Your intrepid reporter missed most of it, to tell the truth. But among the things I saw were:
-- Joe Biden's speech. He seemed to stumble a few times. I think the problem might have been that it was mentioned a few times that he used to have a stuttering problem. So he was thinking of that and it meant a few missteps. Which illustrates the Karl Rove tactic of attacking someone's strength. In this case, he prevailed over stuttering, which led to what, bumbling words and phrases. As to the content of Joe's speech, he seemed strong and well-intentioned but it was all over the place. As for the catchphrase that the audience was to shout back, it was all muddled, and held back for some reason. When he attacked McCain for a few points this was muffled by referring to him as "John" over and over. The best parts involved Biden's personal biography, his mother, all that. He came across as a man of his word when his mother was nodding and saying "true."
-- Barack Obama made a surprise appearance at the end. He was exciting, and very personable. He had one verbal misstep as well, so it was contagious. And since I'm nothing if not tenacious, I'll trot out the same theory as to what happened to Joe Biden. Obama heard all that about the stuttering, then his subconscious said he didn't want to show up Biden, even though he (Obama) is Number One, he wanted to be gracious, and so he botched one line, and the first one even came out funny. But this isn't all bad, because it's not great to be too scripted.
-- John Kerry. I just saw a few minutes, and he was powerful about the swiftboaters, and all that. I just wish John Kerry could unleash his inner rabid dog and go genuinely on the attack. Everything that comes out of his mouth sounds half contrived and like it's being filtered within and awarded gold stars before it exits his mouth.
-- Bill Clinton. The dawg knows what he's talking about when it comes to presidents. And I thought his endorsement of Obama was pretty good. We don't want the world to go to pot, do we, just so Hillary will get another shot at it in four years?
-- Tammy Duckworth. I saw most of her presentation. She was heroic without taking a lot of credit herself. She was lavish in praise of her brother and sister soldiers.
-- Steven Spielberg film. Excellent, of course, touching music, a tearjerker of a tribute to veterans. It was good for more than the obvious reasons, but for this, that it showed the soldiers as so vulnerable, suggesting they've protected us, now they need a protector, someone to get them back to full strength. Tom Hanks was powerful.
All in all, then, things went pretty well. Joe Biden's mother gets five stars, Joe Biden three, Clinton four, Duckworth three, Spielberg five, Kerry three, Obama four on the evening.