From San Diego:
Yesterday's two remaining Democratic Presidential candidates, Edwards and Richardson, rounded out the group for this weekend.
Edwards gave a truly inspiring and well-paced speech, touching on all the major subjects likely to be debated in the campaign, along with a couple of reverences to his and his ill wife's decision to continue campaigning. One aspect of his speaking style is very catchy. He will outline a problem, (whether poverty, Iraq, the economy, etc.) and explain how the current administration has so miserably failed in resolving it. Then, he says, "Here's an idea..." and proceeds to give a summary of his solution. I found it much better than Obama's "Time to turn the page" answers to problems. It's funny how his laid-back speaking style comes off so convincing and understandable. Kudos to him for giving, arguably, the best speech of the convention.
Bill Richardson, who rightfully claims to have the most experience in international affairs, said, "I am asking all of you to see who can be America's best president - that this not be judged on who is the biggest rock star or who has the most money." In obvious references to Clinton, Obama and Edwards, Richardson feels his experience makes him the best choice, and that all of the other Democratic candidates would make excellent Vice Presidents in his administration. I thought his speech was hesitant at times, forcing him to throw in some strained, humorous comments. Right now he appears to me to be a bit overwhelmed by the entire campaign process and most definitely needs to expend more resources in polishing his appearance, speaking style and choices of issues to cover, if he wants any chance of success. He's possibly the best-qualified candidate of the group, but one of the least-electable.
This is the second state convention that I've attended as a delegate, and they have been exciting and worthwhile experiences. It is not that difficult to become a delegate if you make an effort to become involved in local politics/political clubs. Also, anyone can attend as an Observer, where you'll get full access to all convention events (except, obviously, for voting privileges).