So, Mark Warner kind of really sucked. There's nobody who could have hoped to follow Barack's 2004 barnburner, and anticipation for Hillary has sucked all the air out of the room—but that was a snoozer. I guess it's a good thing no one listens to me...
UPDATE: Rachel Maddow agrees: "Apparently Mark Warner visited us from the future, and in the future there is no Democratic Party." Spot on. Really, really, really really bad.
She also points out that Warner's failure ups the stakes for Hillary significantly. I agree: she absolutely needs to take the hammer to McCain tonight in a big way to regain her credibility with the Obama wing of the party. He's given her an opening by using her in this week's ads—that was a huge tactical error on his part—and now she can move both her die-hard supporters and the debate-at-large towards Obama by hitting McCain tonight and hitting him hard.
It's made-for-TV. It writes itself.
And for what it's worth, I think she will, if only because a nice and fiery anti-McCain speech tonight is just about the only way, in the unlikely event Obama loses, she could ever hope to have the support of someone like me in 2012.
UPDATE 2: Ezra Klein and Kevin Drum agree. Here's Ezra:
For what it's worth, my hunch is Clinton will own the convention. What she needs to do in this speech is so easy and so obvious and will be greeted with such gratitude by the Democratic Party and such rapturous coverage by the media that it's almost inconceivable that she'll pass up the opportunity to be the hero.