This was a night with a lot of great lines. Even Bob Casey, Jr. who is not known as a rhetorical wiz had a couple of zingers. The four more months chant was terrific. And his line that McCain isn't a maverick, he's Bush sidekick was also really well done.
I was expecting to be annoyed at how little Mark Warner went after Republicans, but instead I thought he laid out a good case for how Democrats offer every person a real shot at the American Dream. He showed that the Democratic Party wants you to succeed, wants you to be rich -- which is important and a message you hardly hear from Democrats (you often hear that they want you to do better, but aspiring for real wealth has not been a Democratic staple and it is in fact the real American Dream).
Deval Patrick borrowed from Barney Frank effectively when he talked about government being an extension of the American people and how that is what we choose to do together. His line about having a stake in one another was great. It gave a sense of a community sticking together, which is what lies at the core of the Democratic Party.
But despite all of this, Hillary Clinton stole the night. I have been a vocal critic of Hillary Clinton throughout the primaries and a skeptic of her intentions to unconditionally support the Democratic candidate. But she put all those doubts to rest tonight. She delivered. It was an A+ speech.
The Twin Cities line about McCain and Bush being like twins was genuinely funny. And now every time they mention the Twin Cities during the Republican convention I'm going to think of Bush and McCain as twins.
I am embarrassed to admit that the Harriet Tubman story actually gave me a chill down my spine (at least it wasn't up my leg). I loved it. I think everyone in the building loved it.
But the best line in the speech was buried in the middle. Addressing her supporters, she said, "Were you in it for me?"
What a great and poignant question. Did you really think this was all about me and not about the issues? Don't you remember that this was all about getting the people who need help the assistance that they desperately need? Did you forget that we started down this road because we wanted to provide Americans with a hope for a better future? That we wanted to make sure the rules weren't stacked against them? Did you think this was all about me?
That is the winning line. That's the one that showed me that she genuinely did her best to actually convince her followers that they had to support Barack Obama. That's not a half-hearted effort. That's a line designed to win people over to her argument not over to her personally. Ironically, that's exactly what it did for me though. At the end of this long, contentious battle, Senator Clinton won me over when she was finally not trying to win me over.
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