Kerry's speech: Touchdown!
(Okay, so I've heard the home run analogy one too many times tonight.)
Ever since John Kerry sewed up the nomination, the chattering classes have been going on about what a stiff he is. How dull and windy his speeches are. How he can't stop engaging in the sort of bloviating that plays well in the Senate chamber.
Well, whaddaya know...
The Kerry we saw tonight was a man on a mission. He made his case to the American people in no uncertain terms: It's time to get this nation back on track, and I'm the man who can do it.
For my own part, I'm profoundly grateful to Kerry for volunteering to clean up this mess. Last year, I surveyed the Democratic field and said to myself: He's the one. This guy is presidential material. I kept my own counsel, though, and simply told friends that "all I care about is nominating the guy who can beat George Bush."
You need to realize that I live in North Carolina, and I've been very impressed with John Edwards from the get-go. Every time I dashed off an e-mail to his office, I received a real answer -- not a form letter. He played a pivotal role in blocking the confirmation of Bush's worst judicial nominees. But in an election that would likely hinge on national security, I couldn't envision a one-term senator at the top of the ticket; the Republicans would eat him alive. VP...now, that was another matter.
As we've heard all week, this is the most crucial election of our time. I decided early on that I was going to donate the maximum -- $2,000 -- to the Democratic nominee. I wanted to make that contribution to the Kerry campaign, but I'm a middle-class working stiff -- I could only do it once. So I had to wait until he clinched the nomination. After Super Tuesday, my check was in the mail. And when John Kerry chose John Edwards as his running mate, I had my dream team.
We've got our work cut out for us -- we're going up against people who will stop at nothing to win -- but I feel great about this election. This week, America got a good look at a winning team as well as an earful of the Democrats' message. The days of letting ourselves be defined by the Republicans are OVER. John Kerry made that abundantly clear tonight -- as did John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton before him.
It's been a great week -- and it's only the beginning.