Speaking as the surrogate for her mother's campaign, Chelsea Clinton was the star of the first general session at the Texas Democratic Convention this weekend. Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine -- sometimes mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice for Barack Obama -- spoke later in the evening as the Obama surrogate. Judging from audience reaction, however, Chelsea looked to be the the crowd favorite for VP.
Paparazzi-style hordes of Chelsea fans nearly halted the convention program. During one outbreak of applause, one person shouted "Hey Chelsea, when are you going to run?" Clinton supporters seemed nostalgic for the words of a Clinton the night before the Hillary campaign would end. Chelsea's voice unmistakably echoed her mom's characteristic timbre and her affable manners evoked Bill's charm.
Coming in the wake of the uproar, Tim Kaine's appearance was anticlimactic, even though he was the first governor in the country to endorse Obama.
Event planners also gave more celebrity treatment to Chelsea, who, flanked by security guards, was for all intents and purposes the night's key event. Three twenty-something activists introduced Chelsea while just one state representative introduced Gov. Kaine. Texas party leaders also scheduled Kaine to speak much later in the program, probably intending the evening finale to consist of Kaine pumping up the spirit for the sole new focus of the party: Barack Obama. But by the time Kaine stepped on stage, even the subject of the party's official nominee could not elicit as much energy from the tired crowd.