Denver shows that Barack Obama is master of the pop-in.
He just made a surprise waltz through an Illinois delegation gathering in Denver, on the afternoon of his big nomination speech. One onlooker told me the delegates went spastic, as we chatted near Obama's mammoth motorcade in downtown Denver. Obama also broke convention decorum to hit the stage with Joe Biden on Wednesday, of course, and made the first telecast pop-in on Monday night after Michelle's patriotic address.
While nominees usually stay away from the convention all week, avoiding delegate run-ins like a bride hiding out before a wedding, Obama has actually taken center stage on three of the four nights. He was absent only on Day Two, for Her Speech. The campaign simply circulated still photos of Obama quietly watching Clinton's speech that night. The idea, one campaign aide told me, was to signal his respect and interest in her speech, but without treading to heavily through a live reaction.
Wednesday's speech from Bill Clinton is also playing well for Obama, as the nation's front pages attest. Blogger Adam Johnson posts today's newspapers on a new blog, How's It Playing? (The link is being circulated by Obama aides, so it may be from a campaign volunteer or staffer.)
Standing on the floor last night, I could feel a huge, spontaneous cheer of relief as the former president delivered his extended, unambiguous endorsement. For the first time, Clinton wrapped his legacy around Obama, linking their mutual quest to beat attacks on experience and a quaint faith in the power of hope. Obama fans have long linked Obama's fast rise to Clinton's position in 1992, and few commentators have missed the prominence of the H-word in Democratic politics. But Bill never went there before, so his Obama embrace really thrilled the crowds. Ever the strategist, though, he also talked about why less partisan Americans should back Obama, and how a Democratic economic agenda beats more of the same Republican plutocracy. "Thanks, but no thanks," was the response he gamely urged voters to give the GOP. On Thursday, Obama's final appearance aims to give voters the rest of the answer -- the economic, diplomatic and moral reasons to not only reject Republican failure, but to embrace his candidacy and platform.
For more Huffington Post coverage from the Democratic National Convention, visit our Politics @ the DNC page, our Democratic Convention Big News Page, and our HuffPost bloggers' Twitter feed, live from Denver.
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