For a convention built for soundbites, the speech was ideal. Each person the DNC chose to highlight represented a unique part of the party’s future. It was faster-paced than speeches of years past, which likely made it easier for viewers to digest. But it lacked cadence—the rhythm that comes when someone is telling their own story, not someone else’s. “That kind of rapid fire might make it harder for people to get excited,” Aaron Weinschenk, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay who studies how people react to political conventions, told me.
Convention-watching breaks down along party lines. Democrats watch the Democratic convention; Republicans watch the Republican convention. The role of a convention keynote like Obama’s is to elevate the keynoter’s status in the party. With barely enough time to introduce themselves, the young Democrats highlighted Tuesday had a slim chance of making a real impression.