BARACK OBAMA

Ari
Melber
: His speech was both soaring and chilling, imbued with
heartening idealism and wonkish detail; it deftly called for a new, civil politics while also issuing a call to arms against the lethal failures of the
incumbent administration.

<a
href=”/blogs/notion/350389/gloves_off_at_invesco
“>Richard Kim: Some of the necessary, crucial themes seemed buried
too deep within. The economic crisis that most Americans struggle with was movingly highlighted, but the solutions–or even the chief culprits–remained
vague. The foreign policy dilemmas remained too wrapped in the language
of American exceptionalism. The culture war was assuaged, but only with
significant cheats–the idea, for example, that gun control is about
“keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals” or that same-sex marriage
was about visiting one’s loved one in the hospital.

Christopher
Hayes
: The moment he walked out to accept the nomination, when the
crowd swelled and the people next to me began to cheer and some teared, this
thing called History felt real and living and somehow inhabiting the
stadium and the podium and Obama himself.

Obama’s rhetorical genius is his ability to sink a well into the
troubled history of this strange flawed beautiful republic, and call
forth a geyser of optimism in the American Project. It’s something that
no one else can do, and once again, at a moment of maximum pressure, he
delivered.

JOE BIDEN

Bob Moser: When Biden means it, you know it–and the things he meant last night, he said with a kind of conviction and sincerity that the ’90s version of a Democratic populist, ol’ Bill, can only match in his rarest performances. Biden looks a lot like Barack Obama’s Bill Clinton–a guy who speaks the kind of American that Democrats in the South and the Midwest can hear. While the general consensus about “using Bill” has been “send him to Appalachia,” Biden just might be able to relieve Bubba of that duty and make a fresher case for Obama and the Democrats.

JOHN KERRY

John Nichols: If Democrats are looking for a template to apply in the fall campaign, they could do no better than the one Kerry offered them Wednesday night. Indeed, had Kerry been as aggressive as this in 2004, this week’s convention might well be nominating him for a second term.

BILL CLINTON

John Nichols: Bill Clinton, whose relationship with Obama has been, uh, strained, delivered precisely the appointment that was required after a bruising primary campaign.

HILLARY CLINTON

Ari Melber: In the end, the bobbing blue “UNITY” signs still fill the Pepsi Center, and most of the delegates I’ve seen are more united than cable news coverage would suggest. Clinton’s speech should help the cause, and now it’s up to the people actually on the ticket, Obama and Biden, to fill the hole that she left. It’s not enough to show voters that they agree with Obama on most major issues. People want to know they can trust him. They want to feel, to borrow a tacky campaign slogan that came up short, that he’s ready to lead on day one.

Katha Pollitt: It was a great speech–and she not only gave it everything she had, she looked energized, confident and happy doing so. But the most important thing about it was that she called herself “a proud supporter of Barack Obama.” In the very first sentence. These were the words people needed to hear–the crowd went wild, perhaps with relief. (I was pretty nervous myself about whether she would convey real enthusiasm.) Just to make sure everyone got the point, she made it again and again.”

MICHELLE OBAMA

Katha Pollitt: Michelle Obama’s performance Monday night was spectacular. She was confident, warm, relaxed and eloquent, also smart, beautiful,radiant, gracious, stylish, humorous and tall. I want to be her when I grow up. She accomplished, seemingly effortlessly, what she had to do: she replaced the angry-black-Pantherish terrorist- fist-bumping Michelle of right-wing (and not only right-wing) fantasy with Michelle, the normal, everyday, working-class-rooted loving wife and (working) mother. She presented herself and her family — her parents, her brother, her daughters, and her husband — as part of an ongoing all-American story of devotion to faith, family, hard work,community, sports, and, yes, country.”