Quick Takes: Tonight It Will Be POTUS’ Turn

* Greg Sargent outlines President Obama’s role at the Democratic Convention tonight.

While this signals that Obama, too, will make a positive case for Clinton as his successor, it also suggests that he plans to attempt a comprehensive indictment not just of Trump, but of Trumpism. The suggestion that he is optimistic about the country’s future is a clear signal that he will go hard at the pessimism at the core of Trump’s message. He’ll try to expose Trump’s depiction of the country as basically a Big Lie, a fraudulent vision of a hellscape in which crime is rampaging out of control, teeming dark hordes threaten us from the south, refugee-terrorists threaten us from the east, and only a single domineering figure who is not hamstrung by “political correctness” — read: racial sensitivity — can make it all better again.

The challenge for Obama will be to make all these points, and make people feel a bit better about the current direction of the country (large majorities tell pollsters they do not feel good about it), while acknowledging that there is still a long way to go. Speaking to voters’ legitimate grievances in a balanced way may prove the only way to prevent Trump from successfully exploiting them.

* Ed Kilgore has a slightly different take.

In the end, Hillary Clinton herself may need to make the “two futures” argument that trusting in her is a vastly better bet than gambling the country’s future on an erratic and mendacious would-be strongman like Trump. But persuadable voters need to be predisposed to that choice by a better attitude toward the status quo, and an understanding that turning back the clock with a Republican president isn’t the kind of “change” they really want. Barack Obama is the best, and perhaps the only, politician in Philly to deliver that particular speech.

* I suspect that a lot of people will be tuning in to listen to the big line-up tonight at the DNC,  including VP Joe Biden, President Obama and Sen. Tim Kaine. Even so, we now know what happened on the first night.

Democrats beat Republicans in U.S. television ratings, according to Nielsen data released on Tuesday for the first night of the Democratic National Convention.

An estimated 26 million people watched Monday evening between 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Eastern time, when first lady Michelle Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders were among the key speakers, Nielsen said. The data represents people watching across seven broadcast and cable TV networks.

The total is about three million more TV eyes than for the first night of the Republican convention last week when White House contender Donald Trump’s wife Melania was the keynote speaker.

And here are the initial numbers from last night:

* Native Americans are too often ignored in our politics these days. That’s why last night in Philadelphia was significant.

Indian Country shared the spotlight at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday as the party officially nominated Hillary Clinton for president.

From Alaska to North Dakota to Washington, tribes and their contributions to society landed several mentions during the always-colorful roll call of the states. But there also were some historic firsts before a nationwide audience of millions…

Later in the evening, delegates heard from Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States. He made a brief mention of “Indian Country” during his wide-ranging speech, which held the audience in rapt attention for more than 40 minutes as he made the case for Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady, former Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator from New York.

“She worked for farmers, for winemakers, for small businesses and manufacturers, for upstate cities in rural areas who needed more ideas and more new investment to create good jobs, something we have to do again in small-town and rural America, in neighborhoods that have been left behind in our cities and Indian Country and, yes, in coal country,” Bill Clinton said.

* Wikileaks founder Julian Assange made his intentions for disrupting the U.S. election clear.

In the interview, Mr. Assange told a British television host, Robert Peston of the ITV network, that his organization had obtained “emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication,” which he pronounced “great.” He also suggested that he not only opposed her candidacy on policy grounds, but also saw her as a personal foe.

At one point, Mr. Peston said: “Plainly, what you are saying, what you are publishing, hurts Hillary Clinton. Would you prefer Trump to be president?”

Mr. Assange replied that what Mr. Trump would do as president was “completely unpredictable.” By contrast, he thought it was predictable that Mrs. Clinton would wield power in two ways he found problematic.

* Finally, here’s some musical entertainment while you’re waiting for the show tonight.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.