Ann Richards, the governor of Texas, gave the keynote speech at the 1988 convention which nominated Michael Dukakis, who went on to lose to George H.W. Bush. Hardly anyone I know can remember much about Michael Dukakis, but I know a lot of people who remember Ann Richards, because of that speech.
I just watched it again on youtube and was surprised to see how many of her lines have become part of common reference: Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels; George Bush was born on third base and thought he hit a triple; he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.
But what was really effective was her simple affirmation of what Democrats wanted: good day care, safe abortions, strong labor unions, fair trade treaties and what Republicans wanted: to divide and to pit one section of the country against another, to let every man fight for himself, to kill government.
I hope Hillary Clinton will take a look at that speech before she gives hers Thursday night.
Here's the link: