Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004
 
Oratory

Edwards may well have been a victim of expectations in his acceptance speech yesterday. Certainly it was a pretty good speech and well delivered. But after everything I'd heard about what an incredible campaigner he was, and why he was a brilliant choice based on his speaking skills, it came off as pretty much a letdown. Good, just not good enough to live up to the hype, sort of like Spiderman 2.

Obama did live up to his hype and gave a brilliant speech. And it was the speech of a very smart politician - for all its power it had, when examined closely, remarkably little content, and almost no specific policy ideas. But the bloggers who are already planning their visits to Barack's Inaugural may be a bit premature. It's worth keeping in mind that, for over 50 years, only one man who first came out on the national stage in a convention keynote has reached the Oval Office - and that was Clinton, whose 1988 keynote was a famous bomb.

It's Clinton who has delivered, for all the talk about Obama, the best speech of this convention. Clinton's speech was funny, personable, and gave plenty of reasons to vote for Kerry in language that people largely uninterested in politics can understand. It was just an amazing feat, vastly better than the speech he gave for Gore four years ago.

The speech by Teresa Heinz Kerry was the most interesting so far. It was a very personal speech, but it introduced the audience much less to Kerry than to Teresa. This was read by the pundits as a mistake, but it could well turn out to be a shrewd move - Teresa seems to have an ability to connect with voters, especially women, that will make her a formidable weapon.


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