Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Electrifying moments

I didn’t expect much from the Democratic National Convention. The conventions for both parties are usually virtual infomercials, though the Democratic Convention at least has speeches that can inspire me, something no infomercial can do.

So imagine my surprise to find moments in this convention that have been more than just inspiring, they’ve been positively electrifying. Last night, it was that lion of the Democratic Party, Teddy Kennedy. Then the heartfelt words of Michelle Obama.

Then came tonight.

Hilary Clinton gave what was in many ways the speech of her life. She gave a strong and resounding endorsement of Barack Obama and Joe Biden—and the principles of the Democratic Party. She put into clear focus what the fight against John McSame is all about.

And there was one more thing: She said something no media pundit has ever thought of when she asked her supporters to consider if they were in the campaign just for her, or for the causes she championed. The answer for the vast majority of her supporters is as clear to them as it was for Hillary Clinton herself: Electing Barack Obama President is the only way to achieve what she championed.

The media, of course, is still obsessed with the roughly one quarter of Clinton supporters who in polls claim they’ll vote for John McCain (the anti-Clinton, you could say). However, full credit to CNN for finally stating what no other media outlet I’m aware of has acknowledged: According to polls, perhaps 20 percent of Republicans say they won’t vote for McCain and will vote for Barack Obama instead. When it comes to disaffected supporters, both parties have their share.

There’s a lot yet to come in this convention. I know that Barack Obama’s speech will be great, and I suspect that some of tomorrow’s may be, too. In the meantime, I’m just thrilled that what I thought would be a fairly routine event has had the power to inspire and thrill me, even from this far away.

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