Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008

Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana

A folksy, tough, funny, home-run of a speech. Opened by gliding down the path of chatting up his own state and relating his own history, but he soon turned to some carefully detailed, specific attacks on John McCain that were cheery, casual, confident and ultimately roof-raising. He battered the Republican's policies and agenda as unworkable and out of touch, and cleverly contrasted Obama's ideas in a positive, forward-looking light. He had a convention-friendly mantra — "Four more years of the same old, same old" — and brought the crowd to its feet by simply calling on the various delegations to "stand up." They did so, cheering, clapping and calling out "Yes we can." Full credit to the convention planners for giving the relatively unknown governor such a coveted slot — and in doing so, turning him into a star.

Mark Halperin