I'm writing about the Michelle Obama speech, mainly, for PP (will add link when it goes up). I think I'll handle some of the rest notes-style:
1. By tomorrow, I expect the Fox News/conservative talk radio version of this day to be that it was wall-to-wall bitter attacks on Mitt Romney's wealth and his patriotism. In fact, quite a few speakers used his overseas bank accounts as punch lines, and two speakers did in fact explicitly mention patriotism -- I think they both said "economic" patriotism -- so in those cases, they have a point. Of course, Republicans last week said that Obama was against the American dream, but regardless: the clips from tonight are going into the loop that reminds Republicans how hate-filled Democrats always are. Oh -- they're already giving that treatment to the Ted Kennedy memorial video, which detoured for a while into clips from the Kennedy/Romney Senate campaign. Apparently for some reason that's not kosher.
2. Wow, did they ever commit solidly on marriage! Presumably, the thinking is that it's an issue that's unusually good at motivating a very large chunk of very iffy voters to show up at the polls. Still, it seems to me that they would worry about scaring off the muddled middle who consider marriage a third-tier issue and wonders why that, and not jobs, is the focus.
3. I'm sure everyone is saying this (they did on twitter at least), but both the enthusiasm in the hall and the overall level of the speakers were clearly superior for the Democrats. You know what I'm going to say: be careful about giving too much weight to that. Remember first of all that most of it is invisible to most viewers (who only watch at best some of the broadcast network hour, and most likely see sound bites and interviews later), and also that most of us hear everything through a partisan haze -- so you need a lot less of a push if you're already leaning that way.
4. If conventions were about constructing a careful argument...my sense is that the Democratic "real people" did that more effectively than the Republican "real people" from last week. What the Republican real people were selling, over and over again, was that they had made it on their own and that they were insulted by a (mis) quote from Barack Obama. Leaving aside the dishonesty of it, the problem was that it didn't really give people a reason other then pique for supporting Romney; they didn't, generally, explain how specific Obama policies were harming them. Obama's real people all named specific Obama programs that had helped them, thus leading to a conclusion that you should vote for him.
5. Tonight's program was extremely Obama-centric. I mean, the parts that weren't bashing Romney. It was far more about Obama than about the Democratic Party. My sense is that the Republican convention was far less about Romney than the Democrats so far were about Obama.
6. None of the Democrats who tried call-and-response were very good at it. The champ? Ted Kennedy. But I suspect that if he tries it tomorrow, Bill Clinton will teach a master class.