Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Hope Is On The Way

A brilliant last hour for the Democrats. The Edwards family came across as more "typical American" than any other political family that I can remember. At the end, with the little kids being twirled around by their Dad, the message was clear - these are people who understand what it is like to be a regular American.

And that was the message that John Edwards got across so effectively in his speech. The simple message that "I know what it is like": know what it is like to start at the bottom; know what it is like to face adversity; know what it is like to wonder how we can get through the next week or month. When he talked about most Americans living from paycheck to paycheck, he sounded like he knew what he was talking about from experience. And the fact that he was standing there, accepting the nomination to be Vice-President just served to underline that there is always hope, no matter how bleak things may look.

The Republicans will attack Edwards for his experience, and the Democrats obviously know that, so instead of getting into a shouting match over "experience", they are changing the argument. Every time the Republicans say that Edwards isn't experienced enough, the Democrats will counter with the fact that he has "real" experience, that he know what the American voters face on a day to day basis, and that message is very powerful, especially because after tonight, most people will think of the Edwards family as a normal American family. It's "Washington" experience vs. "Real Life" experience. (Besides Edwards has more foreign policy experience than Junior did last election, but then again, look where that has gotten us.)

In 1992, people could relate to Bill Clinton, he spoke their language, so did Ronald Reagan, John Edwards is by far the most authentic person to be on the ticket this year. If the voters are worried that John Kerry doesn't understand them, well, Edwards is there to keep it real.

John Edwards gave a great speech, but the whole picture, from Cate's and Elizabeth's speeches, to the perfect picture at the end with John swinging Jack and Emma Claire, was what the Democrats wanted. John Edwards has put a lot of Southerners and Midwesterners at ease about this ticket. They aren't sold yet, only Kerry can do that, but John Edwards spoke their language, and in doing so, made it a whole lot easier for John Kerry's message to sink in tomorrow night.