While we learned that rising stars in the Democratic Party come in younger (Sandra Fluke) and older (Elizabeth Warren) versions, it was a party elder and established superstar (President Bill Clinton) who stole the show on Day Two of the Democratic convention.
Wednesday's session began amid controversy over language in the party's platform that saw a tumultuous voice vote. And another one. And another one. It's not the image Democrats wanted to project after a successful opening night.
And while Clinton's speech was 15 minutes longer than his famously panned 1988 convention address, this one kept the audience in the packed Time Warner Cable Arena on its feet.
Here are five things we learned from Wednesday night:
1. Clinton delivers
Forty eight minutes, more or less.
That's how long Clinton's speech lasted on Wednesday night, but no one in Charlotte gave a rip.
Why? The Full Clinton showed up Wednesday with a combative, charming and substantive piece of oratory that many in the political class immediately billed as one of the best speeches he has ever delivered.
And crucially, President Barack Obama -- who has struggled to explain his policy accomplishments to the public -- got a tremendous boost from the best communicator in American politics.
Republicans were stunned after the speech.
"Tonight, when everybody leaves, lock the door," GOP strategist Alex Castellanos said on CNN immediately after the speech ended. "You don't have to come back tomorrow. This convention is done. This will be the moment that probably re-elected Barack Obama. Bill Clinton saved the Democratic Party once. It was going too far left. He came in and took it to the center. He did it again tonight."
Mike Murphy, another leading Republican operative, tweeted his praise.
"Highly effective Clinton speech. Aimed right at voters Obama needs," Murphy wrote.
And then: "A master's class in using (select) factoids and policy ideas to 'explain' and score big politically. Mitt's speech should have done this."
Forget that Clinton strayed from his prepared remarks repeatedly and was not even halfway through his speech when the clock struck 11 p.m. on the East Coast -- the Big Dog delivered.
Now it's Obama's turn.
2. Clinton answers the burning question
Republicans criticized Democrats this week for largely avoiding a firm answer on the question of whether Americans are better off than they were four years ago.
It was a question that first gained traction last week during Mitt Romney's acceptance speech, when he said, "You know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him."
And the issue further snowballed when Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland answered "no" to the query during a Sunday interview -- a reply quickly seized upon by Republicans.
While speakers at the DNC Tuesday and Wednesday mostly stayed away from the topic, Clinton answered it head-on in his speech, delivering perhaps his biggest moment of the night.
"He inherited a deeply damaged economy. He put a floor under the crash. He began the long, hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy," he said.
He continued: "Now are we where we want to be today? No. Is the president satisfied? Of course not. But are we better off than when we were when he took office? Listen to me," he said, as the crowd roared.
He then painted a picture of economic conditions at the time Obama took office in January 2009, saying 750,000 jobs were disappearing per month and adding the economy was "in free fall."
"Are we doing better than today? The answer -- yes," he said forcefully. He used the "better off" theme several more times through the night.