The fundamental problem with night one of the Democratic convention can be summed up in one word, forced. I was, frankly, uncomfortable at many points during night one because I felt like I was watching a rather frenetic display of incoherent speeches. Conventions are supposed to be thematic, taking you on a predetermined journey into the heart of the party. This is not what happened. Here is why night one went so wrong for the DNC, even though the media won't say it.
Ted Kennedy- It was supposed to be a rousing moment for the DNC when, after a fairly whitewashed tribute, Ted Kennedy would triumphantly take the stage and show the strength of the Democratic Party. This isn't what happened, he instead highlighted their weakness. As I watched the senator I couldn't help but think what a big life he has led, the history he has seen. Here is a man from "Camelot" whose family has captured the imagination of a country. The contrast between his families life, his presence and Michelle Obama's is what made him weak for the DNC last night. Love him or hate him, he and his family have done something. There was history last night on display for the American people and seeing the contrast between the all American Kennedy family and the Obama family did not do the candidate or the party any favors.
Oh Michelle, Michelle- There was a fervent quality to her speech and an intensity that was just difficult to watch. From the video to her speech there was a contrived, over focus grouped feeling to the entire ordeal. In her speech when she states
'' And you know, what struck me when I first met Barack was that even though he had this funny name, even though he'd grown up all the way across the continent in Hawaii, his family was so much like mine.''
It was like a wink and a nudge to middle America saying "he's just like you." It was contrived and scripted and frankly delivered poorly. I don't believe for one moment Michelle was ever put off by his name and it was just an unnecessary pander. Which was the downfall of her entire speech, contrived pandering. She made sure to smile and say she was "proud of my country," well terrific that settles that then, or would have had she not been so wooden when she said it. What saved her speech from being a disaster was her very cute daughters. They were wonderful, even though Barack pretty much ruined it buy trying to get his script out and talked over them.
Final Analysis Of Night One- Wasted opportunity is going to be a phrase you here a lot from Democrats after November 4th and last night was a perfect illustration of why. If you are going to have Kennedy speak, have Obama on the screen right after talking to him and allowing Kennedy to pass the torch personally. That would have been touching for the dems, but it was not to be. Michelle Obama won over no one last night because her whole speech should have been focused on her being a mother and a wife who was just proud and happy to be there. No stump political speeches about "the southside of Chicago," I mean do you really want to go into Obama's Chicago days? Um, I think not.
Stay tuned for DNC Convention Night Two, will Hillary sabotage the whole event? Probably not. Prediction, Hillary will deliver the best most rousing speech of her life which will basically say "look what you could have had instead of this novice." She will do great not for Obama, but to stick it to the DNC because she knows that 2012 will probably have an open slot because so far this convention has helped McCain not Obama.