Wednesday was the penultimate day of the Democratic convention and it ran smoothly enough for speakers to focus on praise of Hillary Clinton—and takedowns of Donald Trump—instead of calls for party unity, though Bernie Sanders supporters didn't go completely unheard. But some Dems had a better day than others. Here's how the analysts saw it:
- President Obama. His speech was one of the "most moving, inspiring valentines to this country that I've ever heard, brimming with regard for it and gratitude to it," writes Frank Bruni at the New York Times. Obama didn't pull many punches when criticizing Trump: David Wasserman at FiveThirtyEight notes that "it's pretty extraordinary for a sitting president to refer to fascism and allude to the opposing party's nominee as a homegrown demagogue."
- Joe Biden. He managed to effectively tell his "own story of loss and perseverance," hit Trump and his "malarkey" hard, and deliver a powerful endorsement of Clinton, writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. The speech was "quintessential Biden—a fundamental rejection of the dark vision of the United States offered by Trump in favor of the come-on-this-is-America spirit that the longtime Delaware senator personifies," he writes.
- Tim Kaine's dad jokes. The VP nominee gave a solid but unexceptional speech that had many commenters referring to him as a "suburban dad." Vice presidents need personas, and the "fun dad" one is a pretty good one to have, writes Dylan Matthews at Vox. "Kaine has lucked into a reputation that's ridiculous but fundamentally innocuous," he writes. "That's a neat trick to pull off." Nobody wants to see his Trump impersonation again, however.
- The Democratic Party. The convention has had its share of drama, but the party has managed to project an air of "level-headed normality" compared to the "chaos" of the GOP convention, writes Michael Grunwald at Politico. "The Democratic mission was to look like a normal political party staging a normal political convention, and so far the mission has been accomplished."
- Leon Panetta. The former defense secretary "appeared flustered" when some delegates, apparently Sanders supporters from Oregon, started chanting "No more wars" during his speech. The interruption "took the sting" out of his attack on Trump, according to the Hill.
- Rahm Emanuel. The intro video before Obama's speech barely mentioned the president's former chief, and "when it did, it cast him as the guy saying that the Affordable Care Act couldn't pass," notes Cillizza at the Post. Matthews sees the treatment of Emanuel, who is under pressure to resign as mayor of Chicago, as a brutal "humiliation before a national audience."
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