BOSTON--After last night's levitational address by Barack Obama, John Edwards' performance tonight seemed merely able. That said, Edwards' "able" is better than what most politicians deliver in the guise of their strongest speeches.
The most effective part of his speech was when he had us conjuring the image of a loney wife, scraping together the money to support her family while her husband, in the National Guard, serves in Iraq.
Edwards seemed to go out of his way to cast most of his imaginary Americans as women; it's nice to see he's paying attention to demographics.
The "hope is on the way" line was a fun bit of political jabbing, co-opting Cheney's 2000 line, "help is on the way." It's an insider punch; it's doubtful that viewers at home have much memory of Cheney's speech at the last Republican National Convention.
The Edwards family is certainly impressive: A handsome wife, fellow attorney Elizabeth, who conveys a sense of quiet assurance; an intelligent and exquisite eldest daughter, who deftly invoked the style of Jacqueline Kennedy tonight; and two cute little kids who actually appeared to be having fun on the stage after Daddy's speech.
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As I write, Aaron Brown is interviewing Al Franken, who seems not to have one funny thing to say.