Michelle Obama was spectacular Monday night. Poised, charming, beautiful, and most of all, authentic.
Ted Kennedy was heroic. Rising out of a wheelchair to stride out on stage, he showed us all the meaning of courage.
But unless you're married to the nominee or fighting off brain cancer, each speaker has one job at the Democratic convention: make the case for change. That case begins with a resounding, ringing indictment of the failed Bush-McCain policies.
In other words: attack.
82 percent of Americans think our country is moving in the wrong direction. The Bush-McCain Republicans messed up the country in their first term, and they messed up the world in their second. If they get a third term, even the solar system won't be safe.
Nancy Pelosi was great. The House Speaker was radiant and optimistic, even as she tore into the Bush-McCain Republicans. And yet there are troubling signs that the rest of the Democrats still don't get it. There is a report that former Virginia governor Mark Warner, the Democrats' keynote speaker, will not attack the Republicans.
To be fair, Warner is running for the Senate in a state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson. Tearing into war hero McCain while running in a state full of military families could prove problematic for a guy whose reputation as governor was made on bipartisanship.
Democrats should not have put Warner in this bind. They should have chosen as their keynoter someone who, like Pelosi, can give voice to the anger and anxiety of hundreds of millions of Americans. Someone who will show McCain to be the Bush clone that he is.
This is a no-brainer. The political press is abuzz with overblown stories of a Clinton-Obama rift. There are some hard feelings, but less than you'd think, given the closeness of the primaries. But I have a seven-point plan for uniting the Obama and Clinton wings of the party:
Attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, attack.
The way to unite and internally divided organization is to identify an external threat. The Obama delegates will be buying beers for the Clinton delegates once they're focused on how disastrous a third term for Bush-McCain would be. But no one is telling them.
If the Democrats do not spend the remaining days of their convention -- hell, the remaining days of the campaign -- in an all-out assault on the ruinous Bush-McCain policies, they will lose.
I was for Hillary in the primaries, but when she endorsed Sen. Obama, I proudly sent him a check for the legal maximum. On the memo line of the check I wrote, "FOR NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING ONLY." No matter what minor difference Hillary and Barack had, they pale in comparison to the corruption, incompetence, dishonesty and criminality of the Bush-McCain Republicans.
Democrats need to attack as if the future, the country and the planet depend on it. Because they do.
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