Gail Collins: So Bret, did Joe Biden’s convention speech make you comfortable? The idea was to reassure folks like me about health care reform and raising the minimum wage but not so much that folks like you would consider a conservative revolt.
Did it work?
Bret Stephens: I think so, yes. As best as I can tell, the basic idea of the “convention” (can we even call it that anymore?) was to offer America a hot soak, warm socks and a cup of peppermint tea after the cold, dark night that has been Donald Trump’s first term in office. It was like a quirky (if rather pricey) Vermont bed-and-breakfast, with comfy furniture and rooms to spare, where the proprietor tells you, “stay as long as you’d like.”
Gail: My immediate impulse is to forget Joe Biden and find that inn.
Bret: The highlight, for me, was Jill Biden’s classroom speech. She projected intelligence, warmth, concern and classiness. She gave you the sense that, if her husband were elected, we would again be governed by people who live in reality, as opposed to a reality TV show.
Then again, a friend of mine, wise in political things, tells me the whole thing felt like a boring infomercial, thin on substance, that wouldn’t win over the middle-of-America-middle-Americans Biden needs to win. What did you think?