Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Dems Bring It

I had found the Democratic National Convention up to last night to be something of a desultory affair. Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama were great the first night but the rest of the day seemed to lack much in terms of either buzz or substance. The second night was the same, though Hillary did what she needed to do. Any of her so-called supporters (there is growing speculation that a number of the PUMAs may well be McCain plants) who still won't line up, and who honestly claim to care about women's issues but support McCain are idiots and the party does not need them.

So the first two nights played a like a warmup act that went on a bit too long. But last night more than made up for it. Though it was a bit overwrought and byzantine, the Hillary appearance to call for the nomination by acclimation actually was a great touch. It further solidified Hillary's bona fides both as a major player and as an Obama supporter. The big three speakers did what they needed to do and more. In baseball terms Cinton and Kerry hit home runs into the upper deck while Biden hit a solid double. In grading terms we had two A's and a B+. Two nines and a seven. Three thumbs up. Etc. And the Obama appearance at the end, the second night in which he has slid into the proceedings, seemed to go over well. there are those who will gripe about tradition or overexposure, but that's a silly argument. The idea that the candidate should appear as if conjured for the cameras on Thursday night is a silly remnant of the days when parties did not necessarily know going into the convention who would win. As for overexposure, well, that trolley left the stop for both parties sometime back in the middle of 2007 and the start of the interminable election cycle.

I've no idea what sort of bounce to expect. The weirdly truncated VP naming/convention season makes little sense to me, so my guess is that neither party may get the boost that traditionally has come from such an affair. McCain is expected to announce his VP pick tomorrow, a savvy move that will draw him much more attention than a candidate would normally get the day after the other party's convention folds its tent. Then the GOP kicks in to its love fest next week. I would not eb at all surprised to see status quo ante reign in the polls, with each party's bounce canceling out the other's and a virtual dead heat ruling the day in the national polls with a reversion to last week's polling data or thereabouts come the second week of September.

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