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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

8:43 PM MDT. Sean on Schweitzer: “First 10 minutes of this speech: “Geez, I’ve been telling people how great he is, but he isn’t hitting his stride with this large-sized crowd.” Then, the Brian I’ve known and loved came alive. He is at his best when he is doing call and response, he genuinely loves getting a crowd roused. Schweitzer is a scientist, a secret wonk. He knows all the percentages and data cold. But he sells it with a joyful Barnumesque “the petro dictators will never own American wind and sunshine.” And he knows how to make fun of how his opponents hold positions that mock common sense. The Schweitzer that brought the house down and put genuine expressions of surprised joy on the faces of Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama is the Schweitzer we’ve talked about as a true natural.”

8:37 PM MDT. Time for the Main Event. Sean is going to have a closing thought on Schweitzer, and then we’ll open a new thread.

8:35 PM MDT. Not sure if the networks are picking this up, but Bubba likes what he sees.

8:30 PM MDT. Sean calls Schweitzer a closet wonk, which means that he’s basically using the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer technique. “I’m just a rancher…” (who happens to have a masters’ in soil science). In any event, he definitely hit his stride once he started talking about the energy stuff.

8:28 PM MDT. This (Schweitzer) speech has a little bit of an extemporaneous quality to it, which is alternately endearing and off-putting.

8:22 PM MDT. Looks like Brian Schweitzer has put on the Freshman Governor 15.

8:08 PM MDT. “George Bush started on third base, and then he stole second.”

Ted Strickland just delivered the best line of the convention so far, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a baseball fan. Shades of Ann Richards.

8:00 PM MDT. Warner: B/B+ for delivery, B/B- for messaging? Very few direct hits on McCain, although that’s not traditionally not been the keynote speaker’s role. On the other hand, the Democrats are keeping their speeches nice and short this year.

7:58 PM MDT. For the 99.98% of you who are watching this on some network other than C-SPAN, Deval Patrick and Brian Schweitzer are the two speakers scheduled in between Warner and Clinton.

7:56 PM MDT. A shout-out to Peoria, Illinois? Illinois is not a swing state. Rookie.

7:50 PM MDT. Warner’s actually pretty good up there — Sean says he’s much better than when he used to watch Warner in Virginia. But he still has this thing going on where he seems like he’s a dude playing a president on TV.

Clever Olympics reference, though. Although, for the sake of context, the US won more medals in Beijing than in other fully competitive Olympic Games (excluding 1984 and the year in St. Louis that we held an Olympics and nobody else came).

7:41 PM MDT. Purely in terms of body language, does not Mark Warner remind you just a little bit of Richard Nixon?

7:36 PM MDT. Stupid pundit thought: could the two featured speakers tonight — Hillary Clinton and Mark Warner — be a preview of the 2012 primary field if Barack Obama fails to win the election?

Also, Bob Casey Jr. was surprisingly good in a live setting. Were it not for the pro-life thing, he probably would have gotten a lot of VP buzz.

7:28 PM MDT. What Hillary needs to do tonight: show some emotion. Challenge her supporters in the most direct terms she thinks she can get away with: express empathy with their grievances, but challenge them to really think about the stakes of the election. And than take that visceral bit of emotion around and turn it on John McCain. In order to call it a home run, I am looking for nothing less than a “shame on you, John McCain!” moment.

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