Maybe some of the hangers-on are playing for Barack Obama to lose this election, but Hillary Clinton is playing for him to win it. That was the speech of her liftime. “Were you in it for me?”
That’s three terrific speeches I counted in one night, though Hillary’s was incomparably the most important in terms of actually winning the election.
Brian Schweitzer showed that if you’re not irony-bound you can make the red-meat convention speech a kind of performance art, and Mark Warner gave a good, strong, well-reasoned speech to attract the swing voters, independents, and Republicans, knowing that Clinton was going to come in behind him to rally the base.
Schweitzer and Warner, like Pelosi, hit hard on “science,” which I think is a great theme for Democrats. Both are techno-optimists, which I think is good politics and often good policy. But “science” also stands for a government that fits policies to reality rather than spinning reality to fit ideological preconceptions.
“The petro-dictators will never own American wind and sunshine.” Yes!
Since the rules of the Bloggers’ Guild requires that I find something to complain about, I have to add that the attacks on McCain have been, not too sparse or too tame, but not specific enough. Tying him to Bush is fine; nailing him with specifics is better.
The huge lost opportunity in that regard came from Lilly Ledbetter, the woman who won a pay-discrimination case at trial only to have the Supreme Court rule for her employer on the grounds that she should have sued within six months of the first act of discrimination, even though she didn’t find out about it until years later. Picking her to speak was an inspired idea, and none the worse for her somewhat halting delivery. But although Ledbetter criticized Senate Republicans generically for blocking the bill that would have eliminated that “timeliness” restriction (for some reason she didn’t use the word “filibuster”) and pointed out that Obama favored it, she didn’t point out that John McCain specifically opposed any change in the law on the grounds that it would encourage lawsuits.
Footnote Bob Casey gave a terrible speech, or maybe it was a good speech that he mangled in the delivery, but he had great line: after contrasting McCain’s claim to be a maverick with the fact that he has voted with Bush 90% of the time, Casey said, “That’s not a maverick; that’s a side-kick.” He spoiled the line by smirking afterwards, just like McCain does when he thinks he’s gotten off a nifty, but that doesn’t keep it from being a line worth repeating, and repeating, and repeating.)