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August 27th, 2008
08:06 PM ET

Behind the convention cheers – Obama's discipline

Carl Bernstein
AC360° Contributor

Barack Obama is getting the convention he wants, under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. The convention he is building reflects him and his priorities: it’s thoughtful, not just red-meat; and he’s in surprising control of the message, given the forces he’s dealing with. Indeed, the convention-building and the message may be far more sophisticated and effective than we instant commentators were prepared to discern. Witness the opening night grousing on-air about the convention’s supposed thematic absence, and aversion to instant butchery of the opposition.

Task Number One for Obama:
Defining himself as a person, not just a politician: telling his story and that of Michelle Obama and their family. An American story, meant to definitively undermine the oppo-narrative of the Clinton campaign, and now the Republican oppo-narrative – that he is some kind of vaguely alien, exotic candidate. (For some undecided voters, that also means uncomfortably black). Michelle Obama – as well as the team that produced her bio-pic – delivered with perfect pitch on Night One.

This was the real opening business of the convention, the essential themes to get right. As well as to establish an umbilical connection between Obama and the greatest of Democratic traditions and immutable principles… a generational passing of the torch that Caroline and Ted Kennedy declared unmistakably – and emotionally – had now moved past the Clintons.

It would be hard to underestimate how personally difficult the defection of the Kennedys has been for Hillary and Bill Clinton: consider how, as an adolescent, Bill idolized JFK, emulated him as a politician; that JFK Jr. was among the first contributors to Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign; and that Caroline’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy, formed a close friendship with Hillary (in private, they shared a wicked sense of humor), and told friends that, of all her successors as First Lady, she was most fond of Hillary Clinton. Caroline and Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama on January 28 was a critical blow to Hillary’s campaign).

Task Number Two:
Defining Obama’s Politics: Anyone who has talked to Obama knows he genuinely believes in ending the cultural wars that have poisoned the politics of past generation; and, whether you agree with his solutions or not, he has given great thought to the condition and state of America—its problems, its strengths, and how to initiate a tectonic (and generational) change in political direction. What he has not done, say even many of his allies, is get very specific during the campaign about programs, numbers, legislation. (See Task 4.)

Mark Warner’s keynote speech was on a plane not usually in evidence at conventions: subtle, powerful, inspirational, cerebral, practical – and as convincing a case as can be made for the underpinnings of Obama’s politics and a post-Bush, post-Clinton, post-partisan agenda. He made the connection between the man and his politics. Substantively, there were reminders of how thoughtful, humane, and forward-looking Bill Clinton’s politics looked some 15 years ago.

Task Number Three, a Houdiniesque Proposition:
Easing the Clintons off center stage (inevitably, still kicking) and into the kind of major supporting roles in the Obama campaign that capture all the unique Clintonian star power, and even compels Hillary and Bill Clinton to help Barack Obama win the presidency.

This Houdiniesque proposition recognizes that the Clintons, campaigning for Obama in the right places, and pushing the right political and media buttons, can deliver as no other Democrats in America. And that it is in their interests to do so, thus rescuing Bill Clinton’s damaged legacy from a brutal primary season’s beating (and his own self-destructive instincts); and even further enhancing Hillary’s stature as a leader in the party and the nation — without further threatening Obama.

Hillary’s speech last night was the crucial first step: a huge stride toward uniting her genuine movement of women and blue-collar workers with Obama’s formidable new Democratic movement that almost couldn’t close the deal by the end of the primary-caucus season. If she and Obama can fuse those two movements in Denver without a divisive struggle on the convention floor (as seems likely), Obama is a lot closer to being able to win the presidency than he was a week ago. And already, Hillary has delivered for him, big-time – despite some carping that she didn’t go far enough.

Now, look for both Clintons to begin campaigning in critical battleground states as early next week. And for Bill Clinton to deliver a powerful speech on Obama’s behalf tonight, throwing the hall into predictably pandemonious excess (as did Hillary), leaving no doubt among Democrats of all persuasions that John McCain and Bush-Republican policies are a totally unacceptable alternative to Barack Obama.

A footnote to the ongoing Clintonian psychodrama that, as usual and quite reasonably, has mesmerized the media and continues to hang over the political landscape in Denver and beyond:

First, the essential dynamic: that the Clintons do not like Obama, hate how he systematically went about burying their attempt at a Clintonian restoration to the presidency; and they have never found it easy to be gracious in defeat. The final, gratuitously vicious wound (in their view) was Obama’s decision not to make Hillary his vice presidential nominee.

Fact: Once the “Atlantic Monthly Memos” were published — with Mark Penn’s overt strategy of smearing Barack Obama as coming from an “unAmerican” background — there was virtually no chance Hillary would have been acceptable to Obama or his wife. The only possibility, say his aides: if it were indelibly clear that he could not win the presidency without putting her on the ticket.

Obama and his small cadre of top aides were convinced there is a far better way, without the oxygen-consuming formula of Hillary-as-Veep now on display at the convention: Put the Clintons to work for the Obama-Biden ticket, getting them to fly the Democratic flag against John McCain, and — based on Obama’s real respect for them both and their singular accomplishments – giving them outsized roles in national life during an Obama administration.

Meanwhile, the Clintons — as if to underscore the personal (as differentiated from simply political) chasm between Obama and themselves — let it be known that Mark Penn had a hand in drafting both their convention speeches.

Task Number Four:
Delivering — beyond the Obama aura and the oratory — with specifics: His speech on the last night of the convention. It is instructive to watch Obama’s remarkable speech to the 2004 Democratic convention: he must do it one better in 2008, laying out a vision for the country under his leadership that is specific enough (his top aides seem to agree) to put an end to the Clinton-McCain refrain that he’s all about oratory.

He — and others, including Joe Biden tonight — will be addressing the supposed commander-in-chief gap and the “3 a.m.” assertions that he’s not ready to lead. Look for a passel of generals to be on-stage with Obama in the stadium tomorrow night.

——–

Obama beat the toughest Democratic machine of modern times, and a candidate considered by the media, the pollsters and most of the political class to be the Democrats’ inevitable nominee. He did it by staying on message; out-organizing the Clinton campaign in state after state; harnessing the power of a new generation of voters; and utilizing a set of tools (particularly the Internet) that his opponents vastly underestimated.

The most consistent aspect of the Obama campaign from the beginning has been its discipline, and the nominee’s control of his own message and apparat. Thus far, the Denver convention seems to be on that same track.

soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Tanny

    Well I know McCain's detailed economic plan and that is more than enough for me to vote for Barack Obama.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  2. Richmond

    Earth to Carl:

    Another bizarre opinion piece from you. What are you watching? Your anti-Clinton articles seem to be written in a vacuum – you seem to twist the facts to suit your pre-disposed opinions.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  3. abdur azad

    carl: your article reflects a correct picture of the convention. your suggestions commands insight.
    there is no denying the fact that it's a convention unparallel in history. foresight of obama and statesmanship of clintons (shaking off personal ego) really made the convention a lifetime event for anyone-irrespective of democrats and republicans.
    i feel this convention placed obana on the road to victory. people can nomore tolerate bush-cheny-mccain trio to go on with their faild exxonian policy based on falsehoods and lies (to inflate big boss's purse at the cost of general public) for four more years.

    abdur azad, new york

    August 27, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  4. Gerald

    I believe that Mr. Obama or Mr. Mcain do not have a Clue when It comes to the real state of the Economy. This will sink either as President. We are the greatest Debtor nation In the history of Economic tracking, Have lost our Manufacturing base and all these Fools talk about is who is doing who and raising Taxes. Well, most of us don't care on the former and realize that the Chinese will not pay the latter....... A pox on all their houses !!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  5. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Obama; not a lot of experience.
    McCain; cannot work 7 days a week.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  6. Keith

    I'm sorry, but growing up going to private school in Hawaii is not a typical American by any stretch. I would've given my eye teeth to do that!

    And if making Hillary eat crow is his defining accomplishment, then we are in more trouble than I feared.

    Where is the positive campaign Obama promised? Where is the change? What is he doing to address sexism in our society? etc. etc.

    He has a long ways to go – do we have the time?

    August 27, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  7. Alisha - Raleigh, NC

    McCain supporters, please stop being mean. No one is belittling you or spewing venum to you. If you support McCain, that's fine–vote for him and leave it at that. If you're happy with your candidate, you should be in a GREAT mood; not a mean-spirited one.

    Senator Obama has been a good and decent man. In contrast, the remarks from the bloggers above have not been good or descent.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  8. emmesq

    And McCain is not arrogant? Come on......

    Not only is he arrogant, he is hotheaded and impetuous. Is that who you want answering that 3 A.M. call?

    August 27, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  9. Jeff

    This race is so over. Up next is the Hot Head convention....where morons from all states who want to be raped will line up for a third flogging. Once we get this Conservatards/Repulitards convention over us can all get down to the business of turning the corner and getting this country back on track.

    We were heading in the right direction as a country then came the thief in the night the 2000 election and ever since that coup they have sapped this country dry. It's funny, all the republitards know how to do and do well is run on a campaign of FEAR!!!! FEAR THIS..OR FEAR THAT...do you people not ever get tired of living in fear? If that’s the only way to live then why live at all? How long can we go around forcing a PAX AMERICANA on the world? (See JFK)...
    So next week we will hear....Obama has no experience, he has a terrible voting record (actually better than McCain’s), he

    Look people JFK said it best "There is no Book on how to be President!, There is no job to prepare you for that!" Bill Clinton led us to prosperity, JFK pointed us in a new direction...Obama has the promise to do the same. Four more years of the same? Are you that stupid? Yes he was in a POW camp....but being shot down and a POW does not make you ready to be President. In fact he has flip flopped on almost every major issue. Is it not a coincidence that now the current administration is doing everything Obama outlined with regards to the War/Iran/Georgia etc? Even the Republitards are following Obama!

    August 27, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  10. Ann

    Get a pill for your anti-Clinton attitude.
    You and Cafferty need to readjust to women in power and not in the context of males they are with.

    Great speeches by two great folks- Hill and Bill but I am still switching to McCain.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  11. Alisha - Raleigh, NC

    The Democratic Party is by all definition, UNITED. This week, that was made indubitably clear with incredible speeches by Michelle Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton, and former President Bill Clinton. Senator Clinton's roll call was breath-taking and brought me to tears. I look forward to Senator Obama's acceptance speech on Thursday, and I will continue to work diligently to elect Senator Obama as President of the United States of America.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  12. Ken in NC

    it does not matter who wins or loses, some will always find fault either with the party, Hillary or Obama but I must admit that the Obama camp has put together a well oiled machine. If he wins and can organize and get the government to run more like he has run his campaign I suspect we will see some gains in this country. I am aware that there are those that will not vote for him but if he wins, he WILL be the president of ALL THE PEOPLE.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  13. Jean Jolicoeur (Florida)

    I believe that Obama has defined himself enough. We all know where he stands. However, I found a double standard with regard to Obama. When Bill Clinton was a candidate for president, not many people knew about him even though he has been governor of Arkansas. The Republicans joked about his experience. Bush father stated that his dog had more experience than Bill Clinton back then. But it was fine with all the democrats. He did not need to define himself or to tell us where he stands.

    Why is it that Obama has to go through more than the other candidates. I believe it's racial. Bill Clinton did not have to go through all that with his little experience. The reason is because he is white. White democrats identified themselves with him. They look alike so they think they share the same values. They did not really care about where Clinton stood.

    Obama is different. He does not look like them. He's half white half black. So They think he does not share their values. He's educated, they think he is Elitist. He has a different name so they think he might be foreign.

    Who's fault is that? Obama's? The democratic party's for failing to defend another democrat? or the democrats' for being racist?

    Think about that.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  14. carrieinSterling, Va

    I was pleased that President Clinton acknowledge that John McCain is a good man, who has served, sacrificed and suffered for the country and shown independence from the Bush administration. Ironically the worst racist attak in recent memory was perpetrated against the McCains and their adopted black daughter by Bush. That's why no matter what the dems say the country knows McCain-agree with him or not-is no Bush clone. I also thought that both Bill & Hillary outshined Michele & Barack-and I think it was their intention.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  15. lampe

    Lynne: I don't really care who graduated where in their class. What I care about is people's judgments. Obama sat in a church, with his wife and his children for over 20years. How could you let your children hear the remarks Rev. Wright made. How can you trust a man who Is friends with a man and his wife who bombed U.S. Government Buildings, or killed police in bombings. Study books in school is real easy for some people and good grades come easy for alot of people. It's what they do with their lives after school, that concerns me.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  16. mj

    As a 55 year old white female, I am proud of Obama. I also think that Michelle and Hillary did an amazing job at the convention. I have never supported Hillary but I think she was amazing last night and I think it brought out the best in her. If I would have seen that same spirit during the primaries, I might have supported her but instead I saw her "kitchen sink" approach and her breaking any rule that didn't help her. The MI and FL issue really turned me against her. After last night, I believe in her ablitity to bring the democrats together for their unified goals. Thank you Hillary.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  17. Peter Scott Furman

    Carl,
    I don't agree with most of what you say, I get paricularly offended when people like you feel the need to interpret that which we see, read and hear for ourselves.
    Bill Clinton has the "chutapah" after 18 months of saying that Obama is NOT Qualified to suddenly say he is Qualified. How demeaning, how shameful that is. The same for Hillary.This is insulting to anyone who doesn't worship idols and a very good reason to vote AGAINST Obama.
    Senator Obama in fact has No Experience, No resume, a constituency that raises numerous red flags. He has changed everything he said announced and he is the most liberal member of congress. Joe Biden completed the circle of hypocracy as he is the third most liberal member of congress with 35 yrs, in the senate as opposed to 22 for McCain. If, as Obama has said McCain has done nothing on 22yrs. how does Biden's 35 yrs. in the very same Senate stack up? Then there is the age discrimination. McCain is 72 Biden is 65. That's not exactly a generation gap.
    Obama is a man who wants to redistribute income(socialism), raise taxes, increase spending and act as commander in chief of our armed forces. He has NO credentials and his entire campaign has been theatrics and slight of hand with NO facts to support his rhetoric.
    How come you don't draw the differences Carl? You are obviously a Democratic shill and myself and many others know it.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  18. Craig

    Carl,

    Thank you for being honest.
    And you are right.
    Don't worry, Sen. Obama will do that and more.
    He will pop up all across the USA and prove that he is more than prepared to lead our beloved country.

    Craig
    in OK.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  19. Matt Morris-Cook

    I have no doubt Obama will carefully lay-out the specifics of his agenda tomorrow night...the agenda that's been available for ten months on his website in full detail...way to go lazy America, God forbid you take a half hour to read it!

    August 27, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  20. Mark

    Dude,
    Old dude is toast. I mean face it, after her brief forray into politics we saw even Paris Hilton has what it takes to handle old dude. Obama is going to roll over him like a nightmare. The pathetic attempts to flail at the hits these successive fantasic speeches we've enjoyed, is to show heavily edit footage making Obama seem like a mystery. That's it! Nothing about what he can do just all about how Obama seems like a mystery which nobody is really bying anymore. Maybe old dude should take on Romney as a VP, he needs someone with the experience of cutting his losses and running.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  21. carrieinSterling, Va

    Hillary and Bill both did a great job showing how qualified they both are but nothing to convince me of Obama's credentials. In fact, i don't beleive a word of it. Political expediancy. They have no choice. I beleive the better Hillary does the worse for Obama. She proves she could have won and produced. Obama is weak because he needs both the Clintons and Joe Biden to get elected. He is the least experienced and least qualified candidate to run.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  22. Cephas E. Barnard Jr

    Mr. Obama will set the tune on Thursday night before 75 to 80
    thousand Americans. His speach will be on Americas' future
    and Her standings around the world. He is going to lay out his
    plans for moving America forward into the 21st century. I think he
    will also tell American people what he is going to do for all
    Amreican. Mr. Obama is representing the democratic party, but
    Mr. Obama vision is to represent all Americans regardless
    of race, color or creed. This is going to be a different America, not
    the America of the last 8 years. God sends some special in
    a life time,and Mr. Obama has been chosen to lead America.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  23. Danny

    Well said!!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  24. Elaine wilson

    Bill and Hillary Clinton have saved Obama. He needs to be grateful to them. If it were not for the words of Bill and Hillary Clinton I would still be for Mcain. So Obama supporters stop your negative attacks on the Clintons!

    August 27, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  25. Marian Zamora

    All I can say is I can't wait for the end of the unelected czar George Bush's reign.
    The Republicans have had their run, the economy is in a slump, the rich have gotten richer, jobs have been oursourced, plants closed and real Americans out of jobs. With gasoline and food prices sky rocketing, how are these out of work Americans going to buy all those imported goods from China. Bush has borrowed so much from Communist China, that he had to attend the Olympics, whether he liked it or not, as he was afraid they would refuse to loan him more. Go Obama, from a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:51 pm |
  26. mary

    Carl Berstein needs to stop trying to spin every victorious moment that Hillary Clinton has as anything other than glorious. Many admire her, many love her and many more RESPECT HER for what she is: a smart, sassy, intelligent and extermely effective human being in ushering policies for the greater public good. Hillary has and will continue to have: 18 million loyal and fervent supporters. (I am sure Carl Berstein can't say that about himself , that he has 18 million people that think that highly of him).

    Millions were wowed by Hillary Clinton speechs that was electriying last night . And all Hilary Clintons' s personal speech did was to demonstrate how she is the bigger person by letting the party know that it is about the cause that the democratic party seeks to be in government to do greater good. Obama could not even try to rach across hos own party lines to bring Hillary Clinton on as a VP – which would habe undoubtedly won the democrats the election hands down. And for that error in judgement alone, Obama's star is fading quickly to reveal a man very much egotistical about how he need to always be the star of his own show. Obama wants to be president not for the democrats but for himself and his own glory. Hillary Clinton had wanted the prsidency to do good. Which the democrats may loose the chance to capture now. If the democrats lose this 2008 election, the blame for that loss lies solely on Barack Obama's shoulders. Barack Obama made the wrong decision not to select Hilary Clinton as his VP. Only time will tell if America will have the fortunate luck to be able to elect Hillary Clinton as President 4 years from now and to get it right next time!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 9:43 pm |
  27. G.B. Etheridge

    It isdiffficult to understand how any hard working American who supports there family could support any democrate. I have not heard any that support self reliance, courage and limited government. I think they are all for more government (federal) and less power for the people.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:43 pm |
  28. Frenchy

    The Clintons, as a couple, have poured the foundation on which this momentous event...the selection of an Afro-American for the Democratic nominee...is being realized. To carp at petty behavior is to avoid the real acknowledgment that these two dedicated individuals have accomplished under extraordinary social and political pressures. Lets not seek perfection, rather human dedication under stress, commitment to one's mate and to the fulfillment of America's dream. This event is truly an American response to the world, after 8 years of perfidy, to the basic principals that founded this country and gives hope to the oppressed, the enslaved and the disenfranchised that we Americans are not perfect, but we learn from our mistakes and never, never give up hope and drive to set an example for the world. Listen, World, here is our answer to Russia and Georgia, to Dafur, to New Orleans, to 9/11...here is how we respond in times of need: we are the light to every wandering bark...watch and be inspired.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:39 pm |
  29. Patricia

    I just listened to Bill Clinton endorse Barack Obama. He was as usual dynamic! Just as Hillary was last night, and Michelle was the night before. They are making the point that I have seen from the beginning. Barack Obama is the man for the job! In the final analysis, the Clintons are not just Democrats. They are Good People and good Americans.... they are good servants of the People ! They have both worked for the common good of all Americans from the first that they came to national attention. Barack Obama has that same drive for the well being of all the people, not just the most wealthy of our population. I love the Clintons. And now I am ready to love the Obamas. Can't People just FEEL the same drive in those four people? I can. I knew Clinton was the man to make the difference. I know that Obama is the man for the job this time! God Bless us all, God bless the Clintons, God bless Barack Obama, the next president of the United States of America, and his family!

    August 27, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  30. Dawn

    After listening to both Bill and Hillary (she is a class act!), I know why I supported her in the primaries. I know where they stand and I know what they stand for. I can say I still do not know where Obama stands. I have never heard from him half the issues of what I heard from the Clintons thus far. But the few things I do know I do not like such as his far left friends, Rev. Wright, and his flip-flopping on just about everything just to get what he wants. I'm sorry but Michelle's speech on Monday was not a true picture of her. As the camera kept shooting to her during Hillary's speech – that is the true Michelle when she doesn't think anyone is looking....or listening. I continue to support McCain now that Hillary is out of the picture. Too bad.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:30 pm |
  31. ALFRED AKANA

    I am from Hawaii & a Kucinich backer. then, I switched to Hillary. I had the privilege to listen to her on the 2nd day of the Democratic convention. She was awesome.. However, we must move on, therefore, I will vote for Obama. After he is president, think of her as a Supreme Court justice. Stevens is 88 yrs young & will surely retire. Scalia & Thomas wil retire after facing her & we will have a liberal court. And, she will in for life; no need to run for election. Thank you Jesus, Mary & Joseph! Then, our dreams will become realities. ALOHA & MAHALO!

    August 27, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  32. Carol, PA

    So far, and if things continue to work as well as they have, I believe Hillary Clinton will have earned herself a place in history by graciously stepping aside and helping to unite the Democratic Party. I do recall, however, at least a couple times during the debates when she said she would support the nominee in the event that she didn't win. I believed her then and was not surprised over the powerful speech she delivered last night. She did what was right and we expected no less from her. Still, this must have been very difficult for her. After all that traveling and exhausting campaigning, this disappointment must have been hard to accept. She is a very strong person and I have to admire her for her strength and accomplishments.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  33. steve

    finally, intelligent analysis without the sensationalism or agenda. yer one of the greats carl, please write a journalism 101 instruction book and create a foundation to get one in the hands of all the hacks out there ONLY in it for the money, please? i used to think journalists would save our country (yeah i was a young teen during watergate) lately it seems they have become a large part of the problem, kudos my brother ;-)

    August 27, 2008 at 9:11 pm |
  34. joseph gregory

    I am a Clinton supporter–an Independent-who will vote for Senator McCain, nol because I'm bitter, but because I consider McCain to be the better man for the job. Obama is arrogant, and arrogant people in power are dangerous.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:10 pm |
  35. Jennifer, Philadelphia

    He may have out-organized the Clintons, but Obama beat the "toughest Democratic machine of modern times" because the media never asked him a serious question and lined-up with the rest of the kool-aid drinkers. If you don't think that's true, ask Chris Matthews how that tingle he gets up his leg every time Obama speaks is compared to the shrill he hears when Hillary speaks!

    August 27, 2008 at 9:09 pm |
  36. LaVelle from Atlanta, GA

    Barack Obama has shown great character throughout this campaign season. He is like the boat sailing through the Atlantic sea, fighting through a Perfect Storm continuing to keep upfloat no matter how increasingly strong the storms becomes. While the constant criticism remains strong from the Mccain campaign as well as the media, he has always stayed presidential, cool, and collected. Proof of this happened just recently,when times became increasingly difficult, he did not follow what many in the media thought was the right choice, including CNN, which was to pick Hillary as his VP, but he chose the person who he feels he can work best with. This is only one of the many reasons why I am a passionate Barack Obama supporter. He truly believes in his heart that change can occur in our country. And throughout this convention, his prescence has been felt, and his vison to bring America together is what will inspire all of us to do what is truly best for our country. To look in our hearts and elect Barack Obama as our President of the United States.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:07 pm |
  37. Debbie - Arkansas

    To be able to witness "live"...the historic event when Hillary Clinton joined her fellow New Yorkers on the floor of the convention and asked the delegates to forego the 'vote counts' roll call to give Barack Obama the nomination by acclaimation!...and a rousing "YES" burst forth and MADE HISTORY!! I would ask that people stop with the Clinton "bashing"...this couple made history of their own, and have ALWAYS been 'servants of the people'...OUR people, ALL colors, ALL creeds...ALL AMERICANS!! President Clinton has joined with his wife, and will support OUR candidate: Barack Obama...all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. They will always be voices for US...and I DO mean U. S.! God speed and God Bless OUR America!!

    August 27, 2008 at 9:06 pm |
  38. Mike Hawk

    It is on to November and see if majority of people will rise over the xenophobia of the obama name.

    August 27, 2008 at 9:04 pm |
  39. Patricia

    Congratulations to Barack Obama, The Clintons, the Democratic Party and the American People. Finally we have a man for the people! I am tired of the commentary instead of being allowed to listen to the speakers! For God's sake, give it a break. I will definitely be watching the Repub. Convention to see if they get the same treatment!

    August 27, 2008 at 9:02 pm |
  40. kevin

    To many a democrat Obama has done it all very well. I know he is very capable, very well organized in every state and fueled by those who really care for our country. The Obama message of change and hope has laid in waiting since RFK. We, us democrats have been waiting for that change. I would hope that all of us as Americans are inspired by that promise. I would also hope for those opposed to racial barriers, both democrat and republican, wake up and accept that change. In leadership we are defined as a country..in prejudice we are weakened as a country.

    August 27, 2008 at 8:57 pm |
  41. Lynne Ingalls

    Regarding experience – would you rather have a president who graduated at the top of his class in constitutional law or a president who graduated at the bottom of his class at a naval academy?

    August 27, 2008 at 8:55 pm |
  42. Philip Luna

    Just wanted to say how impressive Hillary Clinton has been the last two nights. I was beginning to believe she would end up as the 'Ralph Nader' of the 2008 election by splitting the party and handing the election to the Republicans. Instead, in two days, she has shown herself to be one of the best spoken communicator and motivators of our time. I am sure she will be a great asset to the Obama administration in what ever capacity she ends up filling.

    August 27, 2008 at 8:53 pm |
  43. Ruth

    Experience vs Change

    The old adage "Experience is the best Teacher" is true in many cases. Take for instance the current Republican Administration. Their years of experience has led us to:

    Higher Gas Prices
    Largest Financial Deficit
    Casualties of War
    No Confidence in our Government

    John McCain not only used his experience and judgement to support the current administration…his decisions helped reinforce and solidify a failing government structure.

    What has this experience taught us? It's time for Change!

    Obama/Biden 2008

    August 27, 2008 at 8:53 pm |
  44. Kate from Virginia

    Carl – I really hope you will write a follow up book about Hillary and the Clinton camp during this primary race. I was a college student who cried when they accepted the nomination envisioning the great future we all had as Americans during their stewardship of the country. Probably like many, I'm now caught in the yin and yang of the administration's accomplishments and its members' disgraces, particularly of President and Mrs. Clinton. In particular, I was disgusted by what I learned about their treatment of the Gores in his presidential run held at the same time as Hillary ran for senate. Please if you have not already started volume two, keep your notes from this week and share them with the country.

    August 27, 2008 at 8:49 pm |
  45. Angela

    Obama should have put HIllary as he VP. Whatever Mark Penn said in his e-mails and notes about making Obama look "unamerican"- Clinton in NO way went down that road. The real truth appears to be that he was never going to put her on as VP- and the " convenient line" that she would be on anyone's short list is just that- a convenient line of ___! Hillary has done more than any other losing candidate in history. She has done more than she should have to do!

    The real story here is that Obama has to win this election on his own- he has to explain his comments about people such as myself in PA that are bitter and cling to religion and guns . He has to convince us- Clinton and Biden will not be able to. He's the nominee- he has to get out there and carry a SPECIFIC message about his what his agend a will be if elected President.

    It's a sad day for many of us that Obama didn't look past himself and his ego to what could have and should have been- both on the ticket and a practical guarantee of victory.

    August 27, 2008 at 8:49 pm |
  46. Lin from Orange County, CA

    I believe Obama will win big in November 4th!

    Democrat party is doing a great job so far. I can't see that McCain has any chance this time. It is the time for Republican leaves the White house.

    August 27, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  47. Tommye Myrick

    I have heard political and news pundits over and over again talk about how very boring this convention is. However , I think that if you all would just quiet down and reframe from all your own subjective commentaries, we ( the viewing audience) might be able to hear more, learn more and decide for ourselves, if its worth our time to listen. Be Fair – we don't need your help to vote.

    Tommye – New Orleans.

    August 27, 2008 at 8:45 pm |
  48. Wendy

    Great article Carl, I think this entire campaign is proof that Obama is indeed ready to lead. McCain is bogged down with the special interest groups & the Republican party who are trying to play the same old negative political game. Obama runs a tight ship, he doesn't fall apart over the poll numbers or the McCain ads, he just keeps moving ahead. Great qualities to have in a leader. I have been very impressed with this convention, anyone who pays attention will see the changes. A Republican actually put Obama's name into nomination, he has such a gift for uniting people. I think Americans are lucky to have him.

    August 27, 2008 at 8:40 pm |
  49. JC-Los Angeles

    Carl, I don't know what convention you're watching but to suggest that Obama "is getting the convention he wants" is beyond the pale.

    If this convention "reflects him and his priorities" then I would say Obama, the Democrats and our nation needs to get their priorities straight.

    Obama, preaching unity and change, failed to unify his OWN party prior to the convention; that's egregious and unacceptable.

    Day 1: all about Ted kennedy; Day 2: Hillary hits a homerun; Day 3: Bill Clinton's time; best orator since Reagan; Hillary even helped steal the show by handing over the nomination to Obama.

    Obama is left to try and make an impression on day four; it's as if Obama is another swimmer in the same Olympics as Michael Phelps.

    Obama should have been at the convention all four days showing leadership of his party and convincing America; lost opportunity.

    August 27, 2008 at 8:34 pm |
  50. Cindy

    Carl,
    I don't want to hear anything about his family. I could care less. We have heard it all before. Obama needs to tell where he stands on the issues and give a plan..a detailed plan on how he is going to change them. Not just I want to make this change but I want to make this change and this is how I am going to do it. If we don't get that then in my mind he will have failed.

    Cindy...Ga.

    August 27, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
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