Thoughts on Warner’s Keynote

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From Time’s Amy Sullivan

Listening to Mark Warner’s keynote address, it certainly sounded like he went after Bush, McCain and the GOP. (He pulled off the attack-dog role better than did Kathleen Sebelius, who mostly sounded like a fourth-grade teacher who was very disappointed with George and John.) But overall, the speech didn’t strike me as terribly tough. And when I read back over, I saw a couple of reasons why. For one thing, Warner mentioned McCain and Bush just three times in a four-page (15 minute?) talk. But more significantly, his tough lines were actually warmed-over leftovers from 2004: they get a rise out of the crowd, but they didn’t seem to move voters the first time around when they littered Democratic convention speeches in 2004: After 9/11, Bush asked people to go shopping instead of to sacrifice; Republicans don’t support soldiers once they get back from Iraq and Afghanistan; they didn’t plan for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

It doesn’t mean Democrats need to go after McCain personally to actually land a punch. But at the very least, they might want to update last cycle’s speeches.