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Friday, July 30, 2004


WE'RE BACK, JACK: AND WHAT TO MAKE OF THE BOSTON AFTERMATH 

Back from the creeping shadows of blogdom, ready for the fight to the finish


It wasn't so bad, but thankfully it's all over

The Democratic Convention is over. Out of the 5 Democratic conventions I've observed through the warm basking glow of television, this one's aftermath has me the least worried. Strange, considering this is a very tight election. I'm always filled with gloom and dread right before the Democrats have their turn. It has to be a normal affliction and I'm sure that Democrats must feel the same way before Republicans have their moment in the sun. The doom comes from knowing that the opposition party is going to get 4 straight days of uninterrupted press coverage and national attention while your party has to take it on the chin. After the convention is over, your candidate is behind in the polls and the other team is filled with an explosive burst of energy and running on an adrenaline rush.

I remember feeling pretty gloomy after the Democratic conventions in 2000 and 1996. I was absolutely a wreck after the 1992 convention (that Fleetwood Mac song still sends shivers down my spine). But, I barely felt a wince of angst over this week's gabfest in Boston. Why?

First, I've been (probably naively) confident of a Bush victory this November. I have no idea why especially when you see how the electoral college is going to be a tough fight. Secondly, Bill Clinton is gone. I must be the only person in America who doesn't consider him a great speaker but I do know that his rhetorical flourishes win him great reviews with the media, viewers and even hard-core conservatives. Third, the speakers didn't really strike fear in me. I heard all of the same attacks on President Bush that I knew I was going to hear, but I didn't hear anything new.

There were no new arguments against the President. The attacks against him were muted, but the arguments in favor of their party were weak and lacking. The convention seemed like it was meant to be Republican-lite. It just didn't have the feel of a usual Democratic convention. It seemed like it was lacking a certain vigor, venom and unabashed hot-dogging that the Democrats usually offer.

I could be way off base with my conclusion, but I tried to be as objectionable as possible. Believe me, I have recognized times in the past when Democrats staged conventions that were strong, successful and landed good hard punches on the Republicans. I will be surprised if the Kerry/Edwards ticket gets a big bounce from this convention.

Yes, I know that Kerry is a tough campaigner. I saw him, in person, debate Mass. Gov. William Weld during the 1996 campaign, when I was in college. There are certainly going to be rough scraps ahead and nail-biting moments.

I just think the Democrats had a tame and weaker convention in compared to their previous efforts. I checked my gut and it's not as queasy as it has been in years' past. This year, consider me relieved.


...PS - It's good to be back

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