Scoreboard reads “Democrats 1, Republicans 0″

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The initial night of the Democratic National Convention is over, and if it is fair to compare the Democrats’ opening night to the Republicans’, then the victory belongs to the Democratic Party.

Before we analyze the Democrats, let’s flashback to one week ago: The Republicans had juggled their convention schedule to account for the cancellation of Monday’s program. As a result, on Tuesday a message of love crashed head on with a message of tough-love.

Ann Romney delivered what I thought was the highlight speech of the Republican National Convention, telling the gathered delegates and the nation that her husband was a really good guy. The love they share resonated loudly and clearly. It should have been the takeaway moment of the evening.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

Mrs. Romney’s speech was immediately followed by the much anticipated keynote address by New Jersey governor Chris Christie. And he laid an egg, in my opinion, by focusing too much on himself and too little on what a Romney presidency would mean for the country. The uncomfortable and unclear message continued over the final two nights; and Americans remained confused days later, telling one pollster that they believed Mitt Romney’s speech was the worst they could remember a presidential candidate delivering to his national convention.

The mixed messages of that Tuesday in Tampa were not repeated by the Democrats last night in Charlotte. Instead, they focused on a message with a laser-like quality.

Starting in the 9 p.m. Eastern hour and continuing through 10 p.m., there was no doubt what the Democrats and President Obama stand for:

1. Women’s rights (from wages to reproduction)
2. Protecting the middle class
3. Continuing to fix the economic morass
4. Supporting gay rights
5. Diversity, in its broadest form

And, yes, Michelle Obama made it clear she loves her husband as much as Ann Romney loves hers. But there was one important difference: Mrs. Obama also made a powerful case for why Americans need to vote for her spouse.

In short, the Republicans wrapped up their Tuesday with a lingering uncertainty as to what their convention message would be. The Democrats did not.

Democrats 1, Republicans 0.