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Can't Touch This?

7 years ago
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Tommy Christopher

(Denver, CO) - As the delegates filed out tonight, their heads dancing with dreams of a hot, sweaty night at Invesco Field, Caleb Howe and I shanghaied the elated masses to ask them this question:

How can the Republicans top this?

Frank Dixon: "Blow the roof off the Humphrey Dome."

Drew: "Do it a few days later."

Fiona: (14 yrs old) "Slamming Obama would be a good way to get the crowd riled up."

Christina: "He's either got to do it in a room with two people, or invite everyone in the world. Or they could cancel their convention and donate all the funds that were going into it."

Tommy Nagins: "Nominate a good VP candidate. If McCain picked Colin Powell, I think a lot of the black vote would switch from Obama."

Minnie Samuel: "Accept people of any sexual affiliation, they could promote contraceptive measures instead of using fear on abortion, and if they could convince Governor Chris Gregoire, the greatest Governor on this planet, to come speak there, I might consider switching."

Jackie: "Get a new candidate and change the party."

Karen Spear: "Choose a woman as Vice President. Carly Fiorina."

Those are all fine ideas, but I'm still sold on the Bush Bang Bus.

Caleb Howe

(Denver) - Democrats tonight are on a high that can only be topped by Senator Obama's colonnaded address tomorrow. It's hard to imagine how they could have had a better day. The roll call, a speech by Bill Clinton they've been waiting months for, and a surprise audience with Barack Obama himself.

Also, Joe Biden was there.

We asked these adrenaline-pumped, emotionally-charged delegates a question they probably didn't expect to hear tonight. How can the Republicans top this?

We had some entertaining answers, as outlined above. The answer that I think they were missing was simply: the Republicans shouldn't. Senator Obama played to his crowd tonight in that hero-worship way he has mastered. Biden saying "who is it" and then feigning surprise when Obama pops in, the crowd going insane... it was straight out of American Idol, as befits the stage. This is what Obama does, he draws ecstasy from the adoring; tears and sighs and fast heartbeats. The drama of the evening could have been in any episode of the West Wing or in a "heartfelt political drama" on the Sundance channel. John McCain shouldn't want to top that, because he'd be joining in on the same emotional string-pulling and celebrity overtones which his campaign has attacked for weeks.

The Republicans should have a Republican convention. John McCain should do what he does, not what Obama does. It would never work, and his base wouldn't want it. The Republicans don't want a new messiah.

Tomorrow night, Senator Obama will stand before his devoted from atop his ornate, imperial perch. Caesar himself never stood among the columns and finery of Rome to more uniform adoration than Senator Obama will have tomorrow. The Republicans won't top that. They shouldn't. They should beat it, by presenting a leader, not a lord.

Tommy Christopher, a Democrat, and Caleb Howe, a Republican, are on the ground in Denver to bring you their dueling political perspectives throughout the Democratic National Convention. Check back to follow their feature, "Floor Fight."

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