If Clinton’s audience was Democrats, then there’s nothing to worry about. She’s liked well enough — and her speech was lean and effective, taking powerful aim at Donald Trump and making a solid case for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in terms of what’s best about America. Most Democrats were probably pleased by the message and cheered to see Clinton briefly back in the action after a relatively low-profile four years.
But if Clinton’s audience was swing voters, independents, and Republicans disenchanted with Donald Trump — and this has clearly been the intended audience of this DNC through the first two nights — then it’s hard to see how Clinton’s remarks could do anything but hurt the party. Clinton is an incredibly polarizing figure who inspires intense dislike. In fact, she may have done more than any other single figure four years ago to fuel populist insurgencies of both the left (Bernie Sanders) and the right (Trump).