Prior to the Democratic National Convention, analysts and Democrats fretted openly about an "enthusiasm gap" for President Obama's re-election. The spirited enthusiasm to elect Barack Obama in 2008 just couldn't be matched, critics said.
An article in The New York Times that was published the day before the convention opened Tuesday, quoted Caroline Kennedy, daughter of Democratic hero the late John F. Kennedy, as saying: “They may not be as exhilarated as they were last time...But I think they are just as committed.”
The piece went on to discuss the "evaporation of much of the excitement of 2008," noting the inevitably given it's a re-election campaign and one taking place in the midst of a "prolonged economic recession, partisan infighting in Washington."
Yet, speaker after speaker at the Democratic National Convention seemed to seek to shut down that chatter harder with polished messaging but also visible emotion that sometimes came in the form of shouting, head shaking, and fist waving. (See speaker Jennifer Granholm video excerpt above for further proof.)
"There's no enthusiasm gap in Charlotte," said the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart on Morning Joe. (Video after the jump.)
Capehart, who attended the convention, said he expected to be met with a quieter crowd and subdued enthusiasm. Instead, the same Obama buttons and other merchandise that marked the 2008 bonanza appeared in Charlotte.
While Republican convention speakers such as Sen. Marco Rubio and a moving Mitt Romney biographical video were roundly praised by most analysts, the Friday after both conventions have packed up, political observers are saying the Democrats' enthusiasm for their candidate came across louder than anything emanating from the GOP where some speakers seemed to spend more time discussing their own achievements than their presidential nominee and there was that unfortunate prime time chair incident.
"We all know the Democratic convention easily trumped the Republican convention," host Joe Scarborough said.
"Every hour that the Democratic convention went on, the Republican convention looked worse in the rear-view mirror," added Chuck Todd, host of The Daily Rundown.