Tonight is Barack Obama's big speech, his night to shine, his (as some GOP wags call it) Temple of Doom. Temple? We've got 75,000 people in a football stadium, we've got Greek columns, we've got the Temple to Obama (yet another GOP line, the Republicans are having some fun with this). The Obama camp is busy today downplaying his speech, lowering expectations, spinning it down up until the point it's over and they spin it back up again. Gotta be disorienting.
The speech will go a ways toward solidifying who Obama is in the minds of many voters, or at least the ones who tune in tonight. What people know will be influenced not only by how well he does, but how well the pundits say he did.
And then it starts all over again, this time with John McCain.
How much do these speeches define the candidates in the American mind? Not all that much, not for the undecided, but energizing the base is a big deal too. When the polls come out we'll know a bit more.