After Carter’s speech, I took a much needed break. I missed what apparently was a stirring testimonial from one of Kerry’s Vietnam comrades, an African-American preacher. No worry, though, I still have our first African-American president and his preachy first lady to look forward to.
10:25 Bill Richardson introduces Hillary as a strong voice for our military. And she is, for a Democrat.
10:28 Hillary has lots of presence, but so far she’s pretty flat. Hackneyed stuff about a time of perils and promise, etc.
10:32 Now she’s talking about how 9/11 changed us and changed her. Suddenly she sounds good, but this seems to be more about Hillary establishing her bona fides as a warrior against terrorism than about sounding themes that will help Kerry.
10:38 Hillary was supposed to be introducing her husband, but she’s had little to say about Bill. Now she tells us that he spends his days empowering poor people, etc. I thought he spent his days promoting his book and attacking Ken Starr. Maybe she’s thinking of Carter.
10:39 In an instant, she’s done talking about Bill and he’s striding onto the stage. They hug. It’s possible that they like each other, though I wouldn’t bet on it. They both know it’s his night, not hers. She may get her night, but probably not if Kerry wins.
10:40 Clinton promises that this year every vote will be counted. And then some, he might have added.
10:44 It seems that the Republicans need a divided America, but the Democrats don’t. The Democrats are the great unifiers, not like the Republicans who desire only that the “right people” hold office, that wealth be consolidated in the hands of a few, and that America act unilaterally. Class warfare, moi?
10:45 I’m afraid Slick Willy has really hit his stride now. He’s almost tearful as he talks about our fall from grace since 9/12. Great stuff.
10:53 The great unifier is complaining about how, after he finally became rich, the Republicans cut his taxes. But at least he doesn’t have to take write-offs on his underwear anymore.
10:55 This is total demagoguery, but it’s also convention oratory at its very finest. The Democrats could get their 10 point bounce from this speech alone, I fear.
10:57 He’s overdoing it now, in the Clinton fashion. He’s speaking too fast, something about how Bush sold out to the government of China and Japan so Clinton and his fellow rich folk could pocket their tax cut. He sounds a bit like the snake oil salesman he is. Maybe the bounce will only be 9 points.
10:58 Now he’s hit his stride again, with a great riff about how, when duty called, Kerry always said “send me.” He’s got the crowd chanting the phrase with him. But the real master stroke was for Clinton to put Bush and Cheney in the draft dodger camp with him, while placing Kerry in the other, more noble camp. Clinton is a genius.
11:00 He even finished on time. Thank God this guy can’t run again. Too bad he and Reagan never matched up.
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