I'm really not much of a fan of political conventions. I don't see their point when the fact is each party has a rock-solid nominee before the convention anyway. I've read about conventions back in the earlier parts of the 20th century, when there was doubt over who the nominee would be, and I sensed it to be very dramatic. I don't think I've seen anything in any convention in my lifetime that I would define as dramatic.
However, I did see Bill Clinton's speech tonight, and I can say that I don't remember a more perfect presentation of the differences between the two main parties in America. I loved the speech; I'm sure I will see and hear plenty of conservative pundits trash it tomorrow. Like it or hate it, you cannot have seen that speech and not admit that Bill Clinton is one of the finest public speakers alive today.
And that may not be a good thing for the Democrats. There will be a huge amount of pressure on John Kerry Thursday night when he gives his nomination acceptance speech. He could easily be overshadowed by Clinton's speech tonight if he does not do as well.
There was a point in Clinton's speech where he mentioned how he has benefited from the tax cuts of the Bush White House, and how he found it ironic that for all the trouble the Republicans caused him when he was President, they helped him as soon as he left. He was being satirical, of course, but as he made his point I could not help but think that Clinton could actually be doing Kerry a disservice by giving such a great speech.
And it was exceptional. I hope come Thursday I can say that it was the second-best of the convention.