In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of BBC News Online users to share their views. Here, we asked them for their thoughts on the Democratic Convention, and John Kerry's speech.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Shankar Iyer
Lives: Fairfax, Virginia
Works: Business Professor
In 10 words or less: "University Professor, humanitarian, Democrat"
Prior to the convention, it seemed that the Democratic Party and many independents were united with an "anyone but Bush" objective.
The convention seemed to be focused on uniting them in the belief that Kerry-Edwards will be a positive choice for the US.
Americans love heroes, and the contrast between Bush and Kerry was driven home repeatedly throughout the week, so much so that my daughter exclaimed: "Enough, already!"
The strong, confident and strident claims made by the Democrats to patriotism, strength, honesty and wisdom will certainly leave the Republicans searching for a foothold in this election.
Bush's "Mission Accomplished" photo-op surely looks very hollow now beside the line-up of veterans and army brass who endorsed Kerry.
The entire convention, climaxing in Kerry's speech, will bring Democrats of various shades under the one positive umbrella to elect Kerry-Edwards, with a decisive defeat of Bush-Cheney.
A clear, positive alternative has been articulated for the independents, the undecideds and centrists.
Whether there will be a post-conference boost in the polls or not, if the Democrats stay on their positive message and keep hammering it home, it seems clear there will be a new beginning in DC come January - a change for the better.
The Republicans are past masters when it comes to using imagery to distract and divide the electorate and to obfuscate their stand on issues that matter. It is heartening to see that the Democrats are learning to play that game. Shankar is right on when he states that the convention gave a positive basis for those independents - myself included - that were unsure and uncertain about taking the "anything but GW" position to make the choice without discomfort come voting time in November.
Kumar S Narayanan, Far Hills, NJ, USA
Kerry will get the USA out of this mess which Bush and his team has created not only for the USA, but for the rest of world. Kerry will be the right choice under the present conditions. The USA must gain respect as a world leader, not a bully, and this can only happen with the right leadership.
Saquib Khan, Toronto, Canada
The entire convention was a huge, rousing and resounding success. Bill Clinton's speech really galvanised the audience, blazed the trail and set the scene for the acceptance speeches by Kerry and Edwards. Shankar's opinions are extremely convincing and I concur with his views and his prediction that come January 2005 an astute Democratic president will occupy the White House. Kerry is head and shoulders above Bush.
Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium
There is always some plausible content in any politician's rhetoric. In the case of Kerry, he uses the usual platitudes common to a politician. However he may fool many of the voters with short memories blaming Bush for the current employment situation. This situation has been building up for years. We the public are our own worst enemies. The politicians, Republican and Democrat, have encouraged the global economy.
Peter W Pearce, Seymour, USA
"Prior to the convention, it seemed that the Democratic Party and many independents were united with an "anyone but Bush" objective." And after the convention? Absolutely nothing has changed. Kerry's strength remains the backing he receives from those in opposition to Bush and not necessarily in support of Kerry. Mark my words. Should Kerry start slipping in the month of August, you will see a good post-RNC convention bounce for Bush and watch Kerry's support erode dramatically. Prediction: Bush will win 40 states.
Colorado Conservative, Denver, Colorado, USA
The problem with the "anyone but Bush" attitude is that it makes a person automatically choose the wrong thing. John Kerry spent 12 years in the US Senate and was almost always against the things he now supposedly stands for. He is a perfect example of a true politician. Just tell the people what they want to hear. I believe he would be a very poor choice, no matter how much he can dazzle the people. It's also interesting to me how he can use this country's most unpopular war, one which he himself demonstrated against, to his advantage. Oh, we are such a fickle people.
Dale Hetzler, Hutchinson, Kansas, USA
Well said. I was a definite "anyone but Bush" voter and Kerry won me over to actually liking him.
Millie Baker, Baltimore, USA