This convention feels heavier. It’s not that it’s easy to see Obama losing, but it’s somehow also hard to see him winning. And as historically important as 2004 felt, Kerry’s natural anti-charisma depersonalized the election. Kerry was a compromise: He represented Democrats nominating what they thought the country wanted, and there was a quiet sense of relief in his loss, as it gutchecked the centrist impulse rather than disproving the electoral appeal of progressivism. Not so with Obama, whose nomination represents Democrats nominating the candidate they wanted, and trusting their instinctual reaction to Obama’s talents over their intellectual ability to set forth an array of reasons why Obama will lose. If Obama loses, it will be a more honorable loss for liberals, but it will also be a tougher one. And there’s a sense of that rippling through the convention. Obama’s candidacy is more of a gamble, not because he’s less likely to win than Kerry was, but because a loss would mean so much more.
I think he’s managed to distill all my worries about the election in a few sentences…