It was really entertaining to watch the CNN commentators afterward. They were all tripping over themselves to tell us how exciting it was to be present for the historic moment of a black man, or half black man (both were mentioned), becoming the lead candidate of a major party, and how it healed racial divisions, etc. Some of the commentators spoke for everyone in the room, others for all the blacks in the room... it was all over the map. Their true colors were vividly on display. It was... well, boring... but really provided a healthy does of perspective regarding their true feelings.
Back to the Clintons. Seems to me that the Clintons have done a spectacular job this week. No question they have been in complete control of two nights of the party. The Clinton shadow even loomed large over Michelle's coming out party on Monday. Hillary's speech on Tuesday evening gave a respectable amount of ground to Obama, but not a complete ringing endorsement. As several commentators have discussed, she can't be accused of not supporting him, and when he loses she's been a good party soldier... while leaving things sufficiently open for her to run again in 2012.
Bill's speech last night was simply a work of art. He was on a mission to kill the energy in the room. And he did it marvelously.
Think about how it started. He comes out, gets to the podium relatively quickly, and starts asking everyone to sit down and be quiet. He does it repeatedly. He even does it again in the middle of his speech. He kept tamping down the excitement in the room. Also, I thought it was telling that he opened with the support of Obama... then quickly followed up by expressing that he was there to warm up the room for Joe Biden. Who does that? You want to close with the most exciting part (Obama support) and let people cheer madly. And you don't announce an intention to pump up the crowd... you simply pump up the crowd! You provide a rousing oratory on behalf of your man.
The Fox News guys did note that Bill only mentioned Biden once in the speech... but I think they totally missed this angle of the analysis. From my living room, Bill's speech was very dull. He didn't thrust for applause lines, he actually would extend his remarks straight through natural applause moments, not allowing them to bubble up. My $0.02.
I think Michelle understood only too well what had happened for the last two days. She knew when she was giving Hillary the stink eye from her box on Tuesday night. And she struck the first blow last night by trapping Hillary and crew in the elevator after the session was closed for the night. Yes, that is me expressing a bald-faced conspiracy theory. But it just seems all that likely after reading about the Obama campaign's efforts to shut down the Ayers advertisements and the arrest of of an ABC reporter yesterday outside of hotel where high-ranking Dems were meeting with well-heeled donors. (You really should read this piece... In the middle of the article is a call-out box with 3 images. The middle one is a video of the actual arrest... watch this reporter get pushed into the street by a cop, then cuffed by a honest-to-goodness cigar chomping sergeant!)
Lastly, a video about the military ran at the convention last night, placed between Bill's speech and John Kerry's intro of Biden. If you were watching Fox you missed it, it was on in the background as Brit was opening his portion of the coverage. It was a stunning piece. A clear example that the Dems knew they had to "honor" the military and veterans, but they just can't get themselves to do it without showing blood (literally!) or dead comrades being dragged away from a bomb site in Iraq, or young soldiers marred by shrapnel hits to the head or sporting prosthetics. It was a stunner. Truly vile. If I were a veteran, I'd be voting McCain. Oh, and it was directed by Spielberg and narrated by Tom Hanks. If you want to see it, I put instructions at the end of the email.
One more thing. There is an article today in the WSJ that John McCain is timing his acceptance speech next Thursday to happen right after the end of the NFL opening game... nice way to pick up middle America!
Veterans Video Instructions:
- Go to the DNC Convention Video site
- Download one or two browser enhancements as requested
- Click on the "Video Gallery" tab near the bottom of the frame
- Click on "Day 3" (on the left)
- Use the navigation at the bottom right to get to the 3rd page
- Find the "Veterans Video" and click on it... Takes some doing.