Unfortunately, I missed Ted Kennedy and some other prominent speakers. However, I did get home in time to see the future first black president of America, Barack Obama.
This man was insanely charismatic and seriously made Clinton's speech fade in my memory. Like everyone else in the convention, he talked about unity and a return to a UNITED states, but he also touched on many issues that politicians rarely discuss. Most notably his mention of the media-spread perception that blacks with a book are trying to "act white" raised eyebrows and drew applause. My favorite moment was when he said that a problem for one person is a problem for everyone. He touched on gay rights, labor rights and due process. In fact, nearly every other sentence drew applause, and the whole convention completely erupted when he endorsed Kerry. Go watch the speech, I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Geez, I'm smitten.
Ron Reagan gave an endearing, if somewhat sales-man like speech making the case for stem cell research. Dems clung on to any hint of dissent with Bush, and even if this was not an issue that garnered a lot of excitement, having the son of a former republican president clearly thrilled the audience.
Thereza Heinz-Kerry's speech was not quite as exciting, but remarkable for a few reasons.
First of all, she directly courted minority and immigrant votes by addressing the audience in many different languages and sharing her experience growing up abroad. To me this was also a message that she will bring a unique perspective to her husbands foreing policy.
Second of all, she started right off by bringing up women's rights, here and abroad. Her blatant feminism is risky in this country, but I dug it.
Third, she pointed to the peace corp as the image america should by trying to promote overseas. An America of hope rather than fear, is how i beleive she put it. A good, and again somewhat risky point to make as the Peace corp is also linked with youthful naievete in the minds of some. It worked for me, though.
Towards the end of the speech she started to falter, talking in vagueries and touchy feely language that was a weak way to end the speech. Overall, though, this speech showed off the possible first lady as an intriguing and bright woman who will bring women's and immigrants rights to the dinner table.
After Obama, I honestly can't see how the RNC can possibly outdo this show of excitement and hope.