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Hits and misses from Night 3 of the Democratic National Convention

Former President Barack Obama gives a passionate speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Watch more convention videos here.

Posted: Aug 20, 2020 5:40 AM
Updated: Aug 20, 2020 5:40 AM

That's a wrap on Night 3 of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

It was a star-studded night, with the last Democratic president (Barack Obama), the last Democratic presidential nominee (Hillary Clinton) and, perhaps, the next presidential nominee (Kamala Harris) all speaking.

Below the best -- and worst -- of the night that was.

HITS

* Barack Obama: Yes, the former president is an incredibly talented orator. But we've long known that. What mattered most about Obama's speech on Wednesday was that he did what lots of Democrats have been begging him to do for the last three-ish years: He delivered a stunning takedown of the man who followed him into the White House. Obama said that Trump simply does not take the job "seriously." He said that Trump uses the government's vast powers in a purely "transactional way." And most powerfully, he said this: "Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't, and the consequences of that failure are severe." Consider what Obama is saying there: As someone who did the job -- for eight years -- he not only believes Trump cannot rise to the demands of the presidency, but also that there are very real effects of Trump's deficiency. "This isn't just the sharpest criticism Obama has made of Trump," tweeted Politico's Tim Alberta. "This is the sharpest criticism a former president has *ever made* of a sitting president."

* Kamala Harris: The vice presidential nominee started slowly -- almost certainly the result of nerves -- as she delivered the single most important speech of her political life. Even as she recounted her personal story, you could tell that she was still struggling somewhat to find her sea legs. And then she hit this line, when talking about her background as a prosecutor: "I know a predator when I see one." Harris paused, purposely, after dropping that hammer of a line -- and everyone watching knew who she was talking about. From that moment on, Harris was like a different person -- confident, powerful and fully aware of the history she was making as the first Black and South Asian woman to be on a national ticket for a major party. Her best line? "There is no vaccine for racism. We have got to put in the work." If Harris' speech was a tryout for 2024 (or 2028), she passed it.

*Gabrielle Giffords: I still remember the day Giffords, at the time a Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, was shot in the head at an event in her district in 2011. Her struggles -- and triumphs -- over the last decade have put a very human face to the fight over gun control. Giffords' speech on Wednesday night, which capped a piece of the programming dedicated to the toll taken by gun violence, was incredibly moving, not least because they showed how hard she had worked to be able to deliver it seamlessly. It was the longest speech she has delivered, in fact, since that 2011 shooting. "Convention organizers say @GabbyGiffords worked intensely to be able to deliver these remarks," tweeted NBC's Mike Memoli. "It's quite something to see." Yes, it was.

* "A woulda coulda shoulda election:" Hillary Clinton's speech wasn't, to my mind, terribly memorable. But this line about 2020 -- "this can't be another woulda coulda shoulda election" -- was a very good one. And it was even more stirring when delivered by a woman who received almost 3 million more votes than Trump in 2016 -- and still lost.

* Presidential Medal of Freedom video: I remember watching Obama present former Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on their last days in the White House in January 2017. What struck me then -- and what I was reminded of while watching the video played during Wednesday night's convention program -- was that Biden was 1) genuinely surprised and 2) deeply aware of what the honor meant. His emotion, which he was unable to contain, was real and unforced. In re-showing that video, it was a stirring reminder of Biden's single strongest quality (and, conversely one of Trump's weakest): Empathy.

* Sam Cooke: "A Change is Gonna Come" -- which Jennifer Hudson performed at the end of the night -- is just an amazing song. You should listen to Sam Cooke singing the original. He slays it (as did she)!

MISSES

* Donald Trump: What's the easiest way to let your opponents know their critiques are getting to you? By responding-- in real time -- to them! "HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!," tweeted Trump in the middle of Obama's speech. But Trump wasn't done! "WHY DID HE REFUSE TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE?," Trump asked of Obama as the former president was wrapping up his speech. "WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?" Like, maybe lay off the caps lock for a while, Mr. President?

* Mike Pompeo: Being secretary of state is a very big job. You are, with the lone exception of the president, the face America shows to the world. Which is why Mike Pompeo's tweet in the middle of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's speech -- a GIF of Lisa Simpson crying and tearing up a written speech -- was so, so tone-deaf. (To be clear: I was not a big fan of Pelosi ripping up her copy of Trump's State of the Union speech either.) Pompeo should leave the trolling to the Internet. It's what it's there for.

* Tony Evers: When you are the Democratic governor of the state where the Democratic convention is (sort of) being staged, you get a speaking slot at some point during the proceedings. So, we got Tony Evers. And he was, uh, shaky. At least it was short. And he used the phrase "Holy mackerel, folks" -- so it wasn't all bad.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 292811

Reported Deaths: 6613
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
Forrest7140136
Lauderdale6784225
Lowndes6008137
Lamar584480
Lafayette5707113
Washington5159128
Bolivar4594120
Oktibbeha439991
Panola426892
Pearl River4116128
Warren4114113
Pontotoc407368
Marshall399492
Monroe3980126
Union392873
Neshoba3767166
Lincoln3464100
Hancock339973
Leflore3358118
Sunflower317185
Tate300874
Pike298393
Scott292567
Alcorn290360
Itawamba288871
Yazoo283862
Tippah275665
Copiah274557
Coahoma272766
Simpson271778
Prentiss268658
Leake251770
Wayne251340
Marion250778
Covington247878
Grenada245876
Adams233277
George230645
Newton224751
Winston220275
Jasper211844
Tishomingo211765
Attala206269
Chickasaw200650
Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
Yalobusha142936
Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
Carroll117623
Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
Claiborne97729
Benton93124
Humphreys91626
Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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