Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana ambled across to the podium as the penultimate speaker before Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National convention on Tuesday and began his talk in a fairly shy manner. At first he looked a little unsure and the audience didn’t get too excited. Neither did I. Casually turned out, and complete with his distinctive western neck rig, he proved the point, that looks can often deceive.
After an unsteady start the Governor seemed to relax and his growing confidence became more evident. He realised that the more he reached out to the crowd, the more he gesticulated, the more they responded, and as a result the more interesting he became. It wasn’t too long before he had their full attention. And mine. He covered a range of important issues and hammered his points home passionately, especially the need for clean green energy and greater investment in American manufacturing. He attacked John McCain on a number of points repeatedly, and vigorously, even tabulating and quoting McCain’s anti green energy voting record in the Senate.
The thing that was outstanding about this Governor’s address, the thing that was so appealing, was its spontaneity, his enthusiasm and his robust animation. He lit up the crowd. They were electrified and swept away. The convention had caught fire at last. Bill Clinton had a grin 5 feet wide and was blown away, so was Joe Biden and and every other VIP. There was no lip service here. Everyone was rapt, on their feet and having a ball. They couldn’t help themselves.
The rancher from the mid-west had taken over. He was in charge. He was the head honcho, he was the star, and the entire convention was dancing to the man from Montana’s calls. It seemed that the shy man who had arrived at the podium only 20 minutes earlier had morphed into the conductor of a great orchestra. For him, life down on the ranch will never be the same again. Good on you Brian.
Here is the 15 minute video of Governor Brian Schweitzer’s speech
For me, this is when the Convention achieved Lift Off. Go The Man from Montana!
Go Obama – Yes we can