The Lion roars, the Clintons fall into line, and Obama sets the tone…

First I can’t tell you how much I miss covering the conventions in person, and especially one as historic as this one. Now…here’s what I took away from it.

Senator Edward Kennedy may not see another Democratic convention, knowing that makes one reflect on how much the “Lion of the Senate” has accomplished and how much America’s premier political family has lost (three sons, one to war and two to assassin’s bullets). Aside from Lyndon Johnson, there is no elected official in history who has fought harder or accomplished more for civil rights, legal safeguards, and healthcare, especially for the poor. He is a living reminder of a more pragmatic, less partisan time.

Hillary and Bill Clinton did what they had to do. Her speech was the best I’ve seen her give, she can be so effective when she’s measured in her delivery, so unlike some shrill, harsh speeches of the past. Bill did what he always does, he hit every mark, nailed every salient point…but I didn’t feel the sincerity. It seemed to me he was saying “Vote for Obama, but Hillary was better, and I’m the best there ever was”.

Watching Obama last night I was at first disappointed, feeling it was beneath expectations…but about halfway through he seemed to reach a perfect pitch, stronger, more confident, more…Presidential. And he seemed to relish the coming campaign and debates with John McCain.

Finally, my favorite lines from the Denver speeches.

“John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them. The same policies? Those policies, all over again? Heh, I believe in recycling…but that’s ridiculous”! (Al Gore)

“John McCain calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush over 90% of the time…that’s not a maverick, that’s a sidekick”! (Bob Casey)