Convention impressions

Clinton is still the Democratic Party’s best statesman, and his speech was both clever and rousing. Barack Obama, however, blew the doors off the convention hall. I’ve only seen short press items and haven’t been blown away, but in a full speech he really gets going.

Thus far, it’s fairly predictable in theme: hammer home John Kerry’s basic themes, allude to Bush Administration failures at a high level but don’t attack in detail, create hopeful vision about Democrats returning America to basic civic values. All necessary, but largely beside the point. The convention’s value in the election will hang entirely on Kerry’s ability to connect, rouse, and inspire on Thursday evening. I’m betting he’s going to do well and get a “convention bump,” but not a massive one.