James Carville Rips First Night Of Dem Convention

James Carville Rips First Night Of Dem Convention

As the convention wound down to a close Monday evening, the Republican National Committee blasted out video of ex-Clinton strategist James Carville slighting the night's festivities. "If this party has a message," he said on CNN, "it's done a hell of a job hiding it tonight, I promise you that."

Pundits and analysts kicked around similar concerns, wondering whether the convention was too positive and not tough enough on John McCain and the Republicans.

My take: given the coordinated efforts to paint Michelle Obama as the angriest woman in America, the program on her night had to be positive. Not only her speech, but her lead-ins. Thus the love-in. Does anyone think that Hillary Clinton's night won't boast some sharper contrasts?

I emailed strategist and CNN talker Alex Castellanos to get his view. "I think tonight was fine," he wrote. "Tonight was defense, [meant to] fix the problems and open the door to Barack Obama for voters, so that tomorrow night they can start herding the voters through it with sharper attacks."

Castellanos offered another explanation for Monday's positive tone: the Kennedy moment. "It was important because it transferred to Obama the moral leadership of the Democratic Party, which the Kennedys -- not Clinton -- hold."

And it appears the conservative strategist was not totally resistant to Michelle Obama's charms, either, adding that she "may have helped a bit."

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