Light instead of darkness. This is what Democrats maintain is the choice for President. In hundreds of ways, large and small, this had been the theme of their convention for the first three nights. But it was never stated outright, just that way. In the climax to the fourth and final night, Joe Biden did.
The former vice president opened his acceptance speech by stating it directly. What followed was plain-spoken in both content and delivery. In tone and substance, it was, in many ways, different from former President Obama’s talk the night before. But in its own pure-Biden way it had a similarly powerful impact, being more personal and emotional. Biden never mentioned President Trump by name but criticized him severely.
Mr. Trump has been calling Biden “Sleepy Joe.” That was not what anybody saw on television last night. This was “Fighting Joe,” and “Caring Joe.” It was all good enough to have Karl Rove call it “an excellent speech” and that was the general verdict of early reviews across the board.
Before Biden’s close, the convention was again—as it has been all week—a well-produced television show. It was designed so that various portions of the program can be cut into thousands of pieces for social media and on-line video.
Now that it’s over, what are we to make of what we have seen and heard from the Democrats? This was a party badly in need of hope. It seemed to get an infusion of hope, even optimism from the convention. This is now a party that its beginning to convince itself that it can win, maybe even win big. With that is a fear that in order to actually be declared the winner it must win big, otherwise—so the fear goes—a combination of the Electoral College math and Trump dirty ethics might leave them with the most votes but still defeated. So during the convention Democrats were on the offensive, taking the fight directly into Trump voters and others who consider themselves “independent”. They know that they must get out their own vote in overwhelming numbers and win the battle for “independents” to win at all in November, much less win big. But they can dream. The convention has helped encourage the notion that winning—even winning big—is, at least for now, not so wild a dream.