DNC Coverage: Speakers Round 1

DNC Game Face

I’m sharing my short hand notes on several of the speakers I had the privilege to see at this year’s DNC.  Mostly, I’m observing their overall presentation skills, along with their persuasive functionality as parts of a larger whole.

Jerry Brown

Donkey Representation: 

Cali donkey

Title: Governor of California

Platform: Climate Change

Rhetoric Approach:

Style:  Brown comes off confident, reminiscent of a defensive line coach yelling at the audience to choose better.
Persuasive Tactics: Uses lots of light verses dark imagery, painting visuals of lies and ignorance:
Trump says, “Global warming is a hoax.”
I say, “Trumph is a fraud!”
Trump says, “There is no drought in California.”
I say, “Trump lies.”

Take Home Message: We need a climate revolution now; California is already paving the way.


Lee Daniels

Donkey Representation: Cali donkey

Title: Co-Director of the TV show “Empire”

Platform: Gun Violence

Rhetorical Approach:

Style: Soft spoken artist; embodying the “unlikely spokesman” who hesitantly accepts Hilary’s DNC invitation.
Persuasive Tactics: Daniels opens asking if Hilary knows who he is and continues to speak about his relationship to America’s justice system – a sister under arrest, a brother in jail, a nephew in jail, a father who was a police officer shot and murdered in Philly, and admits he too was in jail – this is the America he knows and still he rises.

Statistical support: 33,000 Americans die a year from gun violence; 90 people a day.

Take Home Message: Hilary knows me.


Christine Leinonen

 Donkey Representation:


Title: Mother of Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, one of the 49 murdered at Pulse nightclub in Polk City, FL

Platform: Gun Violence

Rhetorical Approach:

Style: Grieving, feeble but holding it together in the name of a bigger cause. Speech delivered in an emotional but extremely paced way.  Leinonen gets support from two men – Brandon Wolf (a Pulse nightclub survivor) and Jesse Arriaganda (Christopher’s ex-boyfriend).
Persuasive Tactics:  She uses numbers to ground her grief.  It takes 5 minutes for 49 bells to ring in honor of the number of victims slain.  To her only child Christopher she reaffirmed her love often by teasing, “Can’t do better than perfect.” On the day of Christopher’s birth, as a former state trooper Leinonen didn’t argue when her gun was taken from her because she knew common sense policies save lives.

Statistical Support: The weapon that killed her son fires off 30 rounds a 1 minute.

Take Home Message: Love conquers hate; especially when sensible gun laws are in place.


Chris Murphy

Donkey Representation: CT

Title: Senator of Connecticut

Platform: Gun Violence

Rhetorical Approach:

Style: Unauthentic, a polished suit with a large mouth nodding away at the crowd.
Persuasive Tactics: Uses lots of flowery language that distracts from the sorrow of Sandy Hill.  Accuses the Republican Congress for taking no action in the prevention of the next massacre.  Self-promoting hero who spent over 15 hours on the Senate’s floor fighting Gun Lobbyist.
Direct Quotes: “A fate we cannot accept.  And so, my friends, there is no reason to feel helpless about the horrifying trajectory of cascading massacres…”  (very reassuring, Chris)
It’s time to take Washington back from the Gun Lobby and I know just how to do it. I want you to start by texting the word “LAWS” to 47246..” (eyeroll)

Take Home Message: I am furious; I want a president that shares this outrage.


God Bless America,

A Warrior Princess




2 comments on “DNC Coverage: Speakers Round 1

  1. Thank you, Debra. More to come!

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