DNC highlights: Obama’s moment, WikiLeaks disruptions, Kaine’s Trump impression – USA TODAY
Tim Kaine accepted his vice presidential nomination with a speech that included an impression of Donald Trump that got the whole convention laughing.
Day three of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is in the books, with Vice President Joe Biden, President Obama and vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., all taking the stage. Hereâs the highlights, all in one place:
Obama: ‘I think it’s fair to say this is not your typical election’
After an introduction video that at times felt like an obituary seeking to frame the legacy of his presidency, Obama said he is more optimistic than ever before.
“While this nation has been tested by war and it’s been tested by recession and all manner of challenges, I stand here tonight, after almost two terms as your president, to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before. How could I not be, after all that we’ve achieved together?â Obama said.
“I think it’s fair to say, this is not your typical election,” he continued, adding thatÂ it’s a choice not just between parties or comprising theÂ usual debates between left and right.
Obama asserted that it’s about who Americans are and whether they want to turn against each other and away from the rest of the world. And he said Hillary Clinton is the best choice for the job, saying “even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, she treats everybody with respect.”
“And no matter how daunting the odds,Â no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits,” Obama said.Â “And thatâs why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman, not me not Bill, nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.”
Kaine doesÂ Trump impression, breaks Internet
Kaine did a riff on Republican nominee Donald Trump’s assertions that voters should trust him, whether it’s on building a wall on the border or destroying the Islamic State.
“Believe me,” Kaine said, doing his best Trump impression.Â “There’s nothing suspicious in my tax returns â believe me!”
Kaine facesÂ WikiLeaks disruption
As the newly minted vice presidential nominee took the stage and accepted the nomination, someone in the crowd unfurled a protest banner.Â The infamous releaser of information also dropped a bunch more hacked stuff from the DNC tonight. More on that below …
Joe Biden onÂ ‘malarkey’ (again)
The vice president had a moment during a 2012 debate against now-House Speaker Paul Ryan when he called what Ryan was saying “a bunch of malarkey.” His usage of the old-school word set look-up records at Merriam-Webster at the time.
Biden went there again Wednesday but with a different target: Trump.
“He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Give me a break,” Biden said.Â “Thatâs a bunch of malarkey!'”
(FYI, Merriam-Webster definition ofÂ maÂ·larÂ·key:Â foolish words or ideas)
Crowd chants show division (still)
The crowd reaction to former secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was, well, probably not what Dems wanted.
Billionaire on billionaire
Former New York mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg landed a zinger on billionaire Trump.
âTrump says he wants to run the nation like heâs running his business,â he said. âGod help us. Iâm a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one.”
WikiLeaks drops more DNC files
In the middle of night three of the convention, WikiLeaks released voice mails from the DNC.
In the 29 recordings, ostensibly from the hacking that produced 19,000 emails that have rocked the party and ousted its chairwoman, donors and fundraisers leave messages with phone numbers.
One caller asks about why the DNC is allowing Cornel West to sit on the platform committee and suggests the party is kowtowing to the Sanders camp. A caller who identifies himself as former ambassador to Austria William Eacho says his wife got a call about a small dinner with President Obama.
âIâd like to get the details on that,â he says
A caller identified as a representative of Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley says she received a White House invitation. âSo were all fine, weâre good, but thank you for trying to help,â the rep says.
Itâs unclear whetherÂ the release will create as much of a firestorm as the emails release, but the timing of the release is clearly seeking to disrupt the Democratâs confab.
Mother of Orlando shooting victim touts assaultÂ weapons ban
Christine Leinonen, whose sonÂ Christopher “Drew” LeinonenÂ was killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting, took the stage with survivors of the massacreÂ Brandon Wolf and Jose Arraigada and recounted that the shooter used a gun that firesÂ 30 rounds in one minute.
Such a firearm would have been covered under the assault weapons ban implemented under Bill Clinton in 1994 but was allowed to expire in 2004.
“I’m glad common-sense gun policy was in place the day Christopher was born. But where was that common sense the day he died?” Leinonen said. “I never want you to ask that question about your child. Thatâs why I support Hillary Clinton.”
Clinton’s campaign quickly tweeted the emotional appearance.
Jesse Jackson: âThe Bern must never grow coldâ
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination in 1984 and 1988, congratulated Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for energizing the campaign with ideas and hope.
âThe Bern must never grow cold,â he said, before moving on to talk about Clinton and assert that she is the clear choice for America.
âItâs healing time! Itâs hope time! Itâs Hillary time!â Jackson exclaimed.
Early speakers target Trump
The convention officially gaveled in at 4 p.m. and a succession of speakers got a few minutes of (C-SPAN) camera time.Â There was California Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew GillumÂ and New York City Mayor Bill deÂ Blasio.
While there was plenty of talk about how great Hillary is, there was also much criticism of Trump.
DeÂ Blasio called him part of the âpredator classâ for saying the crash of housing prices was good for people like him could buy on the cheap, and he railed against Trump for nonpayment of workers.
âThe only person Donald took care of was himself,â he said.
Oops! Hill takes credit for Bernie supporter’s reaction
The campaign apologized Wednesday.
Among the colorful characters on the streets Wednesday, this one was definitely a must-see.
Oh, and the #BernieOrBust folks were still going for bust.
Well, at least thatâs how Democrats have been trying to portray the Republican ticket.
Wednesday’sÂ action started when Trump held one of his signature, free-wheeling press conferences, during which he called Obama “the most ignorant president in our history,” said Clinton would be more of the same, and mocked Democratsâ suggestions that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed the hacking of DNC servers in a plot to help elect Trump.
But it was his statement about Clintonâs deleted emails from her time as secretary of State that really upended things.
âRussia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said.
That prompted the Clinton camp to hype the comment as an actual, real suggestion that created a national security situation.
“This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent,â senior adviser Jake Sullivan said. âThat’s not hyperbole, those are just the facts. This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.”
And an outside group supporting her candidacy, American Bridge, quickly released a compilation of Trump’s seemingly positiveÂ statements about Putin, such as: “I think I would probably get along very well with Putin” and he’s a “strong leader.” Democrats also quickly sent out fundraising appeals attacking other Republicans for supporting Trump, who just encouragedÂ espionage against Americans.
Trump supporter Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, said the whole thing is a joke.
Whatever the case, the messÂ managed to dominate a bunch of media coverage Wednesday when outlets could have been talking about, well, Hillary â¦
The Trump bump is real
A poll released Wednesday shows Trump leading Clinton among likely voters 47% to 40.4%. It was the largest lead for Trump so far this year in the Los Angeles Times/USC Dornsife tracking poll.
They were essentially tied going into the Republican National Convention last week, suggesting he is benefiting from a post-convention bounce in support.
In the RealClearPolitics average of recent national polls, Trump is also leading, albeit only by 1 percentage point, 45.7%-44.6%. And weâve yet to see whetherÂ Clinton gets a similar bounce after this week.
DNC not firing more people â¦Â yet
Donna Brazile, now interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said Wednesday that no one has been fired since WikiLeaks released 19,000 DNC emails (which may or may not have been obtained through a Russian hack ) last weekend showing some DNC staffers had been biased toward Clinton all along and sought to undermine SandersÂ in his bid for the Democratic nomination.
ButÂ she said she plans to review the situation after the convention ends and hold people accountable if she finds reason.
âI am going to sit down with staff,â she said on CNN.
Among the emails are ones from DNC staffers raising questions about attacking Sandersâ religious beliefs and launching a narrative in the media that Sandersâ campaign was a mess.
Emails from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. â who did tender her resignation as party chairwoman amid the brouhaha â referred to Sandersâ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, as an âassholeâ and a âdamn liar.â
Brazile noted that the emails were hacked and not leaked and, in any case, sheâs not prepared to accept any resignations this week.
“I have not received nor will I even contemplate (that) until we’ve had an opportunity to finish this convention, have an opportunity for the gavel to be passed on, have an opportunity for everybody to get some sleep over the weekend. I’ll talk to everybody on Monday,” she told Politico.