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Americans are anxious about their future. The economy is still struggling. This is not the time for Greek columns. Sweeping shots of adoring crowds at a stadium. This is not the time for Rock Star Obama. A simple convention stage seemed more appropriate.
If I had to summarize the Democrat convention I would say "White Men Need Not Apply". The entire presentation was geared towards women and minorities. Especially Latinos. This was expected. Polls show a lack of enthusiasm among Latinos for Obama because of his failure to deliver immigration reform and his record on deportations.
As far as speeches are concerned, First Lady Michelle Obama was excellent. Bill Clinton hasn't lost his magic even though he went on too long. Julian Castro wasn't ready for his close up. Although several pundits felt that Biden's speech was stronger than Obama's, I just cannot agree. His delivery was uneven and he seemed to get lost a few times. Maybe he was trying to ad lib but he is no Bill Clinton.
Obama's speech was delivered well but as far as content it was average. The strongest portion of the speech was in the area of foreign policy and national security. Romney gave Obama a huge opening when he failed to mention the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Also, singling out Russia as our number one geopolitical foe gave Obama another opening to exploit and he did so with great relish.
The most surprising aspect of the convention was how much time was dedicated to our men and women in the military. Signs thanking our troops were waved. Chats of U-S-A filled the hall. At times, I felt like I was watching a Republican convention. Clearly the Democrats are trying to co-opt national security and may very well succeed as long as the GOP would rather forget that George W. Bush ever existed.
Overall, I would say that it was an effective convention. The delegates seemed a lot more energized than the Republicans. The presentation was more disciplined. All the speakers seemed committed to winning a second term for Obama instead of promoting themselves. Except for the "God and Jerusalem" flap, the Democrat ran a very competent convention and I believe they achieved their objective to close the enthusiasm gap.