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Why Mike Bloomberg and not President Obama stole the show at the DNC

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:47 IST

It was a prime-time speech, shortly before President Obama's and it was the most important one. The Democratic Convention's 3rd day featured a number of prominent speakers. From Joe Biden to Tim Kaine (Hillary Clinton's vice-presidential pick) and even President Obama. None though, lived up to Mike Bloomberg's (an independent from New York) passionate pitch as an independent.

Bloomberg didn't come to the convention as Republican (remember, he first ran for Mayor of New York as a Republican) and neither did he come as a Democrat (he was a Democrat before running for Mayor in 2001). He was there as an Independent (he became one in 2007) and it showed in his speech.

Also read:America, welcome Michelle Obama... er Michelle Trump... er Melania Trump

Just before 10 pm in Philadelphia, during prime-time telecast, Bloomberg came on and delivered what may be the speech of the Convention, barring Michelle Obama's (Now one can ever top her!).

"Let me thank all of you for welcoming an outsider here to deliver what will be an unconventional convention speech," Bloomberg started his speech by saying. "Now, I'm not here as a member of any party, or to endorse any party platform. I am here for one reason, and one reason only: to explain why I believe it is imperative that we elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States. And to ask you to join with me in supporting her this November."

As he started off his speech, talking about how he disagreed with the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a couple of places, the crowd wasn't too enthused, leaving him with a rough reception. "There are times when I disagree with Hillary," But whatever our disagreements may be, I've come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue."

What Bloomberg did most effectively was make the Hillary hater's case for Hillary. He accepted the fact that not everyone loves Hillary and how that's okay. He also accepted the fact that the reasons for disliking Hillary aren't all wrong. What was most effective was his reasons for why people who don't love Hillary Clinton should vote for her:

"Now, I know Hillary Clinton is not flawless; no candidate is. But she is the right choice - and the responsible choice - in this election. No matter what you may think about her politics or her record, Hillary Clinton understands that this is not reality television; this is reality."

And right near the end, he signed off by saying this, "There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November. So tonight, as an Independent, I am asking you to join with me - not out of party loyalty, but out of love of country. And together, let's elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the greatest country in the world, the United States of America."

Also read: Donald Trump isn't just hated, he's also a liar. His speech proves it

Apart from endorsing Hillary, Bloomberg laid out a blistering attack on the man we all love to hate and the man that comedian John Oliver calls, Donald Drumpf. He went after his fellow New York billionaire with everything he had. Here's just a sampling of quotes against the mad man.

  1. "Now, we've heard a lot of talk in this campaign about needing a leader who understands business. I couldn't agree more. I've built a business and I didn't start it with a million-dollar check from my father."
  2. "Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, and thousands of lawsuits, and angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel they've been ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us."
  3. "Today, as an independent, an entrepreneur, and a former mayor, I believe we need a president who is a problem solver, not a bomb thrower."
  4. "I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he'll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the US visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What'd I miss here?!"
  5. "Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy."
  6. "No matter what you may think about her politics or her record, Hillary Clinton understands that this is not reality television; this is reality."

It was a scathing attack and altogether very effective from a man, who is unquestioned in the world of business. You may not like Hillary and you may not like the things people are saying about her but in the end, you know that if she is elected, you'll be just fine. She's a regular politician, with no crazy, out of the world, ideas. With Trump, you just can't predict what will happen in the next four years. Blommberg's fantastic contrast of Clinton as a unifier and Trump and his reputation was what got a rousing applause at the Convention.

To leave you with just one more quote from Bloomberg's speech, it would be the one where he talked about Hillary and her time as a New York senator:

"I was elected mayor two months after 9/11, as a Republican -- and I saw how Hillary Clinton worked with Republicans in Washington to ensure that New York got the help it needed to recover and rebuild," Throughout her time in the Senate, we didn't always agree -- but she always listened," Bloomberg said. "And that's the kind of approach we need in Washington today. And it just has to start in the White House."

Bloomberg also, provided the tagline to propel Clinton into the White House. "Together, let's elect a sane, competent person...".

People may argue that President Obama's speech hit hard at the party loyalists and that it was more effective in winning over the Bernie loyalists but just mentioned the phrase, "Feel the Bern" will not work. Bloomberg's pointed attack at Trump and his appeal to independents to vote and vote for sanity will work. On 8 November, the nation needs a unifier and as Bloomberg said, Clinton is that person.

Also read: Made for mocking: is Donald Trump the ultimate Parody President?

First published: 28 July 2016, 7:04 IST
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a sports and tech correspondent on the speed news desk at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.