath the FleetCenter on all days of the Convention. The trains packed up and went directly to the BackBay station. The idea was to get delegates and press out of the FleetCenter area as quickly and smoothly as possible. Okay, fair enough. But much like the Rider's rep quoted in the story, I have to wonder why the MBTA goes above and beyond for non-paying passangers and continues to provide subpar service to the Million-plus who ride their trains and buses every day. At least I won't need to hear them scape-goating the DNC for their delays anymore.
Also, it looks like the Boston cops finally had a chance to do a little bit of arresting on Thursday. Seems a bunch of anarchists got into a shoving match with the police. It was amusing to read one anarchists protests that they couldn't possibly have started it because why would they go after police in body armor. Unfortunetly, I've met anarachists, so I know that's not really going to bother them. These Bl(A)ck Tea folks set themselves up just to protest the convention. It doesn't surprise me in the least that they'd try to provoke something. It also doesn't surprise me that it wasn't much of anything. 3 people were arrested out of the clash, bringing the total of Convention related arrests to a whopping 4. The other was some drunk guy ranting about Bush.
The front page of the Boston Herald proclaims that "Its Safe to Come Home". An ironic title since the Herald's distribution is virtually exclusively Boston-based. Basically, its continuing their theme of how awful the Convention has been for Boston. See, after they scared everyone out of town, it seems people didn't come into town. But that's the Democrats fault. They also put the minor protester clash mentioned above right on the front page. They sorta mentioned John Kerry, but I suspect just to justify shilling for an article by the detestable Howie Carr where he ignores everything Kerry said and just re-writes it all to his liking. Naturally, he gets in his gigalo line. I feel dirty even linking to that, but I figured I had to.
But moving in, I was happy to see all of Max Cleland's introduction and John Kerry's acceptance speech. Great, great, great stuff. I saw someone say that Cleland isn't a good speaker who veres between shyness and bombast. Well, he had me fooled. I think he went on a touch too long and tying in Boston's history seemed unnecessary, but really a great, great speech. People are already faulting Kerry for not mentioning his anti-war work following Vietnam, but why did he need to? Cleland already framed it so much better than Kerry could possibly do himself.
As for Kerry, he kept to his strengths and didn't try to be something he's not. That's also been one of his greatest skills as a politician. He knows who he is. He knows what kind of a speaker he is. He doesn't push himself to do what he's told will play well, but has faith in his ability to do what he does best. No, its not the personable charm of a Bill Clinton or the easy persausiveness of John Edwards. Rather, he speaks with conviction and strength of character, demonstrating insight over slogans. I think he did an excellant job on all counts. I loved that he brought up "Compassion in Action." I loved his response to complaints about his nuanced views. I love that they basically lowered expectations enough that him doing what he does well gets an even bigger response. Its how Bush "won" the debates, after all. I'm looking forward to the Democratic Party winning its 4th consecutive Presidential Election this Novemeber. Kerry definetly has me excited about his prospects.