Friday, August 29, 2008

democrats fourth night

Well I guess that's why Obama's the nominee. Very well-crafted speech that responded to each of the principal criticisms of him (inexperienced, celebrity, weak on defense) and landed a few good punches on Bush and McCain as well. My main criticism is it might have been too defensive--look for the Republicans to jump all over his spend-without-tax proposals--and (that word again) diffuse: too much of a laundry list without a single coherent theme. And I still don't get what was accomplished by the outdoor venue or the weird window-like backdrop (was he planning to don his Superman cape and fly out after speaking)? Still, it was an assertive and for the most part successful effort to refocus on specifics and define the terms of his debate with McCain in the Fall.

The ritual poses after the speech gave occasion to focus how far Obama has come. If they were shown the pictures five years ago, ninety-five percent of viewers would have assumed Biden was the Presidential candidate and Obama the VP--if they recognized Obama at all. Nothing like this has opposed since Jimmy Carter, although that might not be the example I'd choose.

Still awaiting McCain's VP choice--rumors about Sarah Palin but none confirmed--and the related issue of positive and negative "bounce." If he does choose Palin it will knock Obama off the front pages very quickly. But that's not the principal goal--or is it?


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