The Dems brought out their big guns for a campaign speech-fest on Thursday night. Ann Richards summed up the evening by explaining: “We are so united that when we leave here tonight, they’re going to have to use the jaws of life to pry us apart. [Republicans] drove us into each other’s arms.”
Gore played up the anger factor: “”Every time that you have felt that [Bush] shouldn’t be there, every time you have felt that you would like to get him out of the White House — I want you to draw on all that energy, and I want you to channel it in support of John Kerry.”
Carter told Ralph to stay out of it: “When I was president, he gave me a lot of advice. And tonight, I want to return the favor by giving him some advice. Ralph, go back to umpiring softball games or examining the rear end of automobiles, and don’t risk costing the Democrats the White House this year as you did four years ago.”
But Clinton was the star speaker of the night as he built up John Kerry…
“In the Vietnam era, most young men, including the president, the vice president and me, most of us could have gone to Vietnam and didn’t go. And John Kerry said ,send me.”
And ripped the Republicans: “If people think in this election, if they think about the choices that have been made and the vision John Kerry offers, we win. Therefore they have to get people to stop thinking and they’re real good at that. We already see what they do. They’ve got to turn John Kerry from a three-dimensional human being to two-dimensional cartoon. It’s what they know to do.”
The gang is all on board and that will be a key factor as the campaign unfolds. The key question will be whether or not John Kerry can rise to the top of the heap and become the star of his party and of this election cycle. Anyone but Bush is powerful and channeling anger can be effective, but I don’t either will be enough to get Dems all the way to the Oval Office.