Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Speech Worth A Listen (Maybe)

Last night, the Democrats laid out their basic themes and provided a biographical picture of thier nominee (for a good synopsis of yesterday's activities and the current "state of play" see here).

Still, there was some substance presented in the form of feaux "town halls" where delegates were allowed to "ask" (scripted) questions of policy experts sitting on stage. While not exactly the Brookings Foundation, it did present at least some opportunities for those watching to begin to understand what the priorities would be under an Obama administation.

Note: in order to see this and similar things on stage, you really should watch the conventions on C-SPAN, which pretty much just shows the audio and video feeds from the hall without the talking heads and cutaways to network analysts.

I mostly listened from my computer while doing some other work, but I mostly liked what I heard. I made a point of watching Michele Obama at the end of the evening, and thought she presented a powerful story for her husband, which is part of the narrative campaigns (of any sort) use to sell a candidate or product.

Tonight, we'll hear the keynote by former Governor Mark Warner (D-Virginia). According to this morning's report on NPR, Warner will present a fairly bi-partisan address based on his governance of Virginia, where he had to work with a Republican legislature. Because he is running for the Senate in Virginia this year, he plans to avoid a "red meat" applause getting rant.

I'll be very interested to hear his speech. Warner was a very good governor, and took his duties seriously, acting in a fairly non-partisan (or post-partisan if you will ) mode, which is how Senator Obama has pledged to govern if elected. If Warner can paint a vivid, believable picture of how Obama could do this nationwide, he'll do his party (and himself) far more good than would a typical convention speech full of platitudes, bombast and negativity.

He'll be on sometime after 9 PM ET.

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