From NBC's Luke Russert
While Joe Biden's speech was no doubt important, Bill Clinton was once again the story of the night. Greeted by throngs of boisterous supporters who did not stop clapping for five minutes, Clinton delivered a speech that many felt he was incapable of giving, a speech praising his wife's former opponent Barack Obama.
The most significant line of the night was: "Sixteen years ago . . . we prevailed in a campaign in which the Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be Commander-in-Chief." By directly comparing himself to Obama, he reversed the past seventeen months of casting doubt on Obama's readiness to lead. Personally, Clinton amazes me. No matter what he does or whom he upsets, he always manages to come back and be accepted. By ripping Obama for the past seventeen months, Clinton had burned many bridges. Amazingly they were rebuilt tonight.
On to Biden. To me, the speech sounded like an intervention. My colleague Domenico Montanaro gave me the title, "an intervention for the country." And that is what the speech was. It wasn't fiery or loud. It was calm, cool and almost pleaded for a Republican-free America.
The star of the night was Beau Biden. Maybe I'm biased towards sons who talk about their fathers, but Beau Biden straight dominated and owned the room. He was personable, authentic and came across as a leader. I'll say tonight: Beau Biden just launched his 2014 Senate campaign. Obama came out at the end and looked hip with the mike in his hand and not speaking behind the podium. Obama gave a little teaser to the adoring crowd but clearly all was saved for tomorrow's performance.
Well, I got up at 3:15am this morning to do the Today show, so I am checking out. I'll be back tomorrow, live from Invesco Field for one of the most highly anticipated speeches of the 21st century.
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