New York, Aug.30 : A consultant with the Republican Party has said that the forthcoming November 4 presidential poll has all the makings of a political cracker of a contest, a contest that's Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's to lose, a contest in which his Republican rival, John McCain is going into with too much baggage to overcome.
The New York Daily News further goes on to quote the unnamed consultant as saying that the return of relative peace and harmony had Democrats remembering that despite the closeness of this race, the conventional wisdom still points to a Democratic victory in November.
For once, according to the tabloid, the ever-fractious Democrats have managed to vanquish their most lethal common enemy - themselves, during the Denver convention.
"The mood of the top Clinton people has decidedly softened," a key Obama lieutenant said with relief. "The resentment has gone, and we are moving in the direction of enthusiasm."
Much of the credit for the Democrats' detente, ironically, lies with the Clintons themselves. Whatever their lingering inner demons over her embarrassing loss to a rookie senator, the Clintons performed like grown-ups when it mattered. That allowed Obama to command the stage on Thursday night without distraction, break from the Clinton past and "march into the future," as he exhorted enthusiastic delegates.
Love him or loathe him, Bill Clinton reminded America why he's the most gifted politician of his generation. His Wednesday speech was a classic, taunting the GOP with humor, mockery and self-satisfied flashbacks.
More important for Obama, the Big Dog framed the issues for voters in terms easily digestible by Wal-Mart Democrats still queasy about the Illinois senator.
"They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more," Clinton needled, deftly raising the third-Bush-term angle Democrats believe is McCain's biggest drag.
He also reinforced Obama's credibility by reminding the country that 16 years ago, he was also called too inexperienced to be commander in chief - a potential liability addressed by Obama's father-figure choice of Joe Biden as his veep.
As for his wife, Hillary pulled off everything she needed to accomplish for the sake of party unity and her ongoing presidential ambitions. If Obama loses in November, suspicions she helped it happen below the radar won't be credible after her good-soldier performance.
With Biden leading the attack-dog charge, Democrats will now step up the tempo against McCain.
"This convention was about coming together," a top Democratic operative told the Daily News. "But no more sweetness. We're going to have to step up the attacks on McCain. He went negative and it worked. Now it's our time to go negative."