Tapping Elizabeth Warren to give a Wed primetime address before B Clinton is one heckuva gamble for the Obama campaign. His biggest mistake recently was emulating the rhetoric Warren used to great acclaim ("you didn't build it on your own"), which prompted the president to cut an ad "explaining" his comments. Warren 's rhetoric is a hit with liberals, but not convinced it has mainstream appeal. The risk: It could be the Dem/lib equivalent of Pat Buchanan culture war speech in 92, if it's too hard-edged.Okay, I hope I only have to say this once.
This is not only not your father's national convention, this isn't even your slightly older sister's national convention.
The broadcast networks are going to take, what, three speeches? The two from the ticket, and I suppose the one labeled "keynote." Beyond that...maybe bits of a couple more. I suppose it's possible that they'll take one or two more speeches live...probably not.
Even for what they do broadcast, you're not getting the captive audience that you once had, given the way that TV has changed.
But for the rest, primetime or not, over on the cable nets, you're getting the hard partisans and a handful of political junkies, and that's it. And mostly, that means the committed supporters; the other party's supporters don't watch second-tier speeches, for the most part.
And so there's virtually no "risk" in giving Elizabeth Warren or anyone else a prime time speaking spot, because no one except committed Democrats are going to be watching. Oh, sure, the opposition research team over at the Romney campaign will be watching -- but if anyone says anything damaging, it won't matter when it was originally said, at all.
I should point out, too, that we're not going to get any Pat Buchanan type speeches in 2012, because there's virtually no one in either party who has earned the right to give a speech that won't be pre-screened by the campaigns (the only possible exception I can think of would be Ron Paul).
So: there's a bit of importance within the party about who gets high-profile speeches. But not only will the speeches have no effect on the November vote, which was almost certainly true back in the days of full network coverage, but in almost every case no one is even going to know about other "prime time" speeches.