Debra J. Saunders

Michelle Obama was the yin to her husband's yin; they're both strong and fierce and smart and caring. She delivered a speech that fired up Charlotte delegates. At 63 and 48, Ann Romney and Michelle Obama represent the best of two very different generations.

Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, was strong and fierce and smart and tough. In 2012, he was there to do what Obama did in Boston in 2004 -- to call out the wrongheadedness of the administration. As Obama was for the Dems then, Ryan was the GOP breakout star now.

Ryan's Democratic counterpart, Joe Biden, was not a rising star -- nor did Team Obama want him to be. The campaign didn't even give him a good speaking slot. Biden was happy anyway; he just kept talking and talking his way into prime time.

John McCain also did not rate prime time in Tampa, even though four years ago, he was the GOP nominee. This year, he spoke Wednesday at 7 p.m., when most of the delegates weren't listening.

John Kerry, the Democrats' past nominee, enjoyed the floor's full attention Thursday night. He delivered perhaps his best speech in years, and he deftly jabbed Romney for not mentioning Afghanistan in his acceptance speech. "No nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech."

Romney should have mentioned Afghanistan in Tampa.

Kerry is the candidate who gave Obama his big break. Who will be the next rising star?

The GOP's future could be seen in Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, whose grandfather stood behind a bar "so that one day" Rubio "could stand behind a podium." The Democrats' future could be San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, whose grandmother wielded a mop so that he "could hold this microphone." Castro's daughter, Carina, stole the show as she tossed her hair when she saw her face on the Jumbotron screen. 2052?

Email Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@sfchronicle.com. To find out more about Debra J. Saunders and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Debra J. Saunders


 
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