360° Senior Producer
Barack Obama had already seemed to take a page from his forebear on the other end of the political spectrum - yes, Ronald Reagan - by running on a platform of optimism, which he has branded as "change."
And last night, the Illinois Democrat evoked the widely admired stagecraft of the Gipper, who could turn a speech into a celebratory rally timed perfectly for evening newscasts, complete with hundreds of balloons falling from above, and cheering, nearly ecstatic crowds.
Fast forward to Obama last night: he comes bounding in before a roaring crowd. With his slow and pausing manner of speech, which somehow builds rather than depletes the drama, he promises "something special," then introduces John Edwards, who comes bounding in to even greater cheers. What is this, a prize fight?
Edwards, sounding like the party's patriarch and unifier, graciously praises Hillary Clinton, and endorses Obama in what is desisgned to feel like the reassuring and inevitable coronation of a popular crown prince in a troubled kingdom.
Why has it taken a generation for another politician to repeat Reagan's effective form of stagecraft? And is Michael Deaver, credited as Reagan's stagecraft sorcerer, secretly working for Obama from the heavens above? (A fun thought, isn't it?) Or does Obama himself, as many of his supporters believe, have the star power to pull off this kind of event and... just as Reagan did... an election victory?
What do you think? We'd like to know.
Meantime, I'm checking in on Deaver.
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