Oh, sure, Michelle Obama gave a great speech, but what about the people in the Democratic National Convention hall? Those are the people conservatives are interested in -- the "hall of zealots" as former George W. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said on CNN. The Democratic speakers spend a lot of time talking about abortion rights. The crowd loved it. Conservatives are repulsed.
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Tuesday night's speeches "had more talk about abortion rights than in any Democratic convention since 1992," NBC News' First Read writes. President Obama "believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care," the first lady said, to huge cheers. NARAL president Nancy Keenan gave a speech defending abortion rights. There are speeches planned from Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Cecile Richards and Sandra Fluke, the law student who spoke about contraception and whom Rush Limbaugh called a slut.
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It's an attempt to expand the advantage President Obama has over Mitt Romney among women. But another audience was turned off by all the abortion talk: conservative dudes. "So there were 2 Dem conventions tonight: pre-primetime was the abortion jamboree, primetime was for normal Americans," The Weekly Standard's John McCormack tweets. "Abortion gets big standing O, of course," The National Review's Rich Lowry says. "[M]y pregnant Democrat wife couldn't handle all the abortion talk at Democratic convention. had to leave the room," The Washington Examiner's Conn Carroll tweets.
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The enthusiasm wasn't just in the hall. "Those Obama supporters I have in my Twitter feed were high-fiving last night in celebration of Day 1 of Abortion-Palooza," Hot Air's Ed Morrissey said. The New York Times's David Brooks said Obama's speech "reinforces something we’ve heard all night, which was how much the crowd goes crazy and how passionate they are about abortion and gay marriage and the social issues. And tonight has been about that." Brooks wanted more about jobs and economics.
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"It’s unclear to me whether the Obama team cannot — or will not — keep the more unseemly parts of this disparate coalition of grievances off stage," The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis says. Others conservatives come down on the side of "will not." In 2004, neither John Kerry not John Edwards even said the words "abortion" or "the right to choose," The National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru writes. But Democrats seem to have ended their efforts to reach out to and elevate pro-life Democrats. The Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last reports that a pro-life panel at the DNC didn't have a current elected official on it. "Except that instead of making a place in the sun for pro-life Democrats, the Obama presidency was more like a meteor-strike, triggering an ice age and driving the species to extinction," he says.