The Note: The Mountaintop

This is what Bill (and maybe Bill alone) can do: "He succinctly framed the two great themes of this election, at last for Democrats: 'How to rebuild the American dream, how to restore America's leadership in the world,' " the Philadelphia Inquirer's Dick Polman writes.

The words the Obama camp was waiting a very, very long time for: "The Clintons have left the building. Finally," Politico's Roger Simon writes.

Don't look now -- but can you spell U-N-I-T-Y? "Among the passionate Clinton supporters at the Democratic National Convention, the talk of not voting for Obama was noticeably scarcer after Clinton's Tuesday speech urging unity behind the nominee," Adam C. Smith writes in the St. Petersburg Times.

"Unity Accomplished," Howard Wolfson blogs. "Both Clintons gave strong, believeable speeches in support of Senator Obama's candidacy. Senator Clinton nominated him from the floor. And Senator Obama encouraged the placement of Senator Clinton's name in nomination and offered praise for his former rival and the former President. And I'm betting he will have more words of praise for both tonight."

Then there's No. 2 -- anyone surprised now why Biden's on the ticket?

"Barack Obama portrays himself as a new kind of presidential candidate, but Joe Biden is likely to spend this campaign as the most traditional of vice presidential nominees: leading the attack against the opposition," Susan Page writes for USA Today.

The Boston Globe's Scott Helman: "It was red-meat stuff for the 4,233 Democratic delegates packed into the Pepsi Center for the party's national convention, many of whom were looking to Biden to fill a role they say presidential nominee Barack Obama badly needs -- that of an aggressive and experienced attacker."

"Largely he fulfilled the mission the Obama campaign had assigned him: humanize himself and Mr. Obama, attack Mr. McCain, and present a familiar voice and message to the swing voters and conservative Democrats that Mr. Obama had difficulty courting during the primaries," John M. Broder writes in The New York Times.

The speech was better for its imperfections: "His job is to use his quirky approachability to introduce Obama to voters who have been skeptical about him," writes Slate's John Dickerson. "A guy named Barack needs a guy named Joe as his running mate. (In political-speak, they call this being the validator.)"

Thursday's big speakers (other than the big guy): Al Gore, DNC Chairman Howard Dean; Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M. (bumped from Wednesday); Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.; Gov. Tim Kaine, D-Va.; Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; and Susan Eisenhower.

Your musical guests: (definitely) will.i.am and Stevie Wonder, (probably) Bon Jovi, (probably not) Springsteen.

Choosing Time:

With McCain expected to reveal his running mate Friday (if it holds), Thursday would be the day McCain makes the phone call to said partner. IF, that is, he's made up his mind . . .

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