This was by far the best night of the convention. I was of the mindset that it was going along too slowly and overall was weak, but the more I think about it the more I realize every day built upon the other. Every speaker played a part to build toward history.
Day 1 we saw Ted Kennedy make one of the most courageous speeches in modern politics. For him to even make it out to Denver was an accomplishment. To then eschew a stool in his quest to pass the torch to a new generation of Democratic leaders was something I’ll never forget. Brave. Strong. Memorable.
Michelle Obama continued with a rousing speech that laid the foundation for who Barack Obama is and why he should be our President. I thought she came across genuine, humble, and confident. The addition of her girls and Obama on the big screen was a cute and candid family moment that is the type of thing that could endear voters to them as a family and put them at ease with Obama as a candidate.
Day 2 Hillary gave a speech that both vindicated her supporters, let her have the spotlight and respect she deserves, while also getting fully behind electing Barack Obama. I personally felt she could have done more to neutralize some of the attacks from the right regarding readiness, but overall she did well and sewed the seeds of unity. Time will tell if there is follow through in campaigning and support in these weeks leading to November.
Tonight (Day 3), Hillary continued her vote of confidence by coming down to the convention floor and leading the motion to nominate Obama as the nominee. I thought that was a great gesture and inspiring move.
The highlight of day 3 and the best speech by far was President Bill Clinton. Despite widely reported sour grapes over Obama’s win, Bubba delivered a speech he had to give. A speech we needed to hear. He was absolutely on fire. Though Hillary left off the readiness comments, Bill hammered them home. There simply is nobody in Bill’s league when it comes to delivering political rhetoric. The only person close – and possibly better – is running for President this year.
I thought John Kerry had a surprisingly good effort and Joe Biden was outstanding. His delivery, other than a few stumbles, was very effective. I thought his use of volume changes was a very effective tool. Joe Biden’s story about his mom telling him to bloody the bully’s nose so he could walk back down the street the next day was a foreshadow of days to come and his treatment of John McCain.
So far we are teed up perfectly for an historic speech tomorrow night as Barack Obama, a black man, accepts the nomination to be the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. I can’t wait to hear it and see it. When you realize the history we are making here, it makes you think differently about it. Our grandkids will read about this some day and we’ll tell them we were there.