In 2000, Barack Obama couldn’t even get a floor pass to the Democratic National Convention. Tomorrow he’ll be speaking before Greek columns to a crowd of 75,000 people as the party’s nominee.

In the exact middle of that trajectory was The Speech: Obama’s keynote address to the 2004 convention. We all like to say that conventions are meaningless, and Obama himself once called them nothing more than infomercials to reward wealthy contributors. Nevertheless, it was at the convention in 2004 that Barack Obama became a star. (Watch the instant analysis at the time and the speech itself, where the cutaway shots show people listening gape-mouthed.)

Read the full report here.