It was John Edwards’ night last night and the reviews were almost unanimous, with Atrios summing it up best: “I wouldn’t say home run, but almost a triple.”

Mathew Gross calls the speech “hardly a barn-burner” but sees an upside to that: Edwards, he says, “left plenty of room for John Kerry to dazzle the delegates” tonight.

Dave Pell writes that “Edwards owned the crowd and the night and delivered just what this pundit ordered.” Edwards’ message resonates with Pell. “He tells an audience that we can’t allow people of different socioeconomic backgrounds to fall behind just because it’s ‘wrong.’ That’s my kind of politics and my kind of values. Let’s legislate fairness, not try to legislate love and science.”

Pell also gave high marks to another speaker last night, Al Sharpton. “Al ripped the attention from the back walls to the arena floor. Judging by the press release featuring his speech, he also went way off script and became for a moment the young kid who would preach standing [on] a milk crate as a ten year old and mixed that skill with words to deliver the goods.”

Not surprisingly, Tim Blair, blogging from Boston for Reason, has a slightly different take on the Edwards speech, which he found “mum and bland” on the critical issue of fair trade and jobs. Trade, writes Blair, “like most issues that divided New Democrats from the ‘Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,’ is just not a topic of conversation.”

Okay, so … the blogger party.

Ezra Klein at Pandagon sounds giddy at receiving star treatment in Boston. “This was one of those parties recaptured in breathless prose on the next morning’s gossip page.” (Well, not quite.)

He writes: “Though most of the celebrities in attendance were political, a fair number had currency outside DC’s streets and their attendance at a party honoring us was very, very strange. The party, luckily, was viable and fun on its own merits; a well-planned and executed event independent of its guest list. Held at the Meze — a stylish Greek restaurant that put [out] some damn fine finger food for us — it was packed with guests from all walks of life and thus all manner of opinion.”

Hors d’oeuvres aside, for Klein “the highlight of the trip has been the opportunity to meet and have substantial interaction with other bloggers who’d previously been nothing more than online entities.”

Susan Q. Stranahan

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Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.