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Inside Politics

Last night, I went to my county’s Democratic convention. If you don’t know anything about politics, this is where all the candidates gather to seek the endorsement of the County Party. I always find these conventions interesting because you can tell a lot about the candidates from how they handle themselves in this environment.

Here in Pennsylvania, we have a few statewide races that a pretty exciting. Our Senate race for example has a primary that the entire nation is watching. Former Republican Arlen Specter vs. my current US Congressman Joe Sestak. Specter has Obama on his side as well as the Governor and the Democratic Party’s State Committee, but I don’t think he will actually win the primary.

Last night, Sestak entered the convention like a rock star and gave a great speech that was vague and empowering. You know the type I am talking about. Remember Obama’s “Hope and Change” speeches or any of Reagan’s speeches? Any politician who actually talks specifics on issues during a speech is at the disadvantage next to those who are vague and inspiring.

Specter didn’t show up for this convention. That alone is okay because most voters understand that it is a statewide race and he can’t be everywhere at once, but he didn’t even have any staff members there to advocate on his behalf. There was a signing petition there for him, but no one had signed it.

As for the governors race, there are four candidates running. Personally, I am supporting my good friend Joe Hoeffel who didn’t run away from me when he was a Congressman and saw me in Washington D.C. with a large “Democracy Not Theocracy” sign rallying for the Separation of Church and State. Although I love Hoeffel, I thought that his speech seemed rushed. At times he was hard to hear and at other times he seemed frustrated. While I understand the frustration since he is the only progressive running and the previous speaker made a point to say that all the candidates were the same on the issues, I don’t think Hoeffel should have made his frustration so visible.

Then there were the long shot candidates. They usually have to read from a prepared speech or spend a lot of time yelling. Good candidates need to be loud, but not Al Sharpton loud. They can’t be screaming or yelling. Projection is the key, no anger.

Over all, I was glad that no candidate talked about religion and only one or two thanked God or anything like that.

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