One more trip to the salt mine — live blogging the DNC

11:48. So what’s the bottom line on this Convention? I’ve probably been too deep in the trees to see the forest, but here goes. First, and most importantly, Mitt Romney took a huge amount of fire this week. He’s going to have his work cut out in trying keep the gains in his image that I think he accrued through the Republican Convention.

Second, the Dems tried gamely to defend their record on the economy, but I don’t think they were successful. Facts are stubborn things. Politicians can get away with lying about many subjects, but not about how you and and your neighbors are faring in economic terms.

Third, the Dems may well have regained the advantage in Ohio and Wisconsin via their constant drumming on the auto industry bailout and Romney’s opposition to it. Given the electoral map, this is a big deal.

Fourth, the Dems doubled-down, maybe even tripled-down, on the war on women. I doubt they believe they moved the needle on the substantive issues connected with that alleged war, free contraception, abortion, etc. But they may have fired up the women who support the Dems’ positions. We know that turnout will be strong among social conservatives. The Dems were trying desperately to give young, socially liberal women reason to turn out and vote for Obama. They may well have moved that needle some.

Fifth, the Democrats apparently detected weakness in the Republicans’ position with veterans. If there is such weakness, and if the Dems can make inroads as a result, it could spell more trouble for Romney in states like Ohio.

Sixth, the Romney campaign says it will start its ad blitz tomorrow. They better, and it better be powerful.

11:02. It is a big finish to what I think was an effective speech.

11:01. Obama has hope. We give him hope. If we share that hope, he asks for our vote. We’re getting close to the big finish.

10:59. Obama says he’s aware of his failings. But he doesn’t let us in on what they are. But they are familiar to us by now.

10:56. “You did that.” He refers here to gays serving in the military and illegal immigrants being granted immunity from deportation. But we didn’t do this. These actions were put in place by executive order, not Congress, the peoples’ representatives.

10:55. “My election 4 years ago wasn’t about me, it was about you. You were the change.” He’s probably over-reaching here.

“I’m the president,” Obama intones. We used to ridicule Nixon for saying that.

10:53. He’s talking about citizenship and moving into high preacher mode. It’s strong-sounding stuff, and I imagine it’s playing well.

10:50. Red card. According to Obama, Republicans say government should do almost nothing.

And Obama pledges to fix Medicare by making health care cost less. In reality, he’ll do this by making sure that seniors get less health care. As Bill Clinton would say, it’s simple aritmetic.

10:48. He wants to take on the debt, if only the Republicans would coooperate. What happened to the debt in Obama’s first two years, when he didn’t have to negotiate with Republicans, and, in fact, cut them out of the process completely.

10:46. Iran, he says, must face a world that opposes its nuclear ambitions. Actually, Iran’s nuclear ambitions must be put to an end without regard to whether the world opposes them. Obama says nothing about ending Iran’s nuclear approach, much less how he would accomplish it (assuming he had any intention of doing so).

10:44. He says he’s going to make sure we have the strongest military on earth. Actually, he’s trying to slash the defense budget.

10:41: Obama is claiming that the Republicans are going to “gut” education, while he’s building it up through tougher standards. Actually, as Stanley Kurtz has shown, Obama is working quietly to impose national curriculum requirements that will dumb down education and give it increased leftist political content.

10:39: He’s defending his energy policy. The deception in this portion of the speech would take multiple posts fully to expose.

10:37. Obama is in good form. It’s a strong speech so far, if one is willing to suspend disbelief and forget about much of what has happened in the past three and a half years.

10:36. He’s talking up the trade agreements he signed. Actually, his record on trade agreements is very weak.

10:34. Obama says he leveled with the American people about the economy from the beginning. But he didn’t level with us about what the unemployment rate was likely to be. By the way, what is the current unemployment rate? I haven’t heard anyone at this convention say.

10:31. All the Repubs have to offer, says Obama, is tax cuts and rolling back regulations. Actually, Romney distilled his program to five points that he listed in his acceptance speech. How many of them will Obama acknowledge, never mind address?

10:30. Obama wants to restore the values that made America great. What will he say those values are: Freedom (which has gone virtually unmentioned at this convention except in the context of abortion and gay marriage)? Self-reliance? Don’t bet on it.

10:28. Obama, referring to his campaign ads, says he’s sick of “approving this message.” Apparently word has gotten back to him that America is sick of his ads.

10:27. Yellow card for Obama, at a minimum. He says Biden is the best vice president he could have hoped for.

10:26. He loves Michelle “so much.” And he’s proud of his kids.

10:25: Here’s Barack.

10:22. In the Obama promo video, they quote the beginning of Obama’s announcement of the killing of bin Laden. They stop the tape before it gets to all the references to “I.” Then they quote from Clinton on the killing of bin Laden. They edit out the part about what failure would have cost Obama.

10:17. I hope I wasn’t too hard on Durbin. He and I have a history.

10:15. Durbin, it will be recalled, compared the U.S. government to the German Nazis and the Pol Pot communists.

10:14. Durbin mentions Lilly Ledbetter. A perfect match. Two dissemblers.

10:12. Red card for Dirty Dick Durbin. He just said, among other lies, that the Republicans stated in Tampa that, as Americans, “we’re all in this alone.”

10:10. By the way, Swansea City drew with Sunderland 2-2. A Swansea player received a red card, meaning that he was booted from the match for dirty play.

If they were issuing red cards at this convention, Biden would have been sent off within 10 minutes.

It’s too bad there isn’t a yellow and red card system for convention speeches. But who would issue them, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson?

10:08. It’s over. Quite a strong speech, if you don’t consider the source. The bin Laden/GM pitch was made for simple old Joe.

10:07. We’re on the “hinge of history.” Not “literally,” says Biden, but “figuratively.”

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

10:06. Biden is nearly overcome with emotion talking about the sacrifice of fallen Americans.

10:02. America isn’t in decline, Biden lectures Romney. I don’t recall Romney saying that it is. But Romney does believe that America is on the wrong track. By a large majority, most Americans agree.

10:00. Biden pretends not to understand why the Republicans are talking about a “culture of dependency.” Maybe it has something to do with the shocking rise of Food Stamp giveaways under this president.

I think most Americans understand what a culture of dependency means.

9:59. This is a deeply dishonest speech, even by Biden’s standards. Hopefully, he has been sufficiently discredited that people won’t buy this packet of lies and distortions.

9:58. Biden claims that Romney wants “another tax break” for the wealthy. He’s referring to his opposition to raising taxes by not extending the Bush tax cuts.

9:56. Biden castigates Romney-Ryan for not embracing the Bowles-Simpson plan. That’s the plan offered by a commission set up by Obama. As Paul Ryan pointed out, Obama flatly rejected it.

9:55. Biden insists, literally insists, that Obama has the courage to make tough decisions. What tough decisions has he made on the budget?

9:53. What was Biden’s position on whether to take out Obama when the decision was presented? Rumor has it that he was opposed. If so, it would be typical — Biden is the guy who has never been right on any important foreign policy issue.

9:51. Now Romney is under attack for his comments about not moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars to get bin Laden. This quote will hurt Romney.

9:50. Biden says “literally” again.

9:49. Now it’s on to the killing of bin Laden. Another good talking point for him and Obama. But first he says “literally.”

9:47. Biden is trying with all of his considerable intellectual power to understand why Romney, from a car making family, was willing to let the automakers go bankrupt. He concludes that it has to do with Bain.

9:45 Biden’s long deceased father endorses Obama. Depending on the state, Biden’s father might vote for him too.

9:43. This is a very good Democratic talking point, however, and it’s perfect for Biden’s oratorical style. He will make quite a meal of it.

9:42. Biden’s going to talk about the auto bailout now. But first he uses his favorite word: “literally.”

9:40. Biden says that Obama never backs down. That’s true. He’s no Bill Clinton when it comes to working with Republicans. My guess is that Americans prefer Clinton’s approach.

9:38. Biden says that Obama has learned of Biden’s loyality to him. Like when he told Rep. Cantor, the Republican House Majority Leader, that he didn’t agree at all with how Obama was negotiating with the Republicans over the debt ceiling (per Bob Woodward’s book).

9:35. Joe Biden is up now. He looks subdued. Maybe he’s been receiving gravitas training.

8:59. I can’t stand any more of this right now. Time to watch the second half of the Swansea City-Sunderland EPL match, which I taped over the weekend.

8:58. Kerry is finished speaking. It was a strong, though deeply dishonest, presentation. Voters will continue to prefer Obama to Romney on foreign policy because, understandly, they don’t pay attention to foreign policy, other than the two wars and the killing of bin Laden. For a catalogue of Obama’s foreign policy failures (and successes that amount to failures) go here.

8:57. Kerry attacks Romney for not mentioning Afghanistan in his acceptance speech. Fair point. This was a big mistake by Romney.

8:54. Kerry invokes the “for it before he was against it” line, which he tries to attach to Romney. Finally, something Kerry actually is an expert about.

8:52. Nor will the MSM mention how shockingly strained Obama’s relationship with Bibi Netanyahu is. So Kerry feels safe in citing Netanyahu as a witness for what a great friend of Israel Obama is.

8:50. Kerry, along with Nancy Pelosi, attempted to lead the U.S. into an embrace with Syrian president Assad. Working together, Syria and the U.S. were going to bring peace to the Middle East.

I wrote about this in a post called, “Will anyone hold the Democrats responsible for their criminal stupidity about Syria?” No one at this conventional will, and neither will the compliant liberal mainstream media.

8:47. Speaking of losing candidates, John Kerry is speaking, posing as a foreign policy expert. He opens by “neo-con” baiting. If Kerry were asked to define “neo-con” I’m almost certain that he couldn’t do it intelligbly. He’s hardly alone in that regard.

8:46. Now a blast from the past — a tape of the late Geraldine Ferraro. She’s the one famously declared during the 2008 cycle that Obama wouldn’t be leading Hillary Clinton if he were white.

8:43. As convert convention speakers go, Crist is no Joe Lieberman or Zell Miller. But then, neither of those candidates was a defeated has-been.

8:42. By the way, Crist, who couldn’t pass the bar until his third try, now fronts for a personal industry law firm which, like any self-respecting PI firm, funds Democratic political candidates.

8:41. Crist says he doesn’t agree with Obama about everything. This clearly is a man who likes to hedge his bets.

8:37. Charlie Crist, former Republican Governor of Florida, is speaking now. He says the Republican party left him. Actually, it rejected him — he was so far behind Marco Rubio in the polls that he quit the Senate primary race in 2010. Then, Florida rejected him when he ran as an independent. So now he’s going to try his luck as a Democrat.

8:34. Here’s my question: where is the Democratic Senator from Montana, Jon Tester, who is running for election this year? Not only is he not speaking, he skipped the convention. I guess the Democratic left-liberal line won’t hunt in Montana.

8:32. Schweitzer has even got the crowd chanting this time-worn line.

8:30. The sure sign of a hack convention speaker — he’s saying “that dog won’t hunt.” That was a good line in 1988, when Ann Richards used it. But even her daughter, Cecile Richards, had the good sense not to trot it out last night.

8:27. Now the Montana governor, Brian Schweitzer, is speaking. He knew Romney; they were governors together. He says he likes Romney, as he prepares to unload.

Ok, he’s attacking Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor. This is always fertile ground when a governor runs for president — you can always find a few stats to put a governor in a bad light. I’m surprised the Dems haven’t done more of this to Romney.

8:25. This actress apparently is one of Obama’s reelection chairs. A rather sad commentary, it seems to me.

8:22. Now the actress is talking about economics. Would she mind telling us more about what it was like growing up?

8:20. Now we’re getting the autobiography of another Hispanic, actress Eva Longoria. You’ll never guess it, but she wasn’t wealthy growing up.

8:16. Granholm is bellowing, attacking Romney for how he made his money. Now she’s citing the number of jobs that Obama supposedly saved through the auto bailout.

With all of those jobs Obama saved, I just don’t understand why Americans are so dissatisfied with Obama’s performance on the economy. Maybe Granholm can turn that sad misperception around by screaming.

8:15. Granholm is hammering Romney for not supporting the auto industry bailout. Frankly, I don’t see how Romney wins Michigan after saying “let Detroit go bankrupt.”

8:11. Jennifer Grandholm, the physically attractive former governor of Michigan, is speaking. The Dems are using lots of “governors” but many of them turn out to be former governors — e.g., Grandholm, Strickland of Ohio, Crist of Florida, and even Hunt of North Carolina. That’s not what I call a deep bench.

8:09. Now some Hispanic congressman is generously sharing his life story. “Coupon-care,” he calls the Romney-Ryan Medicare reform plan. It’s the only original-sounding line of the speech.

8:07. Caroline Kennedy is pitching President Obama. She compares Obama to her father. Caroline Kennedy is too young to remember, but JFK was a tax cutting, internationalist president who wanted to “bear and any burden” on behalf of promoting freedom. Barack Obama is no John Kennedy.

Caroline praises Obama for cutting out of Iraq completely. That’s not very JFK-like.

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