via tape delay:
10:10 Edwards’ wife is speaking. She’s a poor speaker, but her father did serve in the Navy.
10:20 Edwards is speaking. He looks nervous (who can blame him) and not presidential.
10:26 Edwards is speaking about John Kerry’s last good foreign policy decision — turning his river boat around and chasing the Viet Cong.
10:28 Edwards predicts that the Republicans will have the audacity to criticize the Democratic ticket this fall.
10:31 Now the subject is “two Americas.” Obviously, Edwards is comfortable with this material and he’s starting to impress. The stuff on health care will go over particularly well, I imagine. When Edwards is on, as he is now, he sounds like a junior Bill Clinton, and by the end of this campaign he’ll have the imitation down even better — in time for a possible future battle with Hillary.
10:33 Under Kerry-Edwards, we’ll have only one school system. Sounds like Communism to me. The best teachers will be moved to where they are most needed. Sounds like Chinese Communism to me.
10:34 We’ll also have only one economy, not the two we have now consisting of people who do well and people who don’t do that well. Sounds like, oh never mind.
10:35 Edwards isn’t one of those guys who makes promises without giving specifics. He’s got lots of specifics, in fact a Clintonesque laundry list of them, mostly involving tax credits.
10:37 But how are we going to pay for this. It’s easy. The tax cuts will stay in place for everyone except the top 2 percent. Suddenly, I’m urgently trying to figure out which America I’m in.
10:39 Sounds like poverty will be abolished too. It’s only right. After all, Edwards reminds us, these are Americas.
10:40 Where Edwards grew up, blacks had to sit upstairs at movie theatres. So, asks Edwards, in what parts of the country do we need to have a (Clintonesque) conversation about race? “Everywhere that blacks still have to sit upstairs at movie theatres?” I answer hopefully. Only the first word of my answer turns out to be correct.
10:42 Kerry-Edwards will “do whatever it takes” to fight terrorism. Whatever it takes? Sounds like our civil liberties, and indeed our very democracy, are in jeopardy.
10:45 John Kerry will deliver the finest weapons systems known to man. I can’t help wonder whether he means the same Kerry who voted against so many of the weapon systems that now define our military capability? Still, I appreciate the gesture.
10:48 If you have stubbed your toe, hope is on the way.
10:49 If you’re a soldier in Iraq, hope is on the way. But funding wouldn’t be, if Kerry and Edwards had had their way.
10:51 He’s done. Overall, I think he did well. He’s a slick, but Clinton proved that slick can work, and when Edwards is in stride I think it works for him. He kept his promise not be negative. I can remember when the address of the VP candidate was supposed to be nothing but an attack speech. Think of Hubert Humphrey in 1964 and Al Gore in 1992. I liked the VP candidate speeches much better in those days.
Tonight, Edwards’ main objectives, I imagine, were to get the tv audience to like him and to trust Kerry-Edwards on national security. I reckon he went one for two. The repeated references to Kerry’s war record and the promises to be firm are unlikely to have accomplished the second goal. Folks may conclude that Kerry will effectively prosecute the war on terrorism, but not because of anything Edwards said tonight. Nor can any reasonable non-ideologue believe that we would be more secure with Edwards in the White House than with Cheney. Frankly, though, I do trust Edwards on national security. It’s Kerry who scares me.
UPDATE: Political Musings has a good analysis of the speech, as does The American Mind. David Frum live-blogged the entire evening’s proceedings. His verdict on Edwards: “There are certain kinds of actors you watch and you say: ‘Wow
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