So, I would say the real winner in terms of the Democratic versus Republican National Conventions was probably the voter, especially if that voter happened to be a minority. Even though I tilt Republican, and I do think the Republicans came on stronger than the Democrats this time around, the truth is if you watched closely, both sides seemed to be responding to some changing forces in the electorate.
If you look at the Republicans, it was practically a rainbow of diversity compared to years past. Condi Rice was featured prominently, Mitt Romney's son gave a speech in Spanish, Marco Rubio talked about the fact that his Dad worked the bar in rooms like the one he was now a headlining speaker in, Mia Love (I love that name!) is a Haitian-American female Republican and Mormon from Utah. ('Nuf said!) Yes, cynics will say it was window dressing but I don't think so. I think it was a sign that change, while moving slowly, is afoot in the Republican Party. I felt reassured that the Republicans can restore our country's fiscal health based on Romney's experience and Paul Ryan passion about reigning in spending. And it is clear from his speech, even though he is young, he is no "Johnny come lately" to the idea of fiscal reform. Now, if we could only get our Republicans to loosen up a little on social issues! That would be a dream convention!
As far as the Democrats, the trotting out of Bill Clinton was a huge acknowledgement that voters want to hear more about the economy than they've been hearing from the current occupant of the White House. Bill Clinton was a true centrist in many ways. And President Barack Obama appeared to be one when he was running for office. It's hard to imagine that Obama would have taken the line Clinton did on welfare, a bold move for a Democrat. (Yes, I know he was motivated by the Republicans. But still, he showed the ability to work with the other party and make tough cuts in programs that are sacred cows for the Democrats.) Unfortunately for Obama, I'm not sure Clinton helped in the long run. He made Obama look even further to the left and less experienced.
Image via Mitt Romney/Flickr