Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in presidential politics for Thursday, August 28:
1) Watch Barack Obama’s big closing speech tonight at Invesco field. The Land of Lincolner prepares to officially accept the Democratic nomination on the 45th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Watch to see if he can change his relationship with the American people through what will be, certainly, a very rousing speech. He needs to try to do what the first President Bush did at his convention, and give a speech that makes people think anew about what kind of leader he could be.
2) Watch to see if Obama and the other speakers come through with a negative frame on John McCain and President Bush that resonates with people. I gave last night’s address by Joe Biden an ‘A-,’ in what clearly was a moment Biden’s dreamed about for two decades. So far, there’ve been some criticisms of McCain but for some people it’s been deja vu from 2004, with Democrats failing to define the negative legacy of President Bush. Watch to see if the Democrats can link the unpopular president to John McCain in a way that will truly resonate with the American people and carry through to the fall election.
3) Finally, keep an eye on John McCain and his choice of a running mate. It’s been reported that the candidate selected his running mate earlier in the week, after conferring with campaign aide Davis in Sedona a few days ago. Continue to watch Lieberman, Romney, and Pawlenty, with lots of talk that McCain still might choose Joe Lieberman, a pro-choice former Democrat, as his veep candidate. Watch to see what we can learn today about who McCain might pick in the end as his running mate.