Ted Kennedy: I didn't tune in to hear his puffery, and couldn't possibly care less. I've always found him pompous and annoying.
Howard Dean: While I appreciate some of Dean's stances, particularly his opposition to the Patriot Act, I don't think he delivered very well tonight. I thought his interview with some of CNN's talking heads the previous night was better. He did have a few strong lines, like the "this was never about me: it was about us," but overall, I found it somewhat disappointing. Tons of pre-speech applause, however, so he probably could have read the phone directory and made his very sympathetic audience happy.
Barack Obama: Holy smokes, a speech better than Clinton's. Actually, I'd bet a batch of cheese wafers that some of Clinton's speech writers worked on Obama's keynote address, 'cause there were excerpts that sounded very Clintonesque. Excellent speech, well delivered, and one that actually reached out to moderates in some passages. If he's careful, and can walk his own path through the people trying to groom him, he may have a bright political future ahead of him.
Ron Reagan: Though not as electrifying as Obama, Ron Reagan was actually the perfect follow up, providing an opportunity for the viewers to rest and think. I definitely appreciate his committed outreach on stem cell research, and commend his courage for sticking to his beliefs regardless of his parentage. Rather than all the bombast and shouting, he got our attention quietly and with dignity, which was the perfect tone for his message.
Teresa Heinz Kerry: I don't care if she speaks five languages, can she articulate her thoughts in any one of them well? I found her speech to be meandering, dull, and transparently pandering to women: there are those of us who pride ourselves on being "smart and well-informed" who found it patronizing, outdated, and grating.
I've seen many good speakers, both male and female. Teresa Heinz Kerry is not one of them. Note to John Kerry: really, don't let her out too much before the election. You don't want your wife to become a negative factor for you in this close a race. Your core constituency may love her, but don't mistake that for general widespread appeal.