The second night of the Democratic National Convention was much more interesting than the first. The speakers got feisty, which the Democrats need to do to win. There was also Hillary Clinton's amazing speech.
I am no fan of Hillary's. The last speech I heard her make was at the end of the primary season when the reality of defeat was at last dawning. It was quite revolting - a wholly self-centered, ungracious, unrealistic, pointless and destructive piece of oratory unmatched in recent political annals.
On Tuesday night, she was magnificent. She articulated the Democratic message better than any other speaker to that point. She did all that she could possibly do to bring her supporters around. As she is personally responsible for feeding the sense of grievance that incited many thousands of them to personally hate Obama, she had a lot to do to make that up but she did rise to the occasion, matching the right words with a perfect delivery. So hurrah for her.
We shall see whether it works - and my guess is not completely and maybe not enough. Clinging to their resentments like a toy, some of them will cut off their noses to spite Obama's face. The feminists among them are going to love the McCain administration, which will appoint more judges of the conservative activist variety so that every woman has a chance to be Lilly Ledbetter.
As it happened, Lilly Ledbetter spoke earlier in the evening to remind everyone of the stakes in this election, that is, everyone not too busy hating Obama to care. Lilly Ledbetter was the worker in a tire and rubber factory who was paid less than male colleagues for years.
After she was tipped off, she sued and won at first, only to be eventually rebuffed by the Supreme Court, thanks to the legal gymnastics of its conservatives. They held that she had to complain within 180 days of the first act of discrimination, an impossibility given that she didn't know about it at the time.
So, ladies for Clinton, vote for McCain in spite by all means. Be sure, however, to learn the art of mind-reading at work.
Lilly Ledbetter is no polished, professional speaker but her tale had is own force.
In his own way, Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania also did well at the podium that was once denied to his father because of his anti-abortion views.
Sen. Casey is a very nice and decent guy but he isn't the most animated person in the world. There are fiery speakers and there is Bob Casey, Mr. Mild. But on this night, he made a real effort to get his arms moving as he ripped into John McCain and he succeeded in waking up the crowd, even those perhaps who expected the Casey spot to be nap time.
I learned last night that PBS is the channel for serious students of politics. Too often the other networks wouldn't show what was going on, unless it was someone like Hillary. They preferred to have their talking heads chatter away as a speaker behind them provided the background noise. It struck me as the height of arrogance - commentators forgetting who was the story.
Tonight, Bill Clinton. He could turn over the whole apple cart.