Politics

09.05.12

Five Thoughts on Last Night

1. Michelle’s speech showed us, I think, a person who really has changed in these last four years. I would imagine that meeting all those military families, just talking with all the different kinds of Americans she’s inevitably encountered, really has changed her in some ways that really came through. She’s well ahead of where Hillary was in 1996, not that I’m saying anything about her future. But she is an impressive lady. And again, the right wing is totally out of touch with mainstream America, which liked her before last night and will really like her now.

2. Was last night too base-centric? Maybe. Lots of mentions of abortion rights and gay marriage. On the other hand, swing voters, especially women, seem basically to support those things. For the next two nights, though, the convention needs an even tighter economic focus, I think.

3. In that light, I have mixed feelings about Elizabeth Warren having one of the prime-time slots tonight. Presumably, she’ll do the “you didn’t build that yourself” narrative. “We made it possible,” as the banners inside the security perimeter put it. I agree with her, obviously, but I guess I wonder if the Democrats want to take that argument on directly in this venue. It’s definitely not the sort of thing Bill Clinton is known for, so the two of them back-to-back (with Antonio Villaraigosa in between, to introduce Bill) might come off as a little jarring. On the other hand, as I wrote last night, I like the fact that the Democrats aren’t apologizing for their world view, so in for a penny in for a pound, I guess. It would be nice if Warren moves beyond that, says some things that surprised people, isn’t just up there to hit the note everyone knows she’s going to hit. I’ll have more to say later today about Clinton.

4. Okay, I have a two-year-old girl, so take that into account, but that speech by Stacy Lihn about her daughter turned me into jelly. As political commentator and not as dad to the extent that I can, and everyone said this last night, it was the strongest case for Obamacare that an average American is going to hear. That little girl might have been denied care if the ACA didn’t lift lifetime caps. The family could be in debt. The child could be…you know. We’d sure better see them and a lot of other people like them in ads between now and November. Why the administration hasn’t done more to get people like this from and center until now is a mystery to me, but at least they can get these ideas into voters’ heads at the time when people are paying maximum attention.

5. Conservative readers can take some solace in the fact that every time I leave a place to walk outside, it starts pouring, and I mean Biblically. Read into it what you will.