Top 5 National Security Moments of the Democratic National Convention
5. Tammy Duckworth’s Tuesday Night Speech
The Former Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs and Candidate for the US House of Representatives, Illinois led off the convention with the first major veteran speech. Tammy is likely to join Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard as the first female combat veterans in Congress in about 8 weeks. She drew a stark contrast with her Tea Party opponent, Joe Walsh, who has attacked Tammy for making her service a theme. Watching Tammy walk off the stage on her prosthetic legs visually hammered home just how out-of-the-mainstream Tea Party values have become.
4. Ed Meagher’s Wednesday Video and Speech
You might not have heard of Ed, but he’s been at the forefront of veterans health care efforts for years. An Air Force veteran of the Vietnam war, and former VA Deputy Asst. Secretary, his video and subsequent speech delivered an important core of the Democratic national security message: understanding sacrifice and doing what it takes to back up the brave men and women who serve.
3. Joe Biden Makes it Clear
Leave it to the VP to make it perfectly clear. Here’s Biden’s words: “the only truly, sacred obligation we have as a nation — to equip those we send to war and care for them when they come home.” Biden was visibly emotional when discussing “the incredible debt” owed to the thousands of injured and fallen troops. Biden’s humanity and sense of the right priorities were delivered in a way only our uniquely lovable Vice President can.
2. John Kerry Finds His Stride
“No nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech… They are on the front lines every day defending America, and they deserve our thanks.” These were the hard-hitting words of Senator John Kerry who then proceeded to make not only his characteristic intellectual case, but to literally make fun of Romney’s lack of security experience. Kerry was downright hilarious in his teasing of Romney, and left the audience collectively wondering “wow, imagine if this awesome guy showed up in 2004.”
1. 45 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Take to the Stage
Following John Kerry’s Thursday night speech, a diverse group of 45 veterans of the recent wars (yeah, the wars Mitt Romney forgot to mention), joined ret. Navy Admiral John B. Nathman on stage, following an exceptional video. The crowd met the vets with an extended standing ovation and chants of “USA, USA…” It was at this moment the convention could feel an emotional shift as the banner of patriotism and duty returned to the Democratic Party and left the security-experience-free Romney-Ryan ticket in the dust.
Michael Moschella is the Political Director for the Truman National Security Project.