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Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1244

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1442

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/cache.php on line 431

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Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Http in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/http.php on line 61

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::init() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/functions.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2::register_scripts() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 51

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Options::init() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Header::init() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

Strict Standards: Non-static method K2Header::get_header_width() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/header.php on line 8

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::filter_post_comments() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 166

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458

Strict Standards: array_filter() expects parameter 2 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2::strip_trackback() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-content/themes/k2/app/classes/k2.php on line 458
Category Archive for ‘convention’ at Campaign Diaries
Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

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Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method K2Header::output_header_css() should not be called statically in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

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Archive for the 'convention' Category


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strategy was sound, but speech lacked scope and delivery to make lasting impression

In the GOP convention’s third act, Republicans took another 180 degrees turn, abandoning the hard-hitting attacks with which they sought to ridicule Barack Obama to portray themselves as a party that can rise above partisan rancor.

If Tuesday’s speakers tried to make the country forget that they were watching the Republican convention and Wednesday’s speakers tried to convince viewers that the GOP had not been in power over the past eight years, John McCain did not resort to such illusory tricks, tackled the challenge of his party identification and took the only path that can save Republicans this year: persuade the electorate that McCain can belong to the GOP while still representing a true break from the past eight years.

McCain’s strategy was the right one given what he needed to accomplish, and his speech was written with the solemnity his plan required. But McCain did not go far enough. The speech lacked the scope and the delivery to make a lasting impression. It had enough moments to give McCain a boost, but not one to durably alter the race.

McCain’s speech was a striking change of tone from Giuliani and Palin’s primetime addresses last night, and perhaps too contradictory a switch for McCain’s post-partisan pledge to be fully credible. But that was the challenge that was awaiting the GOP this week, both rally the base and not look like typical Republicans. The McCain campaign knows that before making any other argument it first needs to show that McCain passes the change hurdle, that he is enough of a break with the Bush Administration to even merit being considered by voters.

To achieve that, McCain channeled his maverick reputation, faulting his own party for abandoning the principles of the 1994 revolution. He did not hesitate to include himself among those who have strayed away from conservatism. “We were elected to change Washington and Washington changed us,” he said, before launching in a litany of issues on which both parties - including the remnants of the Gingrich revolution - were responsible for the country’s failings:

We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger. We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles.

This was the connection to Wednesday night: the election ought not to be an election about Democrats versus Republicans but a choice between the establishment and reformers. “I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party,” McCain said, before launching into all-out populist rhetoric, “Let me offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first-country-second Washington crowd: Change is coming.” McCain professed that his allegiance was solely to the country. “I don’t work for a party. I don’t work for a special interest. I don’t work for myself. I work for you,” he said, in a speech that was essentially a call to service: “Nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself. I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President.”

What was truly fascinating about McCain’s speech is how closely it echoed Obama’s post-partisanship in the original form which he has quieted over the past few months. Obama’s quintessential argument has always been that partisan bickering aggravate the country’s problems and that all recent Administrations from both parties - including Clinton’s - are to blame. While Obama moved away from his pure post-partisanship last Thursday, Lieberman channeled this argument that changing parties is not enough and the discourse must be changed, and McCain picked it up today.

McCain was not looking to feed the base, Palin already took care of that yesterday. Sure, his reform argument did not really resonate with the audience, but that only meant it had even more potential to resonate with the targets of McCain’s speech - independents watching at home. One particular theme that is sure to appeal to independents is the emphasis on accountability, a value that voters have been emphasizing this year. Given that McCain hit the right points, he will surely be boosted by his willingness to take direct hits at the Bush Administration for its failings.

Yet, McCain’s challenge was to durably transform his image as an anti-Bush Republican, and he did not do go as far as he should have. His connection to Bush is the central theme Democrats will be using as they make the case that McCain is just “more of the same.” An incumbent party had not been this unpopular in 28 years, and voters want the opposition. Both candidates have hurdles to overcome. Obama’s biggest opportunity will come at the debate, where he will have to show that he is qualified enough and strong enough that voters would not be taking too much of a risk. McCain’s biggest opportunity was tonight, as he could have shown that he was enough of an agent of change that voters would not be voting for four more years of Bush.

Tonight was the moment for McCain to take a dramatic step to distance himself from Bush, a step so radical as to surprise voters and pundits and commit it to their mind in the weeks ahead, no matter what Democrats throw. As McCain was apparently not interested in the one-term pledge, he could have taken a surprising policy step that is completely at odds with the President’s Administration - perhaps on torture, perhaps on something voters feel even more strongly about. Perhaps this sounds like too drastic a move, but it was no small challenge McCain was facing tonight.

He took the first steps in that direction, but stopped way short. His strategy was sound but it could have been pushed further. And that’s just for how the plan looked on paper, for it was also plagued by problems of execution. The same was true on Tuesday, when Lieberman’s message was clouded by the fact that it was Bush who opened the primetime hour and the possibility that Lieberman has some of his credibility among independents. Today, it was McCain’s uneven delivery that might have damaged its impact.

He has delivered some solid speeches in the past, but public speakers who are not natural orators need to rely on the energy of the crowd even more, and McCain’s script was not one that was going to inflame the crowd tonight. The speech’s first part sounded flat, and some of the strongest lines were undercut by too forced a tone. Take, for instance, one of the speeches’ most crucial lines: “I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.” That McCain delivered the punch line with his trademark smug grin followed by a snicker limited its impact.

The speech’s last part, devoted to his years as a POW, was delivered with more emotion; after all, we have seen many times before (including at Saddleback) that McCain can deliver powerful anecdotes about his years as a POW. Despite what an MSNBC journalist claimed after the speech, McCain has seemed perfectly comfortable talking about his POW years for more than two decades now. Even so, it is remarkable that the campaign chose to make McCain’s POW years a focus of McCain’s speech after they were described at length by so many other speakers - including (in primetime hours) by Thompson (21 million people) and Palin (37 million).

From a purely tactical standpoint, is it safe for a campaign to bank so much on one period of its candidate’s life - especially after it backfired on Kerry? Today, McCain actually put a new frame on the story, one we had not heard at past events nor in the previous days’ speeches: he made it into a story about his own turn to service, his evolution from a selfish young man who thought only of his career to an ardent patriot devoted to serving America. Yet, even the most casual of convention watchers were bound to have heard McCain’s stories as recently as yesterday, so at what point do they lose its effectiveness?

In one final characteristic disconnect, the speech’s final crescendo - marked by fast-paced sentences urging people to “stand up” and “fight” were drowned by the crowd’s cheers over which McCain chose to speak. This dramatic finale was an encore of McCain’s 2004 convention speech, and that version of this pulsating call to service has been part of McCain’s promotional videos this year. But what was intended as an apotheosis celebrating McCain’s warrior-like resolve (”stand up, stand up, stand up and fight” is the speech’s last line) was barely audible.

In short, McCain took the path he ought to have taken, but he did not go that much further than the minimum. For a candidate who remains the underdog however much he has gained over the past two months, the safe minimum might not be enough.

My nightly convention analyses available here.


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GOP speakers feed base and ridicule Obama but Palin should have done more

Yesterday, the GOP did its best to make the country forget that they were watching the Republican convention. Tonight, the goal had changed: one after the other, GOP speakers took the stage to make the voters forget that the country has been under Republican rule for the past eight years.

Listening to tonight’s speakers, one might have thought that the White House is ruled by Democrats and that it is the GOP which is desperate to regain power. “Throw out the big government liberals,” demanded Mitt Romney, as he launched a litany of speeches that blasted the media, liberal power-brokers, special interests, congressional committee chairmen, cosmopolitanism and political correctness. Tonight was framed as a battle between small-town America and Washington, between the people and the elites, between patriots who are proud of their country and the ambitious opportunists who refuse to use the word “victory.”

In short, this was a night for the base. Red meat. Constant ad hominem attacks against Barack and Michelle Obama, their qualifications and patriotism. These speeches were necessary. A convention is meant to energize conservative and define the opposition. And Republicans are lucky enough to have speakers who can do so like no others.

But was that really what Sarah Palin ought to have been used for, and did the McCain campaign simply forget that she is an unknown figure in need of introduction? Have they committed the ultimate political sin, and have they bought their own spin that the questions that have been raised about Palin are only the invention of the liberal media and that average voters have no further questions they want answered? At the very least, the McCain campaign seems to have simply assumed that independents and swing voters share its contempt for Barack Obama.

I thought that the McCain campaign was spot on in its Tuesday strategy, and only small execution problems (mostly the fact that primetime coverage began with Bush’s address) prevented it from being a home-run. Tonight, I have little to say about the execution. It was the strategy I’m unsure about.

Palin’s speech laid a good case for why McCain should be president and why Obama should not. But other surrogates did that before her (and it was a bizarre sight to see McCain’s running-mate rely on the POW card just as much as other surrogates to make the case for his presidency). Palin needed to do more than what she accomplished tonight: She needed to introduce herself in a way that explained why she should be vice-president, and she barely attempted to do that.

The campaign had prepared an introductory video to be aired before Palin’s remarks, but that was scrapped out of the program when Giuliani’s comments ran too long. That was the first mistake. Voters have been hearing a lot of problematic information about Palin for 5 days now, and the RNC’s infomercial was absolutely necessary. Palin then launched into an 8-minute long introduction of every member of her family, a section that felt much longer than the part Palin actually devoted to herself. And for Palin’s first words about her qualifications - the first time most voters will have heard her say anything about her political self - to be words of contempt for the opposition was not the best way to silence her critics:

Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

Viewers had tuned in to find out whom Sarah Palin was, but sarcastic attacks against Barack Obama took more space than Palin’s self-presentation. In fact, sarcastic attacks on Barack Obama and the media were more often than not Palin’s self-presentation. Palin’s argument was that she was more qualified than Obama because “what does he actually seek to accomplish, after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet?”

Romney, Huckabee and Giuliani can afford to diss community organizers because they themselves need no introduction. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden could afford to spend their speeches blasting the GOP. But Sarah Palin had not yet earned that right, not with all the questions people surely have about her, and not all of them particularly complex. Those attacks would have been fine if she had been a well-known vice-presidential nominee around whom there was no media frenzy. It would have been fine if voters had heard of Sarah Palin before last Friday.

Worse still, Sarah Palin’s jabs at the Illinois Senator were often designed for an insider crowd, the type of attack that is reserved for the 8pm or 9pm hour - not for primetime. Palin mocked “those Styrofoam Greek columns… hauled back to some studio lot” and she mocked Obama’s “presidential seal.” That got the crowd on its feet, but did the average voter read anything about those columns?

Why would viewers want to know what contempt Palin has for the Democratic Party and about her conviction that Obama thinks of himself as a Messiah before knowing anything about the vice-presidential nominee herself? That most pundits came out of the speech thinking that she did is surely do to the fact that the hall’s delegates were on their feet and had no qualms about her, giving her address an intensity that the speeches of other speakers who said similar things in similar ways did not possess. Republican delegates recognize her as one of their own, and they are thus interested in her opinion and the red meat she wants to feed them.

That Palin unleashed her scorn against “community organizers” and Obama’s small town comments before even going through any of her accomplishments either as mayor or governor can mean only two things - either that the McCain campaign thinks voters already know and trust Sarah Palin, or that she was not meant to try to appeal to independents or moderate Democrats who are hesitating between the two candidates. Those swing voters might not trust Obama, but it is unlikely that they have this much of contempt for him. If they do they would have already fallen in the McCain camp, if they don’t they were probably turned off from listening to Palin’s self-presentation before she even started it. Palin’s speech was designed to appeal to the base and to movement conservatives, and little beyond that.

So could it be that the Palin pick is entirely designed to appeal to conservatives and the McCain campaign does not plan (or has given up on?) using her to appeal to independents. Perhaps the GOP thinks it can win by duplicating Bush’s 2004 campaign and winning on the strength of the base. Yesterday, I thought the GOP had realized it could not pull that off this year given how much the GOP base has shrunk in the past four years, but Palin’s speech makes me think the McCain campaign might have hope to replicate that strategy.

This was the night’s basic dynamic. One after the other, the main speakers served us a replay of their attacks on John Kerry, and I do not think it was strategically misguided for most of them but Palin to do so. Mitt Romney railed against anything that might remotely be considered liberal, but it is Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani who transported us back to 2004, back to the cultural divide the GOP sought to create between Kerry the wind-surfing patrician and Bush, the beer-drinking man of the people. Everything was there.  Democratic elitism, disdain for rural America, lack of patriotism, and even flip-flops.

“I hope for his sake, Joe Biden got that VP thing in writing,” Giuliani said. He also launched one of the harshest attacks on Obama’s executive experience, saying the Illinois Senator had led “nothing. Nada.” And when he said “His rise is remarkable in its own right - it’s the kind of thing that could happen only in America,” the audience laughed, just as when he said the words “community organizers” with palpable derision. We will never know whether Giuliani intended the “only in America” line to be sarcastic, but his speech’s goal was clear - to ridicule Obama.

Let me be clear about something: My point is not that this is a bad strategy or that sarcasm will not work for Republicans. Quite a contrary, this is a crucial part of the GOP’s strategy. It worked to rally the base against Kerry in 2004, and Republicans could make progress among blue-collar whites (Obama’s ultimate weak point) and put Obama on the defensive by portraying him as out of touch, disrespectful of small town values, too European. My point is rather that after a night devoted entirely to that strategy (and Giuliani’s speech was shown on primetime, so it’s not like Palin would be the only person viewers would see), Palin should have taken another route and, while attacking Obama, also taken care of making voters understand why she has been picked.

Also, the ridiculing strategy alone cannot win the election this year. While the GOP has been attacking Obama as an aragula-eating celebrity, I don’t believe it has laid out the groundwork to unleash this much ridicule upon Obama the way they had prepared it for weeks against Kerry. By the time of the GOP convention in 2004, the electorate shared the Republicans’ contempt for John Kerry; there is no evidence of that being the case this year, and I don’t even think the McCain campaign did not really aim for that. It prepared the groundwork for a more serious argument than the one it used against Kerry, one about Obama’s experience and the risk he represents for the country. That requires a dark tone that paints Obama into the mysterious shadowy creature invoked in the Ayers ad.

What Palin delivered was a stump speech, one that is sure to make her a darling of conservatives and a star in the party but not one that increases McCain’s prospects (unless McCain plans to use her for nothing but conservative outreach over the next two month). Even less will it dampen the slow, distracting drip of revelations. In fact, by the time Palin finished speaking the Washington Post had gotten its hands on the e-mails Palin sent to state troopers from her e-mail account to get her ex brother-in-law fired. It is also incredible to me that Palin claimed once again that she had opposed to the Bridge to Nowhere, even after all that has come out about that over the past few days, even after this! That was a true act of defiance, and it’s never good to declare war on the press. And so the media vetting continues.

All my nightly analysis of both conventions here.

Update: Two focus group-type experiments confirm that viewers feel like they did not learn who Palin was last night - see here and here - confirming that the speech was primarily aimed at movement conservatives.


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GOP honors Bush, salutes McCain’s independence and cheers for Bill Clinton

In a remarkable ninety minutes that verged on schizophrenia, the GOP convention made as strong a start as it could have considering that George W. Bush was the first speaker. In short succession, Fred Thompson and Joe Lieberman did their best to do what they had been send to do - make the country forget that they were watching a Republican convention.

Sure, the second half of Fred Thompson’s speech delivered the Democrat-bashing red meat the base had been waiting for, but that was mostly to prepare the crowd to cheer for a man they despised just eight years ago. Just last week, in my review of the Democratic convention’s second night, I faulted Mark Warner for having given a speech that “could just have easily (and with minor twitches) been read at the Republican convention.” Forgive me for quoting my own post, but I believe this perfectly explains what we witnessed tonight:

Warner’s argument is exactly what Republicans want voters to think and what many of them will no doubt be telling voters next week - forget that we are Republicans and that Obama is a Democrat. For months, the GOP has been worried about how it can best escape the electorate’s viscerally anti-Republican mood; we have been documenting how some of its candidates are literally shunning away from the party label and Gordon Smith’s bipartisan ads are in a category of their own. McCain cannot win if voters think of this election as a choice between a Democrat and a Republican, which is why he has sought to make it about character and style of leadership.

And here comes Mark Warner, boosting McCain’s improbable bid to get voters to forget the candidates’ party labels. Said Warner: “I know we’re at the Democratic Convention, but if an idea works, it really doesn’t matter if it has an R or D next to it. Because this election isn’t about liberal versus conservative. It’s not about left versus right.” That could have worked for Democrats in 94, and could work for the GOP next week.

Exactly a week later, it was Joe Lieberman’s turn to take the stage, and he echoed Mark Warner’s words. “It shouldn’t take a natural disaster to teach us that the American people don’t care much if you have an R or a D after your name,” he said. Tonight, the GOP channeled the Democrats’ 2004 convention, appropriated Barack Obama’s theme of post-partisanship and confirmed last week’s keynote would have been a better strategic fit for St. Paul.

The night was not about parties, nor about issues - the McCain campaign knows it cannot win on those grounds. It was all about character. In the night’s grand finale, Lieberman was more explicit than any Republican speaker could have afforded being, as he urged voters to forget their partisan affiliation and cast their ballot not as Democrats or Republicans but as Americans who put their “country first.”

This is no ordinary election, because these are not ordinary times, and John McCain is no ordinary candidate… So tonight, I ask you whether you are an Independent, a Reagan Democrat or a Clinton Democrat, or just a Democrat: This year, when you vote for President, vote for the person you believe is best for the country, not for the party you happen to belong to. Vote for the leader who… has always put our country first.

Lieberman portrayed McCain as a sincere reformer who was not afraid of taking on politicians of all parties, an “original maverick” whom voters can trust and whom has little to do with President Bush. Some Democrats, Lieberman said, “are spending so much time and so much money trying to convince voters that John McCain is someone else. I’m here, as a Democrat myself, to tell you: Don’t be fooled. God only made one John McCain, and he is his own man.” That was very reminiscent of Al Gore’s acceptance speech in 2000, when the incumbent vice-president tried to free himself from Bill Clinton’s shadow.

In a year in which Democrats have an overwhelming advantage in partisan identification, this call to transcend party allegiances is the only message that could carry McCain to victory.

That that message was delivered only minutes after the satellite connection to the White House got interrupted will make it more difficult for the campaign to be heard. The night was a (once again) gamble whose success depends on whether Joe Lieberman retains credibility in the eyes of the country’s Democrats and independents and whether viewers susceptible of being moved by Lieberman’s post-partisan message managed to make it through Bush’s address and Thompson’s red meat.

If Democrats and independents were listening and if enough were willing to give Lieberman the benefit of the doubt, McCain certainly scored a political coup tonight as Lieberman went as far as he could have in making this convention a non-partisan affair (that ought to be an oxymoron, but that’s how big a challenge the GOP faces) without being booed off the stage. Lieberman was not Zell Miller. He did throw pointed attacks at Obama, but he went on stage as an independent, spoke to independents and worked to portray McCain as a maverick.

That the Republican base that was assembled in the hall cheered him on (though sometimes only faintly) was truly a sight to behold. These conservative delegates applauded Bill Clinton’s name. They applauded Lieberman’s praise of McCain’s role in the Gang of Fourteen. These delegates - the ultimate defenders of conservatism -  applauded as Lieberman said McCain would not hold himself to GOP orthodoxy. And they listened politely as Lieberman referred to the need to fight global warming and admitted that viewers had “good reason” to be angry at the government.

Until he got to his attacks, Lieberman threw the crowd few bones, and that made his post-partisan declarations sound more sincere. “I’m here to support John McCain because country matters more than party,” he said. And as he then attacked Obama, it was not on the basis of policy and ideology - a stark contrast to Zell Miller’s depiction of Kerry as an extreme liberal. Lieberman was there to attack Obama’s lack of bipartisanship and his inexperience. “Senator Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country,” he said. “But eloquence is no substitute for a record.” After weeks of GOP attacks on Obama’s preparedness, the rhetoric could have been stronger but the theme was there.

Lieberman’s speech was effective, and it hit all the points McCain was hoping it would while keeping the support of the crowd - though as I said whether it touched anyone it targeted depends on how much credibility Lieberman retains in the eyes of conservative-leaning Democrats and independents. But now that Palin is on the table and that Obama has a post-convention bounce, the GOP is aware that it needs to do more - it needs to attack Obama frontally to discredit his character, and that is what Fred Thompson was entrusted with.

In what was the night’s main red meat, Thompson did more than argue that Obama was not “ready to lead” - he borrowed the GOP’s arsenal from earlier in the summer and sought to portray Obama as a vapid celebrity driven by the quest to power and blinded by fame. Describing McCain, Thompson said, “When he travels abroad, he prefers quietly speaking to the troops amidst the heat and hardship of their daily lives.” And in seeking to portray McCain as known commodity whose values voters could trust, Thompson was taking veiled - though quite clear - swipes at Obama: “It’s pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves, ‘Who is this man?’ and ‘Can we trust this man with the Presidency?’ ”

Those are the GOP’s standard attacks, but the crowd was quite obviously content that someone was finally entertaining them. Thompson also made sure to provide some Democrat-bashing, seeking to energize the GOP base around issues that have always unified them, abortion (”we need a President who doesn’t think that the protection of the unborn or a newly born baby is above his pay grade”) and taxes. On the latter, Thompson delivered the usual Republican stump speech against tax-and-spend liberals:

Now our opponents tell you not to worry about their tax increases. They tell you they are not going to tax your family.

No, they’re just going to tax “businesses”! So unless you buy something from a “business”, like groceries or clothes or gasoline … or unless you get a paycheck from a big or a small “business”, don’t worry … it’s not going to affect you.

They say they are not going to take any water out of your side of the bucket, just the “other” side of the bucket! That’s their idea of tax reform.

Usual does not mean ineffective, quite the contrary. When the goal is to electrify partisans, routine attacks are most often the most powerful. But it was undoubtedly the first half of Thompson’s speech that was the highlight of his address - and perhaps of the night. Thompson detailed McCain’s years as a POW, detailing his service and sacrifice. Thompson is an actor, and there was little doubt as to why he had been selected. On a stage, narrating an emotional story in front of a captivated crowd, Thompson was in his element. Even if the details of McCain’s captivity have been tone countless of times and President Bush had used similar lines just minutes before Thompson took the stage, this was as dramatic a rendition as the audience could have hoped to witness.

Too dramatic, perhaps. Advisers to the McCain campaign had said two weeks ago that they did not think they were invoking McCain’s years as a POW enough and that by the end of the convention everyone would know about his years in Hanoi Hilton. Tonight, they stayed true to their word as Thompson’s speech - accompanied by giant background pictures - and the hours of honoring the troops that preceded it made as explicit a connection between McCain’s years as a POW and the strength of character he would exhibit as President:

John McCain cannot raise his arms above his shoulders.

He cannot salute the flag of the country for which he sacrificed so much. Tonight, as we begin this convention week, yes, we stand with him.

And we salute him. We salute his character and his courage.

Tonight, that was the message that all the speakers emphasized - Barack Obama is inexperienced and a risky move, while John McCain has the character to become president, as he demonstrated by his strength during his years as a POW.

That message might not work, but it is difficult to see what else the GOP could do. After all, some variation of it did narrow the poll numbers during the summer. The question now is whether Sarah Palin’s distraction combined with the Democratic convention’s increasing Obama’s support among Democrats and improving the country’s perception are enough shields to protect Obama’s lead against the GOP’s strategy.

And the second question is whether the GOP’s strategy has any chance of functioning as long as the party remains attached to Bush. And the night did begin with a speech by Bush - a speech McCain did all he could to minimize. Not only was the incumbent President speaking via satellite from a thousand miles away, but he had also been exiled to the 9pm hour, before the primetime hour. But as the networks picked up coverage, all started by retransmitting Bush’s address, ensuring that any viewers who were tuning in to see the convention’s proceedings were first treated to 10 minutes of Bush. “We need a president who understands the lessons of Sept. 11, 2001,” Bush said. “The man we need is John McCain.” Unfortunately for McCain, Bush’s endorsement might as well be cut out for Obama ads.


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GOP rethinks its convention, as Gustav forces cancellation of Monday night session

In 2005, the federal government’s horrendous response to Katrina sealed President Bush’s unpopularity. Three years later and merely days after Katrina’s anniversary, another storm - the “mother of all storms” said Mayor Nagin - threatens Louisiana. I stayed away from discussing Gustav’s political consequences for as long as I could, but this remains an electoral blog and the story’s political ramifications are too significant to not address here. As New Orleans is now evacuating 24 hours from the start of the Republican convention, that topic looks inescapable.

First, let’s get one thing straight: Ballot deadlines are looming and the GOP has to hold some kind of convention extremely soon to officially nominate John McCain and Sarah Palin and get them on state ballots. And Republicans cannot delay the convention: Thousands of flights, hotel reservations and other preparations have already been done. The convention can be shortened, but it is hardly feasible to postpone it.

Thus, Republicans have to prepare for the coming week without knowing just how bad the damage will be. This is a very subtle balancing act:

  1. On the one hand, the GOP convention is meant to be a giant celebration of the party’s nominee; it is supposed to introduce John McCain’s story to voters while also attacking Obama. On the other hand, holding a big party when a natural disaster is hitting the Gulf would not come across well - to say the least - and partisan speeches blasting Obama would not play off so well either.
  2. On the one hand, Republicans will want to show their commitment to helping the devastated states. On the other, they have to be careful to not politicize Gustav.

For now, Gustav’s one known consequence on the GOP convention is that the Monday night line-up is decimated. George Bush and Dick Cheney have both canceled their trip to Minneapolis. Three years after Katrina, the last thing Bush wants to do is look like he is neglecting yet another hurricane. Instead, Bush might address the nation about Gustav with a live televised address from the White House. And Arnold Schwarzenegger has also canceled his Monday night appearance because of a budget crisis in Sacramento. [Update: Well, the GOP has gone forward and canceled Monday's convention events but the afternoon session meant to get the process going. No word yet on what happens after Monday.]

Politico writes that these cancellations are a “crushing disappointment” for the convention organizers, but I am certainly not sure that is true. For weeks now, GOP strategists have been terrified that Bush’s presence at the convention would make it easier for Obama to tie him to McCain. In 2000, Democrats transformed Bill Clinton’s Monday night speech into a big occasion, but that was certainly not going to be the case tomorrow night. Now, Monday (the night organizers were the most worried about, the night that was going to be about Bush, the night that they wouldn’t really be able to air any attacks on Obama anyway) has been scrapped!

Beyond that first night, however, the convention being washed away could become disastrous for Republicans as they would lose their opportunity to make their case in a vacuum in front of millions of viewers. This is millions of dollars of preparation we are talking about, and a shot at a week-long infomercial. (1) Speakers like Rudy Giuliani who were going to go all-out against Obama and against the Democratic Party will surely be forced to quiet their tone to avoid sounding too partisan. (2) Will there even be TV coverage? Republicans only have four days (including four hours of primetime on network TV) to make their case to voters. But TV anchors, network news and the press will now be looking at the Gulf, not at the Twin Cities.

The McCain campaign is trying to make the most of this bad situation and treat the convention’s last three days as an opportunity to celebrate McCain’s service and sacrifice, an opportunity to highlight McCain’s slogan - “country first” - and make him look uninterested in attacking his opponents. (After a summer of attack ads, it would be quite remarkable if McCain pulls this off.) Politico writes that Gustav could allow for a Republican redemption for McCain to show that he is competent and interesting in “serving a cause greater than yourself.” That is indeed what McCain was going for today when he said the convention would become “a call to the nation for action.” He told reporters:

I pledge that tomorrow night and if necessary throughout our convention, we will act as Americans and not as Republicans because America needs us now. No matter what we are — Republican or Democratic — America needs us to do what all Americans have always done in times of disaster and challenge.

People expect the convention to be a partisan celebration, but McCain could transform it into a giant public service gathering meant to help the hurricane victims. There is talk of holding a telethon, getting the Red Cross involved and get delegated to raise money, prepare help packets. In other words, Republicans would look to show McCain is the anti-Bush, someone who can raise to the challenge, put politics aside and tap into the “American spirit.” As Democrats reminded us over and over again last week (starting with Mark Warner), the failure to do so was Bush’s great weakness.

The question, of course, is how much media time this would gain, and how would it be organized? Who would be the speakers, would they address politics and would they praise McCain? How much will the press be looking at Louisana, and how much time will there be for Republicans to get any coverage at all? If the Republicans’ public service efforts are simply mentioned in news stories rather than broadcast, the Obama campaign’s own efforts to mobilize volunteers and use its e-mail list will surely be mentioned as well.

But for the GOP, the biggest risk would be to look like it is politicizing the occasion and exploiting Gustav for political gain. No one will blame Republicans for cutting down on the political speeches and devoting time to fundraising for hurricane victims, but McCain might be crossing the line with this idea to deliver his acceptance speech via satellite from the devastated zones rather than live from the convention hall. There is no telling how that might look on television nor how people would react, but it is difficult to think of a more opportunistic move.

McCain already visited an emergency center in Mississippi today with his wife and Sarah Palin. Obama, on the other hand, said that he would not go to the threatened areas because he was afraid his presence might distract local authorities from more pressing concerns. “The thing that I always am concerned about in the middle of a storm is whether we’re drawing resources away from folks on the ground,” Obama said, while being careful of adding that “it is fine” of McCain to visit Mississippi. You might remember that a similar controversy arose earlier in the summer when McCain visited the flooded areas of Iowa and Obama chose to stay away.

In short: Republicans are unlikely to mind that Bush and Cheney cancelled their appearances but beyond that they are losing their big week. They have somewhat of a Plan B, which is to highlight McCain’s service and his willingness to put country above partisan politics. That could certainly help improve McCain’s image and reestablish some of his maverick reputation. But it could also backfire if McCain pushes it too far. Like many things concering the GOP these days, we will have to wait and see.


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In historic fourth night, Obama stood as a proud Democrat, delivered the speech he needed

For weeks, the GOP has been attacking Barack Obama for being a vapid celebrity. But you certainly can’t accuse the Obama campaign of being scared away from its game plan. As pundits moaned and Republicans mocked, Democrats stood their ground, moved Obama’s speech to a giant auditorium that they succeeded in filling to full capacity and taunted their opponents with pictures of Greek columns.

And when Barack Obama took the stage, he put behind him three nights of often (though certainly not always) dull proceedings and managed to combine in one solid speech the often contradictory goals that were expected of him - he fired up his base and reached out to independents, attacked George Bush and John McCain more directly and more relentlessly than most people expected but stayed true to his talk of unity, presented an overarching narrative of change while finally getting down to specifics.

This might not have been the best speech of Obama’s career. It did not awake the same emotion in viewers than some of his past addresses sparked, nor did it soar to heights of rhetoric. But that was not Obama’s intention tonight, nor should it have been. His dual challenge was first to remind voters that John McCain belongs to the party of George W. Bush and second to put some meat on his slogan of change. Wednesday’s speakers had started the former task - but they had neither the time nor the media coverage to complete it; and they had vouched for Obama’s experience and qualifications more than the substantiveness of platform.

Tonight, Obama delivered on both front. His speech did go in many directions at once, but it weaved the different themes together. If nothing else, it allowed Democrats to regain optimism and go back on the offense after weeks of declining poll numbers.

By the time Barack took the stage, a lengthy video shown on all network channels had painted him as an average Joe, a candidate embodying the American Dream who was raised by a family that resembled that of “you,” the average viewer. That is the story that we have been hearing for days now, starting with Michelle’s speech on Monday. Obama was all set to conclude the two other tasks - attack and substance.

Let’s start with the latter. We knew that Obama was aware voters wanted to know what this “change” and “hope” meant, and he tackled that quite literally today. “Let me spell out exactly what that change would mean,” he said.

When running against a GOP Senator weighed down by his party’s unpopularity, the specifics of change are very simple - replace a Republican political philosophy with a Democratic one that uses government to solve some of the country’s pressing problems. That was one of the main themes of Bill Clinton’s speech last night.

But that argument does not necessarily fit with Obama’s usual focus on post-partisanship: One of his main arguments during the primary campaign was to lump Clinton’s presidency alongside that of Bush as the “old politics” Obama was running to overcome. In the past, Obama’s “change” had not meant ideological change or the change of one party for another; it had been a promise to change the process.

Tonight, four years after his keynote address at the last convention, we saw a different Obama, one that presented himself as a partisan Democrat and tweaked the definition of change he had embraced for the past four years to fit the circumstances of the the current political climate and of the general election. If we were to assess the speech’s intellectual merits, this inconsistency was probably its biggest weakness - but it was not one that is likely to cause much trouble.

Standing as a proud Democrat - a posture he has not always put at the center of his political identity - Obama called upon the country’s Democratic voters to write a new chapter to the party’s history. Obama’s targets tonight were not swing voters or Republicans. Rather, Obama was talking to conservative-leaning Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who might be considering voting for John McCain but who ultimately would be happy to be identified with the party of Roosevelt and Kennedy, whom Obama invoked.

Not only did Obama call on these voters loyalty to the Democracy Party, he appealed to their commitment to New Deal ideology by pledging to turn away from the conservatism that has dominated the country since the 1980s. After Obama described at length what he saw as the country’s dreadful state, he put it all not only at Bush’s doorstep but at the doorstep of Reaganomics - a significant move given that Obama got in trouble in his primaries for praising Reagan a few months back:

For over two decades, [McCain]’s subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy – give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is – you’re on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps – even if you don’t have boots. You’re on your own.

Obama outlined a list of policies taken out of his party’s playbook in a lengthy issue-by-issue run-down that reminded me of Al Gore’s acceptance speech in 2000 (one of the most successful conventions of recent elections): No tax cuts to companies that ship jobs oversees, renewable energies, governmental support for early childhood education, higher income for teachers, no over-reliance on drilling, universal (though not single-payer) health care, equal pay and reform of the bankruptcy laws.

This is not to say that he consistently stood as a defender of a liberal political philosophy. Obama also insisted that he would reduce taxes, talked about individual responsibility, reducing unwanted pregnancies, protecting gun rights; he announced that he would cut government programs and making bureaucracy more efficient - all talking points that will certainly please conservative-minded voters.

Such centrist platforms are at the center of Obama’s political identity and they have always been. But tonight, Obama added a new sense of pride for his Democratic roots.

That is a winning recipe for a convention speech, particularly in 2008. With independent voters behaving like Democrats in their disapproval of President Bush, Obama’s best bet is to run as a generic Democratic alternative to the Bush Administration, and he played up by that contrast by going on the attack.

By mocking John McCain’s bid to look like a change agent while belonging to Bush’s party, Obama did what the past few Democratic presidential nominees had shied away from: attack Republicans frontally.

Many expected the duties of the attack dog to be reserved to the likes of Biden and Clinton, but it is Obama who took on the role with the most determination. He clarified the stakes of this election: a referendum on Bush’s America. “They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more,” Bill Clinton had said yesterday. Today, Obama sounded the same theme:

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this… Enough! This moment – this election – is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: “Eight is enough.”

Obama continued by taking on his opponent, repeatedly calling him out by name - a stark contrast to Kerry’s acceptance speech four years ago. He attacked McCain’s association with Bush as evidence that the Arizona Senator would be a typical Republican: “The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives – on health care and education and the economy – Senator McCain has been anything but independent.”

And Obama detailed his accusation issue after issue. He did not shy away from drawing clear contrasts, for instance on the Iraq War and on his refusal of a timetable. “John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war,” he said. One of his harshest line came soon after: “John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell, but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.” In an attack one seldom associates with a Democrat, Obama concluded, “That won’t keep America safe.” “If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice,” he added.

On economic issues, Obama invoked some of McCain’s gaffes about which Democrats have been salivating for months. He hit Phil Gramm’s “nation of whiners” statement, as well as McCain’s declaration that the rich are those who make $5 million and more. Obama portrayed his opponent as out-of-touch, a theme the party has been hinting it for the past few weeks. “Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans,” Obama said. ” I just think he doesn’t know.”

But Obama’s best moments came when he was playing defense, because he managed to turn the tables and go right back on the offense. Obama did not simply defend his American roots and he did not just pledge patriotism; rather, he transformed such defensive moves into vigorous attacks that undercut Republican talking points. He linked McCain’s attacks on Obama’s character to the GOP’s need to distract voters from their connection to Bush. (”If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from,” he said.) And in what was one of Obama’s most effective lines, he turned McCain’s “Country First” slogan against the Republican by getting the crowd to chant USA and proclaiming, “I’ve got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.”

This might not have been the best speech of Obama’s career, nor was this week the perfect convention for Democrats. But Obama - following Bill Clinton and John Kerry yesterday - did what he to do. He put the burden on Republicans to disqualify him without looking like they are attempting to do what Obama mocked today; he dared them to try and stand for change while running for Republicans.

We’ll see next week whether the McCain campaign is up to the task.


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Third night: Clinton, Kerry and Biden vent Democratic anger, vouch for Obama

In the convention’s first two nights, the tone was often flat. Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton performed beautifully, but too many of the other primetime speakers let John McCain go unscathed - continuing a strange pattern the Republican benefited from in the GOP’s primary debates. But in a night that started with some great visuals and that officially nominated Barack Obama in a show of unity, the Democratic speakers weaved together the convention’s different themes.

In a memorable night, Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Joe Biden energized the Democratic Party and electrified the crowd by vouching for Barack Obama’s character, his national security credentials - and they also found time to finally blast the Republican Party and John McCain. Sure, none offered the type of blistering character attacks that Zell Miller delivered four years ago, but they absolutely did not to need to.

Together, the three men delivered what Democrats had been waiting for years and what Kerry’s convention had denied them in 2004: an indictment of the Republican Party, of the Bush Administration and of McCain’s party label. Together, they mentioned torture, Iraq, global warming and the tax cuts for the wealthy. They allowed Democrats to vent their frustration and transfer that anger to urgent support for Barack Obama - an urgency that had Hillary Clinton had started to express in her Tuesday night address.

The one thing that could perhaps have been stronger was the length of Biden’s speech - surely the most watched of the night’s addresses. Biden had the crowd behind him as he lamented the Republicans’ economic record and questioned McCain’s judgment. But his speech was relatively short compared to other speakers, and it is hard to escape the impression that it could have gone a bit longer. He almost seemed to cut it off as the crowd was getting into it when he could have taken the crescendo a bit further.

Had all viewers seen John Kerry’s speech (which I thought was the night’s strongest), Biden might not have had to take it a few more steps. But it is a true shame for Democrats that not even the cable channels did not show Kerry in his entirety. You would think that CNN, MSNBC and Fox would realize that the speech of the 2004 Democratic nominee would be more important than their commentary on Bill Clinton’s address, but they only ended up showing the final minutes. One could sense Kerry’s excitement at finally being able to express everything he had been waiting to get out since his failed candidacy. When Kerry spoke of the Republicans’ “pathetic” attacks on a Obama’s patriotism, it was also the wounds of his own defeat that he revisited.

His attacks on John McCain were as extensive as they were precise, as Kerry turned the flip-flopping accusations he received in 2004 on their head. By reciting issues on which candidate McCain and Senator McCain disagreed, Kerry sought to portray McCain as a typical Republican voters must reject - not the independent voice he claims to be. “More of the same,” Kerry repeated time after time in what has become the Democrats’ favorite anti-McCain slogan. “Before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself,” he said. And in what was an explicit reference to his own campaign, Kerry scoffed, “Talk about being for it before you’re against it!”

For Kerry, this was a time to get revenge - and he took the hall’s Democrats with him. If a convention is an exercise in rallying the troops and set up the fall battle over undecided voters, John Kerry beat all expectations.

Just half an hour before, Bill Clinton had taken the stage, received by a standing ovation that seemed longer even to the one his wife had received the night before. Just like Hillary, Bill made a point of immediately proclaiming his support for Obama, adding “that makes 18 million of us.” And he went on to vouch for Obama’s national security credentials, insisting that he was ready to be commander-in-chief not only as a supporter of the Illinois Senator but also as a former president. Clinton framed this as a statesman passing the torch to another statesman.

Clinton was offering a direct response not only to the McCain campaign but also to the Clintons’ declaration throughout the spring. Said Bill towards the end of his speech, “Together, we prevailed in a campaign in which the Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be Commander-in-Chief. Sound familiar? It didn’t work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it won’t work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.”

Like most other speakers, Clinton focused on Bush’s governance and the bad choices the GOP had made. “They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more,” he said. “Let’s send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks.” But Clinton’s argument went further to make a point few other speakers made - and that we don’t hear Obama talk about that often.

Most of the convention has been focused on Bush’s governance rather than on the overarching philosophy that supported it, but Clinton laid out the election as a clear ideological contrast. He argued that it is not just Bush who must be rejected but the Republicans’ political philosophy in general, that the past eight years were the most straight-forward expression of the conservatism that has overtaken the Republican Party. And denouncing the “extreme philosophy which has defined [McCain's] party for more than 25 years” was a powerful way to tie McCain to hisparty label.

As for Joe Biden, he lived up to the key promise of his vice-presidential pick: he is the rare politician who is just as comfortable on domestic issues as international issues and has the credentials to back up both. Tomorrow, Obama will offer his plan, detail his platform and explain to the American people why they should trust him. Tonight, Biden laid out the Democrats’ version of the choice facing voters, contrasting Barack Obama and John McCain both on the economy and on national security.

Biden’s central argument was: “These times require more than a good soldier; they require a wise leader, a leader who can deliver change.” Biden called himself a friend of John McCain, but he painted him as too eager a follower of Bushian politics, one who has shown that he would commit the same poor choices that have plagued the Bush Administration. Speaking about the economy, Biden highlighted his roots to talk directly to middle-class voters, claiming to understand their concerns and listing in an intimate and comforting voice the questions they ask themselves every night. “John thinks that during the Bush years “we’ve made great progress economically.” I think it’s been abysmal,” he said.

That’s the America that George Bush has left us, and that’s the future John McCain will give us. These are not isolated discussions among families down on their luck. These are common stories among middle-class people who worked hard and played by the rules on the promise that their tomorrows would be better than their yesterdays. That promise is the bedrock of America. It defines who we are as a people. And now it’s in jeopardy. I know it. You know it. But John McCain doesn’t get it.

On national security, Biden’s argument was the same Obama used against Clinton in the primaries - respond to the experience claim by invoking judgment to point out to the audience that not only has Obama always cared about America but he has been much more discerning about what its best interest is:

Whose judgment should we trust? Should we trust John McCain’s judgment when he said only three years ago, “Afghanistan—we don’t read about it anymore because it’s succeeded”? Or should we trust Barack Obama, who more than a year ago called for sending two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan?

John McCain was wrong, and Barack Obama was right — again, and again, and again, on the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong and Barack Obama has been proven right.

Democrats need to make this an election about party labels. Tying McCain to Bush might sound old at this point, but it is their best weapon - and one that could by itself get them across the finish line. That is why Mark Warner’s speech was so ineffective yesterday - and why giving either Schweitzer or Kerry that type of exposure could have helped Obama much more. Sure, all of these speakers could have gone further, attacked more and gotten the crowd even more fired up. But they did something that had just been started by Hillary last night and that the party was still yearning for- someone to rally the Democratic party, electrify it and channel its energy for its first presidential victory in twelve years.

Now, Barack Obama’s speech remains, and he will surely speak to undecided voters more than tonight’s speakers were attempting to. But even with those more moderate voters, tying McCain to Bush ought to be a powerful strategy. One of the most remarkable phenomenons of recent years has been that self-identified independents have been behaving like Democrats when asked about their opinion of Bush, and this distrust for the GOP among independents played a huge role in helping Democrats gain congressional majorities in 2006. There is a lot people will be watching for tomorrow, but Democrats should at least be reassured that tonight’s speakers laid a solid foundation.


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Second night: Hillary rallies her voters, unites party and makes up for Warner’s speech

In a night marked by Mark Warner’s disappointingly flat speech, Democrats can thank Brian Schweitzer and Hillary Clinton - as well as the ridiculously low expectations the media (and the McCain campaign) had set for Hillary’s performance.

For months now, everyone has been pointing to all the signs that favor the Democratic Party in 2008 - just as they did in 2006. Bush’s popularity is at record lows, the Republican Party is discredited, the electorate’s partisan affiliations have massively shifted towards the Democratic Party. Under those conditions, for the convention’s keynote speaker to deliver a nonpartisan speech that could just have easily (and with minor twitches) been read at the Republican convention was practically an act of political malpractice.

It’s not as much that Mark Warner’s speech wasn’t good (it would have been under other circumstances) or that it wasn’t well delivered; Warner undoubtedly improved his standing in Virginia and introduced himself to voters across the country. But I am not here to judge the oratory skills of various speakers but their effectiveness in pushing Obama into the White House. My point is that his speech did little to help Democrats and to help Obama. None of this is ultimately to blame Mark Warner; the convention organizers must have known that he would say this, and Warner did nothing that ought to have surprised them.

But it is hard to escape the feeling that Warner’s argument is exactly what Republicans want voters to think and what many of them will no doubt be telling voters next week - forget that we are Republicans and that Obama is a Democrat. For months, the GOP has been worried about how it can best escape the electorate’s viscerally anti-Republican mood; we have been documenting how some of its candidates are literally shunning away from the party label and Gordon Smith’s bipartisan ads are in a category of their own. McCain cannot win if voters think of this election as a choice between a Democrat and a Republican, which is why he has sought to make it about character and style of leadership.

And here comes Mark Warner, boosting McCain’s improbable bid to get voters to forget the candidates’ party labels. Said Warner: “I know we’re at the Democratic Convention, but if an idea works, it really doesn’t matter if it has an R or D next to it. Because this election isn’t about liberal versus conservative. It’s not about left versus right.” That could have worked for Democrats in 94, and could work for the GOP next week. Sure, Warner opposing past and future was meant as a swipe to the Arizona Senator, but does the GOP not also portray itself as the party of the future? What was their efforts to dismiss Obama as a tired ideologue and portray McCain as a pragmatist maverick (the whole point of emphasizing energy issues) if not to claim the future mantle? And even if the past v. future theme becomes central to Barack’s campaign, Warner should have outlined a much clearer case for McCain representing the past.

Hillary Clinton, on the other, did just the opposite. She reminded listeners that she might have had her differences with Barack Obama, but that they are both Democrats running against a Republican: “Whether you voted for me or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.”

Clinton was helped by the ridiculously low expectations that the media has set for her. The McCain campaign’s roll-out of videos using Clinton’s words against Obama as well as the media circus around the Clinton melodrama had made this somewhat of a suspenseful event. What was indeed suspenseful was whether Clinton would succeed in convincing her voters to rally around Obama as much as he needs them to, whether she would figure out which arguments might persuade them most; what was not suspenseful (contrary to the media’s preparations) was whether she would look sincere, try her best and look appeased.

Of course she was going to do the latter: she is a very successful politician who looked wonderfully at ease next to Obama in Unity at the end of June. But given the media drumming up her speech, we were basically led to think that Hillary might just choke up, slip or be unable to say anything in support of the Illinois Senator! Simply by coming out and immediately proclaiming herself “a proud supporter of Barack Obama,” Clinton beat expectations.

Whether she convinced her still-wavering supporters will of course have to be determined with polling data, but I believe she pulled off that task beautifully. Sure, her statement of support did not venture on the personal and she did not vouch for Obama’s experience or character; but it was not up to her to do that. If she had, she might not have sounded as powerful and as sincere as she did tonight by focusing on the substance of what it means to be a Democrat. In the speech’s most crucial moment that is already being played over and over again, Clinton said,

I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage?

The very meaning of belonging to a party, Hillary reminded the audience and in particular the 18 million voters who supported her, is to share a set of commitments, beliefs and a desire to work towards goals that are entirely incompatible with the goals of the opposite camp. A figure who is usually described as ultra-partisan, Hillary’s conclusion was simple and it was powerful: for anyone to claim to be supporting her and to then go vote for McCain would be a betrayal of everything Clinton stands for, all the work she has done and all she has fought for over the past 20 months. “You haven’t worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership,” Clinton said, insisting that Obama must become President.

This is exactly the point Clinton needed to drive home - and she did it very convincingly. There have been critics, but the speech was meant to speak to Democrats, not to those who are suspicious of Clinton to start with. Of course, she alone cannot seal the deal, but Clinton is sure to have softened up the most devoted of her supporters and opened them to listening to Joe Biden and Barack Obama with a different mentality over the next two days.

It certainly did not hurt that Clinton went after Bush and McCain forcefully, delivering one of the convention’s memorable one-liners: “With an agenda like that, it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities. Because these days they’re awfully hard to tell apart.” That preceded a long indictment of McCain’s economic policies:

But we don’t need four more years … of the last eight years.
More economic stagnation … and less affordable health care.
More high gas prices … and less alternative energy.
More jobs getting shipped overseas … and fewer jobs created here.
More skyrocketing debt … home foreclosures … and mounting bills that are crushing our middle class families.
More war … less diplomacy.
More of a government where the privileged come first … and everyone else comes last.
John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn’t think that 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it’s okay when women don’t earn equal pay for equal work.

Shortly before Clinton went on stage, Brian Schweitzer had taken the stage to deliver an unexpectedly strong speech. (I strongly recommend watching it, here is part 1 and part 2.) Schweitzer would have been a good keynote speaker - he comes from a swing state (never neglect 3 electoral votes), mixed praise for Obama with hits on McCain and fired up delegates in what was a great set-up for Hillary.

He went on the attack in a wonderfully cheerful demeanor that drew energetic cheers and boos from the crowd: “We simply can’t drill our way to energy independence, even if you drilled in all of John McCain’s backyards, including the ones he can’t even remember.” The delivery was quite strong as he got the crowd into his refrain, repeating that McCain would represent “four more years of the same.” In fact, the crowd’s reaction forced CNN and other network channels that were not covering the speech to start showing it!

That alone was an exploit on a night in which most of the speakers could be as brilliant as they wanted (and many were much more aggressive than had been the case the first night - just look at Dennis Kucinich), but only C-SPAN watchers would see it - and we’re not talking about a group of undecided voters there. We knew networks channels would roll back their coverage, but even cable channels have given up: In the midst of hours and hours of coverage, analysis and previews, CNN and MSNBC only show three or four speeches. Even Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (”For John McCain, there’s no place like home, or a home, or a home”) was seen neither on CNN nor on MSNBC.

Overall, then, the convention’s second night was much like the first: Whatever little effort was made to remind Democrats of their hatred for the Bush Administration to rally them against McCain was not shown on TV. (Only true politicos are likely to have seen Kucinich’s or Sebelius’s addresses or those of pretty much all speakers except Warner, Clinton, Bob Casey and the last moments of Schweitzer.) But the night’s main event - and thus the main goal - was perfectly successful. Yesterday, Michelle Obama introduced herself and her husband to make their story more familiar; today, Hillary Clinton brought her supporters back under the Democratic tent. Tomorrow is Joe Biden’s night, and he will be the first headline speaker whose primary goal ought to be that of an attacker.


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First night: Michelle and Teddy rock the crowd, but there was no red meat

The Denver convention is meant to to showcase Barack Obama’s life story but also to unleash attacks against John McCain, tying him with President Bush. This first night successfully and enthusiastically did the former thanks to powerful speeches delivered by Michelle Obama and Teddy Kennedy; but it did not truly attempt the latter - despite the promises that the 2008 convention would not be repeat of John Kerry’s.

Sure, this is only one night and it is important for voters to get introduced to the Obamas given that the main danger facing Democrats this year is that the GOP succeeds in painting their candidate as an unacceptable (in some sense foreign, radical and elitist) choice. But in 2004, Democrats also thought that their most important task was to protect Kerry from Republican attacks, and the result was that the election became all about the Democratic candidate.

Given the year’s fundamentals, the GOP will only be able to do that if it distracts voters from their distrust of Bush. Thus, Democrats ought to relentlessly remind voters of Bush’s record and associate McCain to it. There wasn’t much of that tonight at all, though you can be sure that the Republican convention will have a lot of red meat every step of the way. Bush-bashing could go a long way towards uniting registered Democrats behind their party’s nominee: reminding Dems (and Clinton supporters) who are reluctant to support Obama that they hate Bush and thus should reject McCain without consideration could be as (if not more) effective than anything else that happens during the convention.

Tonight, Michelle Obama and Teddy Kennedy had the most important speeches, but should former GOP Rep. Leach have been given such a prominent slot? And was Senator McCaskill the best choice to lead into the networks’ primetime coverage? [Update: I am certainly not suggesting that Michelle should have gone on the attack, as that could have been disastrous. But her speech started at 10:35pm. The first part of the primetime slot could have been used for a more fiery indictment of the Bush Administration.] Mark Warner, tomorrow’s keynote speaker, has already said that his address would not be an attack speech; the Democrats’ keynote speech will thus resemble Obama 2004 more than Zell Miller 2004. While the former won raving praises, the latter fired up the GOP against John Kerry.

That said, Democrats have a lot to be happy about as well. First, Ted Kennedy’s appearance (which was uncertain until the last minutes due to his health condition) heightened the night’s emotional power. After a tribute devoted to him, Kennedy emerged with his wife to pass the torch to the Illinois Senator. “Nothing, nothing is going to keep me away from this special gathering tonight,” he said. “I have come here tonight to stand with you, to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States.” Kennedy and the decades of history that his speech invoked had the potential to rally Democrats around one of their party’s most beloved statesmen by invoking the memories of the Democrats’ past heroes.

And then came Michelle Obama, whose speech was powerful beyond expectations. She took the stage, introduced by her brother, and facing a clear challenge: To portray herself and the Obamas as the typical and familiar all-American family and show that they have grown out of working-class families to work on behalf of working-class families. In other words, convince voters that she and her husband are anything but an enigma, that they are the most familiar form of the American Dream.

Her script by itself made a powerful case, but her delivery was impeccable. She spoke more like an actress delivering a monologue than a politician reading a teleprompter, and her gestures and intonations were wonderfully theatrical (I mean that in a very good way). Her emotion was palpable, and she conveyed her emotion, her love for her husband and her concern for the future of her children (”Their future - and all our children’s future - is my stake in this election”) better than is expected from someone who is said to have been reluctant to become such a public figure.

No where was she more more moving than when she talked about her own upbringing and her father (”And I come here as a daughter - raised on the South Side of Chicago by a father who was a blue collar city worker, and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me”). That was meant to anchor her as someone voters can relate to, as was her description of the values she and Barack share, values that are identifiable with the “American” way of life:

And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.

And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children - and all children in this nation - to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

Whether all of that will be enough, of course, will be determined in the coming days and weeks. But what we can say is that the script and delivery were as good as Democrats could have hoped for. Michelle Obama even cited the name of a certain New York Senator as someone who worked hard every day on behalf of the American people. “People like Hillary Clinton,” she said, “who put those 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling.” The crowd celebrated with thunderous applause.

Bringing Clinton supporters back in the Democratic camp is, after all, the convention’s crucial task - more urgent than bashing Bush and defining Obama. And that will be what we will be watching for tomorrow night, when Hillary Clinton takes center stage for what is sure to be one of the week’s defining moments. For now, the night had things Democrats should celebrate (a strong introduction to the Obama family) and things that I believe they should be worried about (the lack of red meat).


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Obama-Clinton will be the crucial convention storyline

A few months ago, Democrats were worried that the Clinton-Obama primary was heading towards a brokered convention: neither candidate would get a decisive edge after June 3rd, leading them hitting each other throughout the summer. Of course, Clinton fell too far behind to entertain hopes of staying in the race past June 3rd. The two organized a joint appearance in Unity, New Hampshire in late June and Hillary started going on the stump for Barack in New Mexico, Florida over the past two weeks.

But PUMAs continued to make noise, the press always manages to find a few Clinton supporters willing to bash Obama and the issue of Clinton’s debt and the dispute over whether to hold a roll call at the convention were not being resolved. It was always difficult to distinguish how much of these reports were exaggerated and how much they pointed to a truly continuing tension between the Clintons and Obama. But in politics, perception matters more than reality, and all these reports did nothing to unite the Democratic Party at a time Obama needed to solidify his base.

Now we are on the eve of the Democratic convention, and all evidence points to the fact that Obama did not succeed in uniting the base whatsoever - if anything, recent national polls have found him winning a smaller share of the Clinton vote. Last week, an NBC poll found Obama losing ground nationally and winning the support of only 52% of Clinton supporters - meaning that a huge 11% of the sample was made up of Clinton supporters who were not supporting him. Over the week-end, new national polls and a state poll from Ohio confirmed NBC’s finding that Obama will not capture a comfortable lead unless he closes the deal with these Clinton supporters:

  • A USA Today-Gallup poll has Obama leading 47% to 43% among registered voters, 47% to 44% among likely voters. You might remember that last month’s Gallup poll was the first since early May to have McCain leading (by 4% among likely voters). But while 70% of Clinton supporters back Obama, only 47% do so solidly and 30% back McCain or plan to not vote (that’s too high a number). Among other findings: 57% are worried about Obama’s experience, respondents blame McCain more for the campaign’s negative tone.
  • In a new CNN poll, the first taken after the Biden pick, Obama has lost a 7% lead and is now down to a tie at 7%. Some of that evolution is accounted by Obama’s fall among Clinton supporters: It’s gone from 75% Obama-16% McCain in late June to 66% Obama-27% McCain. That’s a dramatic turn-around.
  • As far as I can tell, the week-end’s third national poll (a Washington Post-ABC poll that had Obama leading 49% to 45%, 48% to 42% when Barr and Nader were included and both got 3%) did not include information about the behavior of Clinton supporters.
  • An Ohio poll released this morning by the Columbus Dispatch finds McCain up 1% - a result that comes from his good numbers among Democrats (Obama leads among independents). Obama only wins half of voters who voted for Clinton on March 4th. We will come back to this poll in the roundup later today.

As the reality that Hillary will not be the VP sets in, some Clinton supporters who were on board might temporarily withhold their support from Obama. That might explain why CNN’s poll (taken after Biden’s pick was announced) finds such a drop in the support Obama receives. How temporary those tensions are will be crucial to determining the results of the November election - and things appear to be getting worse.

The convention was meant to showcase the reconciliation between Obama and the Clintons. But Politico now reports that the negotiations between the Obama and Clinton worlds over the past few days has taken a bad turn. Associates of the two camps are voicing bitter complaints about the other’s sense of entitlement. A big sticking point appears to be Bill Clinton’s speech: He is speaking on Wednesday night, devoted to national security, but he was hoping to speak about the economy, highlighting the successes of the 1990s versus the failures of the past 8 years. Obama’s camp has insisted that he sticks to his topic.

In the context of Obama’s criticism of the Clinton years during the primary, that alone should be enough to flare up tensions. And to me it does seem inexplicable that Clinton was instructed to not go into economic issues since those are his forte - and his tenure is first and foremost remembered by the electorate (especially the blue-collar Democrats Obama needs to appeal to) as one of prosperity.

Then, there was the vice-presidential pick. Reports late last Thursday that Clinton was not being vetted led to both sides being angry - but reports had said the same exact thing in late July! We already knew that Clinton was not being vetted weeks ago, so the fact that it became such a huge story in the closing days of the veepstakes testifies to how any story involving Hillary will be drummed up and how those Clinton supporters who are looking to get upset will probably find a motive to do so no matter what.

Politico isn’t the only outlet to be focusing in on these intensifying tensions. The New York Times has a piece about doubts among Clinton delegates and Marc Ambinder, who usually urges caution about reports that the two camps are fighting, is reporting that he is hearing the same things.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Clinton-Obama story will be the most crucial part of this week’s convention. With a base secured and a much greater number of Clinton supporters on board, Obama will have a big lead that McCain will have trouble contesting. But it is far from a sure thing that he will get such a united base. After all, Clinton’s concession in June does not seem to have moved numbers much. And if anything goes wrong in the staging of Clinton-Obama moments, the road would become much more difficult for Obama. Remember in 1980, when Jimmy Carter chased Teddy Kennedy around the stage in a vain effort to get him to shake his hands.

The Obama campaign now has to push back on Politico’s report. The week is not starting off well for Democrats worried about Clinton-Obama relationship. Everything will have to go perfectly well to avoid the press seizing on small moments here and there. We will watch Hillary and Bill’s speeches and the roll-call very carefully to observe what is susceptible of finally bringing Clinton supporters back to the Democratic camp.



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  • All good things must come to an end

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  • What remains on the table

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  • Confusion in Connecticut (Updated)

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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Results thread, part 2: Dems suffer staggering losses in House and legislatives races, limit damage in statewide races

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election Night results thread: Rep. Boucher’s fall first surprise of the night

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election night cheat sheet

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Final ratings: Democrats brace for historic losses

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What to watch for down-ballot

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

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