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The Clintons (and Obama) Show

I was listening to NPR Wednesday night and some pundit made an observation that was also surfacing in the 8-ball of my brain at about the same time: Rhe Clintons have succeeded in making the Democratic convention, and the media coverage, about themselves.

Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner gave the keynote speech Tuesday night, but that was essentially an afterthought in the media coverage, which was dominated, overshadowed and otherwise relegated to second-class status by the WWHD ("what would Hillary do") buildup to Hillary Clinton’s speech.

Then came Tuesday, when Barack Obama’s name was to be put in nomination and Joe Biden was to accept his vice presidential nomination.

Somehow, it became the Hillary Clinton show when she came out to declare him elected by acclamation. So, the spotlight was on Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama. Even one veteran Democrtic senator said that the moment, historic for the first nomination of an

African American for president, was "four-fifths," I think was his phrase, about Hillary Clinton.

And before Biden got to speak, the hall was brought to its feet by Bill Clinton, who began his speech by praising Hillary Clinton’s campaign and speech the night before. Eventually, he got around to Barack Obama, and delivered. But he also commanded the hall in a way that made it impossible for anyone to trump it, and probably made many wish he were the one acception a nomination.

Clinton initially expressed his support for Obama not by saying it directly, but by saying "that makes two of us," in reference to Hillary’s profession of support. Then he added "not two of us, but 18 million of us," a reference to the number of votes Hillary got for the nomination.

But the president did deliver the money quotes, including the following: "Barrack Obama is ready to lead America and restore America’s leadership in the world… Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States." (By the way, when did President Clinton morph into Dick Van Dyke? Just asking).

The best speech line of the convention also belonged to Clinton (or speechwriters): "People have always been far more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power."

Amother NPR commentator said Democrats needed to make the last two days of the convention about Barack Obama. So, far, it still isn’t.