3.10 pm. So far, Obama's praise of Biden's character hits some key points: character, tragedy, family. The story of Biden's family's car crash and his wife's and daughter's deaths is a gripping one. Nicely done.
3.16 pm. A "statesman" a man who can represent strength without bluster. An emphasis on his toughness - against Milosevic. The "scrappy kid from Scranton" ... "who knows every conductor on that Amtrak train to Wilmington."
3.20 pm. "We will restore that fair shot at your dreams." I'll note two things: the fundamental theme is changing the direction of the past eight years. The stronger message is working class optimism and struggle. Biden is doing more than cement foreign policy experience; he is recasting the ticket as a regular guy, working-class, get up off your feet Democratic combo.
3.28 pm. Biden looks pumped, and Teddy Kennedy-like. The message is economic distress and the need to restore the American dream. Biden's speech sounds like the latter part of the Clinton primary campaign. Clintonism without the Clintons: that's what Biden is now offering.
3.30 pm. "The reckoning is now ... These times demand total change in Washington's worldview."
3.35 pm. The attack on McCain is prefaced by a grace-note about McCain's courage and service. And then it's simply Bush-McCain, Bush-McCain, Bush-McCain. Biden brandishes McCain's strongest words of support and backing for George W. Bush; that's what his role will be. Pinning McCain to Bush and Cheney. They need to do this. Biden is a pretty good vehicle for it.
3.40 pm. "This man is a clear-eyed pragmatist who will get the job done." Biden represents a retooling of the Obama campaign toward more concrete appeals on more concrete economic issues. That seems to me to be the message of today.
3.45 pm. I get it: Biden is the older, working class, Catholic guy who tells the nervous white ethnics that this guy is for real. This is about Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan. Less yuppie hope; more working class grit. No wonder they chose Springsteen to kick it off.
(Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty.)