Successful start for the Democrats in Charlotte

So how did the first day of the Democratic National Convention go?

As expected, liberal commentators were full of praise, but, Peggy Nonnan in her blog in conservative Wall Street Journal, also called it “a great success,” and concluded:

“I remember when Republicans did better conventions than Democrats—better staging, better films, better speeches, more fun. So far, looking at both last week and last night, that’s being turned on its ear. Does any of this matter? Will it affect the outcome? We’ll see. But if I’m a Democrat, I’m looking at last night and thinking, “That didn’t hurt. That didn’t hurt at all.”

Michelle Obama’ speech was the highlight of the first night, a speech widely praised, both on the left and on the right, a speech which Noonan called “remarkable and memorable.”

At both conventions now, the spouses of the two candidates, first Ann Romney and now Michelle Obama, have played major political roles. For a European observer, where wives to politicians and political candidates play a much more “behind-the-scenes” role, this takes a bit getting used to. But like the rest of us, I was fascinated and impressed by both, although I have no idea how politically important these speeches will be down the line, on Election Day.

The role of the candidates’ wives is serious business, as can be seen in Ann Davidson’s comments on The New Yorkers ‘Daily Comment’ under the headline, ”Love and Presidents: The difference between Michelle and Ann”.

“While Ann Romney, as I wrote last week, elevated modesty, telling the audience that her husband didn’t like to talk about his good deeds, Michelle emphasized humility, which, she suggested, brought with it an obligation to public life—that after passing through the “doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you.” The flip side of the American dream, which she said her husband had lived, is what Americans owe. Her husband, she said, “wants everyone in this country, everyone to have the same opportunity no matter who we are or where we are from or what we look like or who we love.”

Tonight, the main speakers will be former president Bill Clinton and Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, one of my favorite liberal voices, who is trying to unseat Republican Senator Scott Brown and get elected to the U.S. Senate.

More on this later. Meanwhile, here is Michelle Obama’s speech:

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