On Tuesday I went to go see the president of the United States speak, at a rally for Hillary Clinton at Eakins Oval near the Art Museum. It was actually my first time seeing Obama speak in person since he did a rally, also in Philly, back during the 2008 primaries.
It was a usual Obama speech- he had the crowd rapt at attention and eating out of his hand the entire time, chanting various things and cheering the entire 40 minutes he was on stage. The speech made news when Obama said some pointed things about Donald Trump, and also when he praised Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and said that Vice President/Eagles fan Joe Biden had tried to persuade him to “get on the Wentz Wagon.”
It just sort of reenforces what I’ve long felt about the president: He IS the Democrats’ Ronald Reagan. In the sense that, for probably the next 25 years he’ll be the measuring stick by which all other Democratic presidential candidates are measured, and chances are most if not all of the others will come up short. And it’s for many of the same reasons Reagan is beloved by Republicans: His presidency has been successful. He’s a great speaker and orator. He assembled a very specific winning coalition that had been elusive for his party for a long time before he came along. And both his failures and deviations from political orthodoxy have a good chance of being de-emphasized with the passage of time.
This isn’t to say that Hillary Clinton won’t win the election- I assume she will (I HOPE she will!) But Obama is a once-in-a-generation political talent, the likes of whom won’t be seen anytime again soon.
On to the links…
My big story this week is for Tablet magazine’s The Scroll, in honor of the 25th anniversary of my family’s TV show Brooklyn Bridge. I spoke to the legendary Marion Ross, and dug out the letters between my father and the show’s creator, the late Gary David Goldberg. I have no defense or explanation for why I’m wearing a teal Florida Marlins hat in the picture from ’93.
My only complaint about the Obama speech? They didn’t have him ascend the Art Museum steps like Rocky and speak from the top. Sure, the museum made a nice backdrop, but come on! Speaking of Rocky, they’re showing it in Philly (well, Bryn Mawr) on September 21, and I previewed it at Farmdog.
I reviewed Sully at Splice Today.
At Mapquest’s Parachute, a list of Philly’s best venues for local music- aka “Places I’m Too Old to Ever Go to Anymore.”
At Blasting News:
Why “Basket of Deplorables” is actually brilliant politics.
Seven answers to seven questions about Hillary Clinton’s health.
What was off about Ann Coulter’s Comedy Central roast appearance.
And at Screenrant:
I eulogized the late Alexis Arquette. Did you know Arquette played the guy in the bathroom with the gun in Pulp Fiction? I didn’t until this week.
Previewing season 2 of the great Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Can’t wait for this one- Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan and Michelle MacLaren are working on an HBO miniseries about Jonestown.
Looking at Star Trek’s official 50th-anniversary video.
Tenacious D writes a tribute song for Jon Snow.
For old time’s sake I wrote up the latest iPhone announcement.
Could the Walking Dead premiere have more than one death?
And it’s the trailer for Collateral Beauty, which could be the laughingstock film of fall.
As always, follow me on Twitter at @StephenSilver