Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008

Jim Leach

Former Iowa Representative Jim Leach, given the unenviable slot following Ted Kennedy's historic speech, offered an argument for bipartisan harmony as a Republican supporter of Obama. The symbolic importance of a longtime member of the opposition party appearing at a Democratic convention was seemingly lost on the crowd in the hall, who might not have even known who he was. Leach didn't help his cause by being wonky and ponderous, with numerous historical references. Still, his call for change and for a "transcending candidate" who will be a "truly great President" perked up a few faces just as he concluded.

Mark Halperin