The Minimalist

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She started out a little dull and a little self-obsessed. But then she rallied - a little. "No Way. No How. No McCain" was a good line. And the Twin Cities analogy was a great little riff on Bush and McCain. But I have to say her speaking style, although much improved over even a year ago, is still a little flat. When she's passionate, she has little inflection. When she's quieter, she's a little drony. The "keep going" theme, moreover, was a little unnerving. A thinly veiled threat?

But actually, I don't have much more to say. The aim of this speech was to talk her own supporters into supporting Obama. Since I find it really hard to understand why anyone would have supported Clinton over Obama, I'm not the best judge of how it went down. The response on television from the crowd seems to have been everything Obama would have wanted. To my mind, however, it was an average performance, not a slashing attack on the Bush-Cheney record, nor a rousing rallying cry for Obama, nor a very insightful analysis of the country's problems. There was virtually nothing about foreign policy. She did what she had to do, tell her voters to back Obama. But she gave nothing more.

So far, only Michelle Obama has rescued this convention from being dreary and distracted.

Maybe they are waiting for Biden and Obama. But watching this convention so far, I don't get the feeling that these people have lived through the same eight years as I have. I may have aired more anti-Bush passion on this blog - written by someone who endorsed the guy in 2000 - than I have heard from these speakers so far. Unless you understand how terrible the wounds of the last eight years have been, you do not understand the urgency of the Obama candidacy. I worry that that hasn't been put across forcefully enough so far. Clinton didn't do it. She did the minimum, adequately. I just don't know if it was enough.

(Photo: Paul J Richards/Getty.)

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