This afternoon I am planning on uploading some video highlights from the past two days, so check back here early tomorrow. Among the video interviews I plan to post are CNN’s Roland Martin weirdly explaining how his wife helped gay men come to Jesus by convincing them to abstain from sex, Bob Schieffer’s remarks about sexism in the media and Katie Couric’s non-responses to me, Joe Trippi on the John Edwards affair, and John Legend talking politics in his dressing room after performing at Harold Ford’s party last night. The Legend interview should be up on Friday on the Huffington Post as well.
I only have a minute to write on the convention before I get in the editing lab, but here are some thoughts:
I spoke to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (a stalwart Hillary supporter) outside the convention hall. He agreed with me that there had not been enough discussion of issues on the first day. Chuck Schumer and Roland Martin agreed that Obama needed to attack hard, and Martin didn’t believe Obama had been slashing enough (Martin claimed Obama listens to his radio show). But everything changed by the time the second night was in full swing.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland hammered McCain on economics, then highlighted Obama’s plan to create jobs, not just hope. This line could have been seen as a swipe at the evanescent nature of Obama’s appeal but the Obama campaign has vetted every word every speaker says. It’s more likely then that this line was crafted in cooperation with Obama writers to bring Hillary’s rust belt base back into the party fray.
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer laid into McCain with several slashing attack lines, homing in on McCain’s energy policy. It was good to hear speakers laying out issue contrasts in an attack frame. Since the Obama campaign has focused the party so intensely around Barack Obama’s transcendent appeal, leaving issues, policy, and partisan critiques by the wayside, it was good to see the Democrats act like Democrats again.
There is not much I need to say about Hillary Clinton’s speech. Hillary made the case for Obama by highlighting contrasts with McCain on the issues, another reminder of the need for Obama to do the same. She did what she needed to do and much more. The atmosphere within the hall was electric. I have seen several articles floating around claiming that many Hillary supporters are still cold to Obama after the speech. I have encountered a few, including a couple of people with bullhorns driving through downtown Denver heckling Obama supporters and shouting “Hillary or McCain, but no Obama!” But I met many more who are falling in line behind Obama, and some who are doing so enthusiastically.
Bill Clinton speaks tonight. He will press the case for Obama. Then, as soon as he leaves the stage, the Clintons will fade into the background of the campaign, and Obama has to fend for himself.