Jeralyn Merrit writes:
The speech was everything he needed. I was there--it was electric. Kerry was better than I ever thought he could be. Up there in Blogger Alley, we were all clapping and cheering by the end. And we had read the speech hours before. Until we heard the delivery, it didn't register as being that special. But, his delivery was perfect.
Well, "I was there" is exactly the problem with analyzing Kerry's speech. How many people who were there did Kerry need to sway?
Correct answer: Zero.
Kerry needed to move some portion of the estimated 25 million Americans watching tonight. How many did he convince to vote for him? How many did he convince at least enough not to vote for Bush? How many people did he move into the Bush column?
I don't know. Neither does Jeralyn -- even though she feels like it was "electric." Of course it was electric. It's electric to be a Nuggets fan in Denver, even when the Lakers comes to play. You know they're going to lose, but, hey, they're your team.
That's not to say that Kerry will win or Bush will lose -- and that brings me to Jeralyn's closing line:
I know you don't want to hear it, but Bush is toast.
For the exclusive reason that we're at war and I don't trust Kerry to lead it, I hope Bush isn't toast.
However, unlike a partisan like Jeralyn, I won't call the election three months early, just because I heard a speech in a room full of thousands of people who think like I do. In fact, I go out of my way to show you why this election is still too close to call.
I applaud those bloggers who, like Jeralyn, took the time and expense to travel to Boston (and later, to New York) to provide live blog coverage of the convention.
But is it too much to ask, for a little less cheerleading, and a little more analysis?
(Even if the "analysis" consists mostly of martini-fueled quips?)