Would he give a speech or would he simply take the stage, shedding a tear, mustering up a smile, but never speaking? That was the question that the cable news pundits were asking themselves in the minutes leading up to Sen. Edward Kennedy's speech on Monday night at the Democratic National Convention.
You know how that turned out. Teddy spoke. The delegates cheered. And the pundits were surprised. All of that ceaseless chatter had actually led up to something stirring and seemingly unscripted.
Later, Michelle Obama took the stage, delivering a loving tribute to her husband, one that had been previewed online. A clip on YouTube showed the wife of the presumptive Democratic nominee practicing portions of the speech she would give sometime after 10:30 p.m. All was unfolding as predicted.
But what will the next three days hold, I asked myself shortly after Michelle's speech had ended? Well, if there's one thing that political pundits can do, it's predict the inevitable. So I closed my eyes and looked into the future.
Here's what I saw:
On Tuesday, it was more of the same, that is until Hillary Clinton arrived. For days pundits had been speculating to no end about exactly what Hil would do and what she wouldn't. That talk was soon put to rest. Hillary Clinton decided not to challenge Barack Obama's nomination. The Illinois senator had nothing to worry about.
The same couldn't be said for former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. The New York senator blindsided Richardson as he was talking to a reporter on the floor of the Pepsi Center, breaking a convention placard over his back. Richardson fell to the ground and flopped around for a bit, grabbing his lower back even though the blow was across his shoulders. Hillary then reached down and grabbed the former governor, a man her campaign viewed as a Judas, by the hair, pulled him up, lifted him above her head, and promptly slammed him to the ground. But when Hillary went in for the pin, Richardson slipped away, rose to his feet, and retaliated with an elbow drop. Clinton later won by disqualification, when Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich leapt into the fray and hit her over the head with a bag of tacks. (If you saw something different on Tuesday night, well, you're mistaken.)
Wednesday was equally eventful.
S.C. Rep. Jim Clyburn, who went out on a limb a few weeks back when he said that Obama had a "50-50" shot at winning the presidency, took the stage and gave a rousing speech to the delegation hall, leading the crowd in a hypnotic chant — "We might win. We might win." The electricity was palpable.
Later, former President Bill Clinton stepped up to the podium, but instead of delivering a speech, he simply wagged his finger at his Democratic comrades as his head turned redder and redder and his face swelled and swelled. The explosive pop echoed off the Pepsi Center walls. A clean-up crew was a called in.
But nothing could have prepared the audience for what came next — the speech by Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic VP nominee. Yes, the Democrats had gotten used to Biden's gaffes — he once called Obama the "first mainstream African-American [presidential candidate] who is articulate and bright and clean" — but even they were shocked when Biden came out in blackface and reenacted Ted Danson's Friar Club roast of Whoopi Goldberg.
However, no one could have predicted what happened on Thursday night when Barack Obama took the stage at Invesco Field. It happened shortly after his acceptance speech. Michelle joined him on stage, but they didn't kiss. He swung, and she swung. Their fists collided.
And then, the stadium shook, the ground cracked open along the 50-yard line, and flame spewed forth from the abyss. Within seconds, every last man and woman on the field was consumed by unholy fire, except for the couple, who marched off hand-in-hand to begin a 1,000 year reign over the Earth.
On that night, the end of the world came not with a bang, but with a terrorist fist jab.