AC360° Senior Producer
It was an excellent and powerful speech, no question.
Barack Obama was compelling. He gave specifics on what he would do as president. He fired back at John McCain in a way that seemed gracious and fair, but firm.
So did he make a sale... what do you think?
It's a question for all the big Democrats who spoke at the convention this week. Great oration is one thing. Connecting with voters, convincing them on a gut level that you are their candidate, is another thing.
It seems so easy when it works, so natural - and that's one reason it does work: a great salesman makes a simple, personal connection.
But it's been so hard for so many politicians, especially the last several Democratic presidential candidates, all of whom, including Obama, have been cerebral and professors in one way or another.
Some professors are great salesmen, but most aren't. And that's shown in the past few presidential elections.
All the past unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidates who spoke at the convention this week - Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry spoke more powerfully than they generally did during their own campaigns. Remarkable, isn't it?
But we'll have to wait to see whether the polls indicate the Dems made the sale.
And speaking of sales, John McCain is expected to announce his choice for vice president today. There are unconfirmed reports that it's not Gov. Pawlenty of Minnesota, or former Mass. Gov Romney of Massachusetts, or former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge told a CNN crew as he left the house wearing a windbreaker that he's getting a coffee and a haircut. Not exactly the high tension you'd expect to see ahead of a tightly controled VP announcement. But maybe he's just one cool cat.
Another possibility, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is looking especially fascinating today as KTVA reports the governor, afgter weeks of denying that she or anyone in her office applied pressure to fire a particular state trooper, now admits that one of her staff made calls that might have been perceived as pressure. Too complicated to get into here, but we'll all hear a lot more about that if McCain chooses her.
And then there's the possibility Mccain will do what Obama was asked to do but didn't - choose a woman. eBay CEO Meg Whitman and McCain advisor and former (controversial) Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have been cited as possibilities.
So who could it be and, more importantly, will that person help McCain make the sale?
We'll have all this, and one more grabber for you:
Anderson anchors the show from New Orleans tonight, as Gustav barrels toward the Louisiana coast, expected to reach Category 3 over the Gulf of Mexico - exactly three years after Hurricane Katrina struck. Is New Orleans ready? Can the Gulf coast handle another Cat 3?
We'll have the evidence at 10PM tonight. Thank you for joining us.
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.
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