The view from a row in front of where Joe was sitting:
I, too, was struck by the quiet power of Obama’s speech. Quiet, literally. He didn’t have any of the hokey theme music the others did. His supporters didn’t even have any signs to wave. At some points during his speech, the crowd got so quiet that the only sound you heard was the furious tapping of reporters’ fingers on the keyboards of their laptops. That said, Edwards gave the more rousing and ultimately nutritious speech of the morning, one that felt like it had more purpose.
The significance of these cattle calls, of course, can be overstated. The DNC Winter Meeting is hardly a typical audience. But it’s worth remembering that this was the event four years ago where Howard Dean electrified the audience with his declaration–borrowed from Paul Wellstone–that he represented the “Democratic wing of the Democratic party.” That speech in many ways gave definition to the primary race that followed. I didn’t see that moment this morning.
By the way, for those of you who are wondering where everybody else was, there’s another group of Democratic hopefuls ready to go tomorrow morning: Biden, Richardson, Gravel and Vilsack, in that order.
UPDATE: You can compare them now for yourself. Thanks to commenter JJ, we have a link to the Obama speech.