Grading Last Night's Speeches

August 28 2008, 8:46 AM

Dear Democrats: Echoed over and over again last night by a number of speakers at the Pepsi Center were a few key phrases: "[John McCain's] not change. He's more of the same!" and "Obama's grandfather marched in Patton's army." We get it: John McCain's old and boring, and Obama's family has proud American history. Let's move on. That being said, last night fielded an impressive array of speakers: Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and VP candidate Joe Biden. (Skipped over was poor Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico and a former presidential candidate himself.) Before Biden began to speak, rumors that Obama was in the Pepsi Center whispered through the crowd. He spoke briefly, so we won't grade him until his speech tonight at Invesco Field.

Bill Clinton Cheer Factor (out of 10): 10. The crowd went nuts for Clinton, clapping and hollering for several minutes despite his request for everyone to quiet down. Key Quotes: 1. "I am honored to be here tonight to support Barack Obama. And to warm up the crowd for Joe Biden, though as you'll soon see, he doesn't need any help from me. I love Joe Biden, and America will too." 2. "Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she'll do everything she can to elect Barack Obama. That makes two of us." Grade: A. Clinton assuaged all worry that he wouldn't fully support Obama or Biden. John Kerry Cheer Factor (out of 10): 7. Key Quote: "Candidate McCain now supports the wartime tax cuts that Senator McCain once denounced as immoral. Candidate McCain criticizes Senator McCain's own climate change bill. Candidate McCain says he would now vote against the immigration bill that Senator McCain wrote. Are you kidding? Talk about being for it before you're against it." Grade: B+. Where was Kerry's passion--and humor--in 2004? Beau Biden Cheer Factor (out of 10): 5 Key Quote: "Now, some people poke fun at my dad talking too much. What a lot of people don't know is that, when he was young, he had a severe stutter. The kids called him Dash -- not because he was fast on the football field, which he was, but like a dash at the end of a sentence you can't finish. But now he speaks with a clear and strong voice. He says what needs to be said. And he does what needs to be done." Grade: B+. Beau Biden positioned himself well to run for his father's Senate seat in Delaware. Joe Biden Cheer Factor (out of 10): 8. Key Quote: "My mother's creed is the American creed: No one is better than you. Everyone is your equal, and everyone is equal to you." Grade: C. Biden was solid, but his speech wasn't nearly as good as those of the other keynote speakers, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. In fact, the highlight was Mama Biden, nodding along while Joe claimed she counseled him to bloody bullies' noses when he was a kid. Mama Biden for Prez!