The Washington Times - August 26, 2008, 01:24PM

The most memorable speeches at political conventions often come not from the victors but the losers — those who came in second in their effort to win their party’s nomination

Ted Kennedy’s speech to Democrats last night reminded viewers of his 1980 convention speech, which some Democrats would say is the greatest speech they’ve personally heard delivered.

Four years earlier, Ronald Reagan’s supposedly impromptu speech to the 1976 Republican convention left many of the delegates firmly convinced they had just nominated the wrong man in Gerald Ford. Reagan would, of course, grab the nomination for years later.

In 1992, Pat Buchanan’s fiery speech was blamed for hurting then-President Bush’s re-election bid, after press accounts portrayed him as angry and divisive.

So that pretty much sets the parameters for possible outcomes — from Reagan’s preview of a two-term presidency to Buchanan’s taking the blame for an election-year loss. And with Hillary Clinton tonight, either of those outcomes is entirely possible.


Stephen Dinan, national political correspondent, The Washington Times