Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention: The Road Not Taken

Crowd reacts to Joe Biden (Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty)
Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania — The protests by Bernie Sanders fans continued. But the real story — for once in this deeply divided convention — was onstage.

That was partly because Democratic National Convention staff figured out how to dampen the Sanders delegates, whether by seating Clinton delegates among them; denying the media access to their sections of the arena, or actually turning out the lights above them. But it was also because the people onstage far outshone the nominee.

The best speech of the night belonged to Vice President Joe Biden, who considered running for president this year, and is probably regretting the fact that he did not. Though much of his working-class persona is a façade, he remains the most relatable politician in Washington, D.C.

In a poignant moment, he remembered his late son, Beau Biden, a veteran and public servant who died far too soon. The audience loved his address, and most must have been thinking: I wish we had that guy.

A close runner-up was former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who could not match Biden’s delivery but made the most persuasive argument for Clinton: “Now, I know Hillary Clinton is not flawless; no candidate is. But she is the right choice — and the responsible choice — in this election.”

He argued that Trump, in contrast, is “risky, reckless, and radical.” And Bloomberg’s assessment counted for more than others’, precisely because — as he pointed out — he is an independent.

Even President Obama, who delivered a pedestrian and self-congratulatory address, could not fail to impress. Several times, he was interrupted by fans: “Four more years!” they shouted. No doubt many Democrats would agree. Because their nominee — and her running mate, who came across as tinny and awkward — is a poor communicator and a weak leader who cannot be trusted and fails to inspire.

Tonight was a cast of characters who might have been president. But reality awaits on Thursday.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.