People say talking heads don't contribute to the debate, so let me pundit-ficate for a moment not on the substance of Obama and Jindal's speeches last night, but on their delivery. Obama looked more comfortable than Bush has in any of the last eight years. The "nobody messes with Joe" line was a perfect example. In a night full of bluster and serious words, Obama brought the cramped audience in closer to the podium with a touch of levity that didn't feel forced. We got a glimpse of what it meant to role up the shirt-sleeve formality of the White House without losing its cool professionalism, and I liked it.
At the start of the night, I was actually more interested to hear Jindal speak. This is the speaking slot reserved for future golden boys like Tim Kaine, after all. He started slow. And forced. I don't know what is regular accent sounds like, but I thought he might have played up his folksiness at times. He was up against someone finding success in part because of the ease with which he handled his message. I thought the whole to-do in Republican circles was that Jindal brought a similarly silver-tongued approach. I didn't see it last night. Worst of all, I think it detracted from the power of his message. Oops, almost stumbled into substance there.
That is all.