PanDEMonium: Simon Carswell’s Democratic convention diary
Philadelphia, the city of sibling devotion, faced with internal Democratic party tension
Senator Al Franken and actor Sarah Silverman during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Turning Philly green
There are plenty of Irish here in Philadelphia, notably Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald. She attended a reception for the Irish community in Philly on Monday night where she met Mike Stack, the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania.
Fitzgerald is in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection as a Fine Gael member rather than as a Government representative. The latter would of course be an unthinkable foreign thumb on the US political scale. (Ireland is not Russia. )
Others in town are Mark Kennelly, Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s shadow; Kildare South TD Martin Heydon, chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party; Fine Gael’s Jerry Buttimer, leader of the Seanad; and Fianna Fáil Meath West TD Thomas Byrne.
And the number of Irish politicians at the Republican convention last week? Zero. Our ambassador in Washington, Anne Anderson, and deputy head of mission Michael Lonergan were the only two Irish officials to brave the Ohio dark-fest.
You can call him AlMichelle ObamaAl Franken
The comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member – now a Minnesota senator – joked in his address that he’s a “world-renowned expert on right-wing megalomaniacs: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and now, Donald Trump”. He added that he earned his “doctorate in megalomaniac studies from Trump University”, the now defunct for-profit college set up by the New York billionaire that is being sued for swindling former students.
Franken said that “Trump University’s School of Ripping People Off” was ranked second in the nation – “right behind Bernie Madoff University”.
Quote of the dayHarry PotterBernie Sanders supporter Diane Russell, a state representative from Maine, drawing on an unlikely source in an attempt to unite the Sanders-Clinton camps on Monday night
Number of the day15 Number of times Bernie Sanders mentioned the name of his one-time primary opponent Hillary Clinton in script of his prepared speech. Number of times his supporters booed: 15.
Big Cheese v Big AppleBrendan BoyleDonegal
“It would be kind of like Donegal beating Dublin,” said Boyle, one of the opening-night convention speakers.
Boyle and his House of Representatives colleague Carolyn Maloney from New York decided to play up the rivalry between their home cities with a “Philly v New York – Cheesesteak v Cheesecake” food-off on Tuesday.
“This battle of bosses is about to be settled,” said the flyer. “The fight will be tough. Attend the event to find out who wins.”