As Sen. Barack Obama, adopted son of the Illinois prairies, accepted the mantle of his party last night in Denver before 75,000 fellow Americans, the convention partying ended and the presidential work begins just as Republicans begin their political gathering in St. Paul, Minn. The Hound believes there is much work for the candidate and his party to occupy their time from now until Nov. 4. That is, if Democrats want back in the White House.
"A political convention is just not a place where you come away with any trace of faith in human nature," Murray Kempton, the late journalist was fond of saying. Too bad he couldn't make Denver because Democrats this time around have come away with a faith in the historic nomination of the first black American who has a chance to be president. But to elect Obama, the party needs to "outhustle, outwork, out-think" Republicans for the next 60 days, as the candidate's campaign director told delegates.
For that to happen the Obama-Biden ticket and their handlers need to: 1) Dodge swift boats 2) Make sure either William Ayers or Tony Rezko don't become the Willie Horton of 2008 3) Unite 4) Ignore right-wing talk radio 5) Target blue-collar whites 6) Make sure the core constituency is registered to vote 7) Keep Jimmy Carter at home 8) Don't let Rod Blagojevich campaign on your behalf 9) Unite 10) Apologize to Cub Nation.
It's not like John McCain and Republicans are going to roll over. No one wants to give up being in power. No presidential candidate has been elected at a party convention. The marathon's end is in sight, but it's still a long way to November. And, just as the Democratic National Convention ended 40 years ago in Chicago, the whole world is watching this election campaign.