EDITOR'S NOTE: First Read was on scene for Obama's speech and would have posted earlier had it not been for the hostage situation at the Clinton campaign office in Rochester, N.H.
From NBC's Abby Livingston
For so long, it seemed that Obama's attacks on Hillary flew over the heads of his audiences. Using her name in his stump and addressing her personally at debates were watershed moments in his campaign. Today at the DNC fall meeting, again, he did not mention her name. He did not have to. The audience comprised of the party insiders, candidate supporters and political junkies, caught each and every one of his Hillary allusions.
Obama supporters cheered when he said, "And the only mission that was ever accomplished was to use fear and falsehood to take this country into a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged." People fidgeted when he used the word "triangulation." And gasps were audible when Obama said, "I'm running for president because I'm sick and tired of Democrats thinking that the only way to look tough on national security is by talking and acting and voting like George Bush Republicans."
The morning was a good barometer on base support. The Democratic audience received Richardson's speech much like a college lecture. Polite, listening, clapping, and interest despite toe tapping from young Obama supporters standing against the wall. Following Richardson, it was at times difficult to hear Edwards due to the cheering from his section of supporters. Although they had coveted seats in the overflowing room, they stood for most of his speech and waved Edwards 2008 placards.
But Obama's speech stood out. When he spoke, the room was akin to a high school pep rally on the eve of a rival game. One Obama supporter went so far as to apologize to this transcribing reporter for the pandemonium. During one of his introductory lines, Obama said, "The question to ask yourselves when you vote is, 'What is next for America?'" To which a female supporter stood up and screamed, "Barack Obama!"
Because Hillary's appearance was canceled due to the hostage situation, it is unfortunate that there is no way to compare the two leading candidates' receptions in front of the audience of party faithful.