Can Clinton connect? The stakes couldn't be higher as Hillary Clinton (again) reintroduces herself to America. Expect to see her prime time speech accepting the nomination shortly after 10 p.m. Don't expect soaring oratory: that's just not her gift, which is unfortunate, because it's possible that Clinton's talk will pale in comparison to the instant classics delivered by the Obamas this week. But Clinton doesn't have to be something she's not. All she has to do is come across as authentic -- which, again, isn't her strong suit. But a plain-spoken address spelling out what she'd like to do as president -- and another attack on Donald Trump's character -- might suffice, given that Clinton holds the edge in this contest both in terms of voter demographics and campaign machinery.
The crowd reaction: The most dedicated fellow travelers in the "Bernie or Bust" crowd have been striving to prove a point all week long, only to prove their immaturity. For three days now, they have been interrupting speakers inside the arena and performing Yippiesque acts of civil disobedience (like occupying an ill-heated media tent that reporters actually long to escape) outside. Now they have the power tonight to disrupt Clinton's big moment -- and end the convention on a sour note. Don't be surprised if they do.
Chelsea Clinton: The daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton gets a chance to make her mother look good tonight, and she might just make Hillary look good -- in comparison. Trump once said that Chelsea Clinton got the best of both her mom and dad, but here's betting he didn't say that after seeing her delivering a speech. Accomplished as Chelsea is, to see her speak publicly is like watching the smartest, nerdiest kid in your 10th grade class read a book report. But pay attention, New York: she's the next generation, so no matter how wooden she is on stage tonight, she could eventually be coming to a ballot near you.
The diversity party: Hillary and Chelsea headline the evening, but before that, the program seems to be designed to counter the vision of America Trump puts forward. There's a Muslim man whose son died on 9/11, a woman who was fired for complaining about unequal pay, a citizen activist leading the fight for a $15 minimum wage. In other words, regular people will make up much of the early part of the program -- and the Republicans last week proved how dangerous, or at least boring, that can be.
Andrew Cuomo's big moment: Nailing down the governor's exact speaking time has been among the challenges reporters have faced here this week, but now, after some false starts, we are told it is at 7:30 p.m. tonight. That's interesting, in that it is before the prime-time hours, which of course will lower the pressure on the governor. Cuomo's talk will inevitably be compared to his father Mario Cuomo's soaring address at the 1984 Democratic convention, but don't expect soaring from Andrew. As an oratory, he doesn't soar. He shouts.
The final image: Democrats want to leave voters with an image of unity, so don't be surprised if the stage is pretty crowded at the end of the evening tonight with assorted Clintons and Obamas and, yes, one more time, Bernie Sanders. Sanders almost certainly won't speak again, but one last cheer from the Bernie or Bust crowd would be, from Clinton's standpoint, far better than the rowdy alternative.