The Kerry campaign made a surprising announcement today: Barack Obama, the Democratic Senate nominee here in Illinois, will deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention later this month.
As regular readers of this blog may remember, I'm a big Obama fan. Right off, I can't remember the last time a political candidate rocketed to national attention at a political convention so quickly--the only other name that leaps to mind is Hubert Humphrey, whose 1948 Senate campaign got a big boost when he championed a strong civil rights plank in the Democratic platform. (Humphrey was just the mayor of Minneapolis at the time.) To be fair, Obama's high-profile role is probably a sign of the decreased importance of nominating conventions; it's easier to give such a prime role to a newcomer when the stakes are lower and the networks aren't paying much attention. Even so, this announcement is yet another sign that Obama is a man to watch in the years ahead.
(In mostly unrelated news, Mike Ditka is still considering a campaign against Obama for the Senate. At least the Republicans would have a candidate with name recognition...)Posted by Ed at July 14, 2004 12:44 PM