Here are the big winners and losers from Night Three of the Democratic National Convention:
Barack Hussein Obama. He exits the Democrat Party’s spotlight as arguably one of its most consequential presidents of the modern era. America’s first black president rescued the nation’s economy from a historic recession, killed its most sinister terrorist foe and reshaped the nation’s healthcare system.
His speech -- moving and eloquent, as usual -- reminded us why we chose him eight years ago. For all the flack the man’s taken, for all he’s been demonized and derided by the hard right, you believe the man when he says he believes in the best of America. That moving video tribute that preceded the speech reminded the nation of what good hands it has been in these past eight years. Thanks, Obama. Really.
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Michael Bloomberg. Of all the darts directed Donald Trump’s way, the ones aimed by his fellow Manhattan billionaire surely stung the deepest. “I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one,” the former Republican mayor of New York City said, prompting roars from the crowd. If that wasn’t enough, Bloomberg, one of the few convention speakers who is clearly richer than Trump, scoffed at Trump’s business prowess and called himself a self-made entrepreneur, unlike Trump, who got a $1 million headstart from his dad.
And if that wasn’t enough, Bloomberg pointedly urged America to elect “a sane, competent person” as its next president. A commentator on Quartz.com joked that Bloomberg had just handed Clinton her new campaign slogan: Sane and Competent.
Joe Biden. The vice president with the average-Joe touch rammed a pickup-truck-sized hole in Donald Trump’s claim to be the champion of the middle class. “He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class? Give me a break. That’s a bunch of malarkey.”
Tim Kaine. He had the most impossible job of the night, speaking in between the party’s beloved vice president and its even more beloved president. He had to introduce himself to the nation, so that meant lots of boring biography, which meant a stream of jokes tweeted about which TV sitcom dad his nerdy aura conjured up.
Donald Trump. His polling numbers are up and he’s feeling so confident he felt he could make a sarcastic overture to Russian spies to give the media Hillary’s hacked emails. He had the right idea in calling a press conference to counter-program the drumbeat of anti-Trump rhetoric spilling out of the convention, but he put his foot in it bigly – to use a Trumpism – when his joke sent GOP elders scrambling to distance themselves and reminded America of just how much of a loose cannon he’d be in the Oval Office. He’s walked those comments back by tweeting that Russia should give the emails to the FBI, but on a night when the president and vice president planned to hammer home the “Trump’s too risky” theme, he played right into Team Clinton’s hands. --Eric Frazier