Political Animal


September 06, 2012 9:37 PM Thursday Night Windup

By Ed Kilgore

Jill Biden’s at the podium now, continuing the buildup to her husband’s and the president’s speeches.

Perhaps the most exceptional thing I’ve seen in the earlier sessions has been the sustained attention to foreign policy, national security, and veterans. John Kerry was given some great lines (“Ask Osama bin Laden if he’s better off today than he was four years ago”) and the opportunity to turn his own experience of being called a “flip-flopper” on Mitt Romney. If this was part of his audition to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in a second Obama term, he did pretty well.

The tribute to veterans, including a really well-produced video and then an on-stage appearance by vets followed by the entire convention standing and holding up signs saying “Thank You,” should have laid to rest any lingering fear of unpatriotic hippies running the country.

In general, it’s been an emotional day, launched by Gabby Giffords’ recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, which had a good portion of the crowd in tears.

Even as Republicans watch this convention, probably with considerable trepidation, they’re planning what the Romney campaign is calling a “carpet-bombing” of new ads for tomorrow, designed to step on any post-convention Obama bounce and regaining some initiative. By then, of course, we’ll know the August jobs numbers. It may be a good omen that the news from Europe today concerning plans to hold (at least temporarily) the Eurozone together has been positive, boosting stocks there and here.

Should be an interesting hour-and-a-half or so. Hang with us.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Lifelong Dem on September 06, 2012 9:43 PM:

    Carpet bombing. Because war metaphors always work for Republicans.

  • JMG on September 06, 2012 10:11 PM:

    The idea that massive advertising sells a product is as American as apple pie. Alas, it doesn't always have results as tasty as apple pie.
    It's all of a piece with Romney's core attitude -- people suck and are stupid and all you have to do is tell them the same thing over and over and they'll believe it.
    There is an old Massachusetts expression about what you can't shine that may apply to this Romney stratagem.

  • Marko on September 07, 2012 9:13 AM:

    I thought John Kerry stole the show last night. He kinda snuck on me. At first I was thinking, "Oh great, not another boring John Kerry speech". But by the end, he really brought the house down. "Ask Bin Laden if he's better off... " Classic!