My Quick Take


We don’t know how much conventions matter anymore. The electorate is more polarized and media coverage is more suffusive. But if they do matter, it’s hard to imagine a convention better staged or messaged than the one the Democrats put on for the last three days. Three blockbuster speeches. Actually a few more, but one biggie a night. But more than that a coherence to the core message that every major speaker returned to again and again.

As I noted in my live blog, the President’s speech began in a textbook, pretty unexceptional way. But it started building about half-way through. And it became clear — at least it seemed clear to me — that the more plodding style was intentional. The President’s advisors didn’t want that inspirational, rhetorical flourish avatar from four year’s ago. They wanted something steadier and more sober. But then it started to build, loftier and more aggressive. On balance, I think it was exactly the speech they wanted him to give.

This was an aggressive, in your face Democratic party.

My gut tells me that the President and his party had a much, much better couple weeks than Gov. Romney. So far though, there’s little to show it in the polls. In fact, we’ve gotten very few quality polls out at all since the beginning of the Republican convention. We’ll know more soon.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of