The Note: Obama Poised to Claim Democratic Party

By Hope Ditto

Aug 28, 2008 10:19am

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports in Thursday’s Note:

DENVER —

Even if it’s disappointed those who were looking for chaos rather than comity, they’ve had their roles: The defeated rival, coming to terms with a real kind of inevitability; the former leader, bestowing his blessings at long, long last; an evening capped by the grizzled veteran, basking in his moment — and lighting the path for the chosen one.

In case Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., needed to see how it was done on Thursday, a couple of old pros made it work for him Wednesday. By the time Obama heard the roar of the crowd for himself, a convention that looked dangerously close to veering off track was tantalizingly close to fulfilling its goals.

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., made the case for Obama — and against Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — more eloquently, coherently, and tactically than maybe even that guy at the top of the ticket.

Former President Bill Clinton completed the sentiments his wife started (but didn’t finish) articulating the night before — and for a night, and perhaps now for a campaign, we witnessed grace and generosity.

Read the rest of The Note — and get all the latest on the 2008 election, Congress, the White House and the wide world of politics every day — from Rick Klein by bookmarking this link.

And the masterstroke: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D- N.Y., made the final, minutely choreographed gesture herself. “Clinton did the honors for the man who had denied her dream of becoming the first woman ever nominated to lead a major party,” Dan Balz and Anne Kornblut write in The Washington Post.

(Suddenly, with McCain poised to pick a running mate, does it seem that the drama is drifting in the general vicinity of St. Paul?)

At last, a message: “This week’s events served as a national debut, of sorts, for the Obama campaign attack machine, even if that machinery is operated mostly by supporters and aides, rather than the candidate himself,” Peter Wallsten and Doyle McManus write in the Los Angeles Times. “It was clear that the campaign has settled on its favorite theme: portraying McCain as out of touch economically and an identical twin to President Bush.”

Now, Obama just has to give at least the second-best speech of his life Thursday night at Invesco Field at Mile High — while not letting the setting become the story. (He’s presumptive no more, but that doesn’t take care of presumptuous.)

“His campaign has gambled on the historic moment by creating a stage that will magnify his performance,” Eli Saslow writes in The Washington Post.

“Succeed here, in front of the largest Democratic National Convention crowd in nearly 50 years, and Obama’s speech will be remembered as one of the most powerful moments in modern politics, a perfect launch into the final stage of the general election,” he writes. “Fail, and Obama risks fueling Republicans’ criticism that he is an aloof celebrity, fond of speaking to big crowds, but incapable of forming genuine connections.”

Continue reading today’s Note by clicking HERE.

ABC News’ Hope Ditto contributed to this report.

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