It's no Clint Eastwood + Invisible Obama, but Democratic National Convention organizers are apologizing for their own strange gaffe last week: During a carefully orchestrated tribute to veterans -- 50 were honored onstage -- the video onscreen behind them included an image of Soviet-era Russian warships.
The gaffe was "due to vendor error" -- but one Navy vet accused Dems of being out of touch with veterans: "Is the Democratic Party that far removed that they can't check up on a simple picture?"
"Selfless soldiers won't be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love."
"As long as I'm commander-in-chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known."
"Climate change is not a hoax."
The GOP-directed zingers:
"They want your vote without telling you their plan."
"You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can't visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally."
"Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!"
And the requisite humble brags:
"Osama bin Laden is dead."
"The times have changed -- and so have I. I'm no longer just a candidate. I'm the president."
Obama ended by circling back to his 2008 message of hope, though he projected it onto voters for the occasion: "As I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America. ... I'm hopeful because of you."
Slate economics writer Matt Yglesias put it best: "This is the speech you give when you think you're winning and just want to avoid screwing up."
The worst we could fault him for was a suggestion that President Obama's Affordable Care Act was responsible for bringing down the rate of increase in health care spending, when the fact is that the law's main provisions have yet to take effect.
Clinton said that "for the last two years, health care costs have been under 4 percent in both years for the first time in 50 years." That's true, as reported by the journal Health Affairs in January of this year. But Clinton went too far when he added: "So let me ask you something. Are we better off because President Obama fought for health care reform? You bet we are."
Actually, the major provisions of the 2010 law — the individual mandate, federal subsidies to help Americans buy insurance, and big reductions in the growth of Medicare spending — haven't yet taken effect. Experts mainly blame the lousy economy for the slowdown in health care spending.
Romney: "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country."
Kennedy: "I am pro-choice, my opponent is multiple choice."
Kennedy, in a speech shown later: "Now he's for family leave, now it looks like he's for a minimum wage, now he's for education reform, and if we give him two more weeks he may even vote for me."
RNC Chair Reince Preibus immediately tweeted that the decision to resurrect Kennedy was "classless."
But The Washington Post's Ezra Klein called BS in a tweet of his own: "I, for one, am shocked that Democrats would inject politics into a video about politician Ted Kennedy during a political convention."
What say you? Was the Dems' use of a dead Kennedy in poor taste or totally legit?
NBC News' Andrew Rafferty spotted this protester -- who pretty much speaks for everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike -- outside the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, two whole days before the convention gets under way.