Paul Begala and Mary Matalin argue the effects of Pres. Obama's speech, and why Clint Eastwood spoke to an empty chair at the RNC.
Editor's note: CNN contributors offer their analysis of President Obama's delivery at the DNC. Read reaction from LZ Granderson, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Donna Brazile, Robert Dallek, Alonzo Hamby, Timothy Stanley and others.
LZ Granderson: Obama showed what he knows about fighting for the little guy
President Obama did not promise heaven and earth, as he did four years ago. And it's a good thing because I doubt many would have believed him. Instead tonight's speech at the Democratic National Convention served as a reminder that beyond the soaring rhetoric and heartwarming smile is a man whose entire adult life has been about fighting for the little guy. Not to win elections mind you, but because he was once a little guy himself and he comes from a hardworking, middle class - and diverse - family.
In that context he talked about the importance of establishing policies that are designed not to carry people but to lend a helping hand when needed. He emphasized education and the impetus behind health care reform.
James Carville, David Gergen, Ari Fleischer, Gloria Borger, and John King assess President Obama's presentation at the DNC. Carville says it was a very good speech and he was struck by the "muscular tone and attitude."
Wednesday's convention programming followed Tuesday's standard script: red meat for the base in the early hours, capped off with a slightly sweeter offering in prime time for independent consumption.
But there was nothing routine about Bill Clinton's speech. The 48-minute address - nearly 3,200 words of prepared text and a thousand more of classic Clinton riffs - checked off nearly every item on the Obama campaign's wish list:
• Appeal to the persuadable who cite bipartisanship as a key quality: Clinton praised Eisenhower. He quoted Reagan. He even got an arena-full of loyal Democrats to cheer George W. Bush.
"Through my foundation, in America and around the world, I work with Democrats, Republicans and independents who are focused on solving problems and seizing opportunities, not fighting each other," Clinton said. "When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi discusses the contentious voice vote to amend the Democratic platform and include language relating to God and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "It's been corrected, we move on from there. Platforms are usually even much more controversial than that," Pelosi tells Anderson Cooper.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the DNC Chairman, called for a vote three times before announcing the platform had been amended by a two-thirds majority.
Anderson Cooper asks Paul Begala, David Gergen, Alex Castellanos and Gloria Borger for their reaction to Bill Clinton's speech at the DNC.
As Michelle Obama took the stage at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, she faced a similar task as Ann Romney of presenting her husband as a father and family man, above his public persona in the political spotlight.
"When people ask me whether being in the White House has changed my husband, I can honestly say that when it comes to his character, and his convictions, and his heart, Barack Obama is still the same man I fell in love with all those years ago," Mrs. Obama said.
The first lady spoke on the convention's opening night, exactly one week after Ann Romney delivered what one CNN analyst called "political velvet," an address at the GOP convention in Tampa that took her sometimes robotic businessman husband, Mitt Romney, and turned him into a charismatic candidate who will be a champion of working-class Americans.
Anderson Cooper talks with James Carville, David Gergen, Ari Fleischer, Gloria Borger and John King about Michelle Obama's performance, and how her speech will serve President Obama at the DNC and with undecided voters.
This week Anderson Cooper reports live from the center of the action in Charlotte, North Carolina. He'll talk with political insiders for analysis on the key issues getting attention at the Democratic National Convention and in the election this fall.
View behind-the-scenes photos of Anderson Cooper and the CNN crew:
Anderson Cooper talks to columnist Andrew Sullivan about what Obama needs to say at the DNC to counter the RNC momentum.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with