Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Gloves Are Off

Thoughts on Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention and what to watch for tonight

The first day of the DNC is in the books, and it did not disappoint. (If you missed either Ted Kennedy or Michelle Obama, both their speeches are posted on the blog). Some quick thoughts on what went down:

Nancy Pelosi: The House Speaker kicked off the festivities with some ol' fashioned McCain bashing. She wasn't quite on her game, but if a House Speaker stumbles over a few words when no one is watching, did it really happen?

Claire McCaskill: Our own junior senator showed a little spunk in painting the Barack Obama story as the perfect picture of the American Dream. Granted, she used the phrase American Dream about 78 times past the point of effectiveness, but her point that Missouri provides a great view of the rest of the country and is neither a red state nor a blue state is right on. If you're not registered in Missouri, do it now.

Ted Kennedy: The standard bearer of the Democratic Party, battling brain cancer, caps off a remarkable journey to Denver with an unexpected and rousing speech that likely choked up even the most cynical of cynics. Do yourself a favor and watch it. There are few genuine moments in politics, Senator Kennedy provided one last night.

And then there was Michelle. With the country salivating to get a look at the Harvard educated prima donna who is ashamed of America, Michelle Obama did something remarkable last night. It's not that she looked like First Lady material. She looked downright presidential. She spoke of a father with multiple sclerosis and a husband driving home from the birth of their first child at a snail's pace with a father's caution. She spoke of goals that are limited only by the heights of our dreams. And, most importantly, she spoke of the greatness of America, the country she is proud to call home. She silenced critics who said she can not relate to the averge person and eased concerns that she is "not American enough" to serve as First Lady. She will be an asset to the campaign in the months ahead, you can count on that.

As far as tonight's schedule, I have three words for you. Hillary. Rodham. Clinton. Will her tone be one of unconditional support for Obama? Can she avoid the underhanded compliments and pot shots that have marked much of the Clinton support for Obama? Namely, can she provide the picture of leadership just seen from Michelle Obama? If the disgruntled Clinton supporters are going to become loyal Obama volunteers, the transformation must begin now...

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