My quick take on Hillary’s speech: It was a very good speech, perhaps the best she has ever given. Did it do much good for Obama? Will the speech persuade all of her supporters to go with Obama? I don’t think so. But, the speech may be very useful to her four years from now. Do note this Gallup Poll showing "conservative Democrats peeling away from Obama." If Senator Obama cannot hold the Democratic base, he cannot win. Only Hillary being on the ticket may have helped Obama hold the base.
Let me add, (especially for my friend Steve T. who disagrees with my perception of all this, see the threads) that I don’t know any more than you do about this business of politics. I’m a political scientist, so I’m guessing. This stuff isn’t science. And the kind of knowledge that is required has to do with some analysis, etc., but really is nothing more than an evaluation of public opinion; an attempt to sense (see, observe, hear) what folks in taverns think. You learn a lot by listening to people. Ordinary people, inclined to give you their opinion; it’s best if they do this when not asked, but rather, leting it come up quite naturally in conversation.
And if I say, for example, that Democratic operatives are in a panic, I mean--based on what I think I know--I would be in a panic if I were working for Obama because I wouldn’t know how to fix his problem. That is, they should be in a panic, if they aren’t.
Here is an example of a hunch based on three conversations during the last twenty-four hours, all Dems, with people I only know in passing (two in bars, one at Starbucks). All three said that Obama’s reply to the preacher’s question on what a human being is, or when is a human being a human being (abortion) pushed them away from him. They hated the "above my pay grade" (science and theology) response because they thought it was artificial, aloof, unnatural, and revealed something about Obama’s character, not just his views on abortion (one of the folks is pro-abortion.) One woman said: "This guy is like a teacher I had once. He always wanted to impress me with how difficult the subject was." Then she called him a name that clarified what she thought about that guy. My hunch is that that moment was a defining one. Perhaps picking Biden (in an attempt to place a "common" man on the ticket) was another. Both are revealing, neither helps Obama.