PanDEMonium: Simon Carswell’s Democratic convention diary
Jokin’ Joe Biden tells Philadelphia he thinks Trump’s malarkey needs to be fired, pronto
US vice-presient Joe Biden: “How can there be pleasure in telling someone, ‘you’re fired?’ He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class? Give me a break! That’s a bunch of malarkey!” Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
In that effective way, “Joey from Scranton” brings things back to basics, he told the crowd in his aw-shucks speech on Wednesday to “think about everything you learn as a child, no matter where you were raised”.
“How can there be pleasure in telling someone, ‘you’re fired?’ He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class? Give me a break!” Biden said. “That’s a bunch of malarkey!”
Biden used the tagline famously in his 2012 re-election campaign during a debate with fellow Irish-American Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential nominee (“We Irish call it malarkey.”) The veep has used it for years, stretching back to at least 1983.
The dictionary defines it as “insincere or foolish talk, bunkum”. Yep, lot of that this year.
Celebrities lay down the law
They say that politics is show-business for ugly people. Not this week in Philadelphia. The Democrats have wiped the floor with the Republicans, who managed only Bond villains, stars of decades-old American sitcoms and reality TV alumni. The highlight of PanDEMonium’s week was a selfie with actor Idina Menzel, who voiced Elsa in Disney’s animated behemoth Frozen.
Bradley Cooper’s appearance at the convention angered some conservative fans of the actor who played Navy Seal Chris Kyle in the 2014 movie American Sniper.
But it was the sight of Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly, stars of hit 1980s TV cop show Cagney & Lacey, that lit up the twittersphere in a burst of nostalgia. That was the 2016 law and order ticket right there, and an all-woman team too. Watch out, Trump-Pence.
Quote of the day
“We are not a fragile people. We are not a frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared saviour promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don’t look to be ruled.” Barack Obama railing against “homegrown demagogues” in his barnstorming speech on Wednesday night
Irish quote of the day
“He likes to hearken back to his kind of Irish roots, so I think he’d love to be called ‘first laddie’.”
Chelsea on what Bill might be called in the White House.
Number of the day
44 – Minutes that the 44th American president, Barack Obama, spoke for on Wednesday night. Bill Clinton, the 42nd president, spoke for 42 minutes on Tuesday night. All eyes are on Hillary Clinton ahead of her Thursday night speech and whether she makes it 45.
CNN hosts a Kildare Street reunion
If you have been watching CNN’s coverage of the convention, don’t be surprised if you spotted some familiar faces at home in Ireland. Irish politicos visiting in Philadelphia have been quenching post-convention thirst at the TV network’s CNN Grill beside the Wells Fargo Centre.
Among those spotted imbibing were Mark Kennelly, chief of staff to Taoiseach Enda Kenny; Fianna Fáil Meath West TD Thomas Byrne; Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Martin Heydon; and Fine Gael’s Jerry Buttimer, leader of the Seanad. Ireland’s deputy head of mission Michael Lonergan was there too.