The too-muchness was overwhelming--too many smiles and hugs, too much arm-waving, too much cheering--above all, too much calculated color in a sequence out of a 1930s' movie in the early days of Technicolor.
For Gail Collins, it evoked her generation's "Field of Dreams": "The symbolism was obviously supposed to stretch way, way beyond mere unity. Think the signing of the Magna Carta. Or that baseball movie with Kevin Costner. If you concede it, they will come."
After a year and a half of sturm und drang, Democrats can be forgiven for crass celebration, but the aftertaste is that of an over-planned children's party with nervous parents providing too much sweets, too many balloons, too many games.
After an overdose of clichés and platitudes, now comes the grownup part--inducing Hillary diehards to sign on and really mean it, coming to terms with the political Obama who is emerging from behind the Great Oz screen.
For a reality check on the former, try clicking on the justsaynodeal and hillaryis44 web sites. No smiles, balloons or cheering there.
More critical is how fast and how far will Obama enthusiasts go in accepting the fact that he is no longer a visionary figure but a practical politician who will disappoint some of them by negotiating his way through campaign finance, FISA, gun control and other minefields on the path to the presidency.
It was a great children's party, but from now to November, it's going to be grownup time.