Edwards slows down as he utters these words because he understands that they're the most important moment of the night. At other junctures, he signifies crucial statements and quiets the crowd not by raising his voice but by lowering it. He does this when he turns the discussion to racial discrimination. He does it again when he turns to national security. We must unite the country, he says, with a descent into hushed gravity, "because we are at war." He does it again when he speaks of soldiers wounded in Iraq. "They need their mother to tie their shoe," he says. "Their husband to brush their hair. Their wife's arm to help them cross the room." The hall goes absolutely silent.
When he's done, his younger daughter, Emma Claire, runs onto the stage, and Edwards hoists her in one arm as he waves to the crowd. Elizabeth joins him, carrying their son, Jack. It's the perfect picture. A minute later, Edwards puts Emma Claire down, but he doesn't let go. Clutching her playfully by the arms, he bounces her up and down to the music. "You Can Feel It All Over," says the song. That may not be true up here in the press gallery. But I bet it's true in Toledo. 1:10 a.m. ET
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Bob Graham comes to the podium immediately after Sharpton. This is an offense against God, nature, and every delegate in the hall. Everybody starts milling around and talking, realizing that nothing will be said. Graham proceeds to utter the following words:
"Fellow Democrats …"
"My fellow Americans …"
"Florida has made a difference to me. I know that we are going to make a difference for John Kerry and John Edwards. …"
"As governor of Florida, I learned that the FBI and CIA failed to communicate with state and local agencies. …"
"As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee …"
"And as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I investigated the September the 11th tragedy."
"Through all of my service …"