BOSTON (CBS) – I wish it hadn’t extended quite so far past my bedtime, but if you’re interested in politics, President Obama’s speech to the Democratic Convention Wednesday night was worth staying up for.

He reminded us that it’s been an eventful eight years for our country, and that, for better or worse, his has been an eventful presidency.

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And Mr. Obama did something he is not known for – acknowledged that he’s made mistakes, that Hillary Clinton has made her share too, and that “mistakes are what happen when we try.”

That was a smart political move on two levels.

First, by reviewing his own work, he reminded Obama supporters who might be unenthused about Clinton that many key agenda items – health care reform, the war on terror, criminal justice reform among them – remain works in progress, and he insisted that the only way to see them through was to vote for Hillary.

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Secondly, he gave Clinton an opening to acknowledge her own blunders in her speech tonight, something she’s been reluctant to do but which seems absolutely essential to easing the widespread doubts about her among uncommitted voters.

And finally, the president along with Vice President Biden opened up a new front in the battle with Donald Trump – defining him as unpatriotic and weak to go along with all the other negatives we’ve been hearing at this convention.

Trump is where he is because many voters perceive him as strong. If Clinton and her allies can even partially undercut that claim, with President Obama leading the way, then tonight’s acceptance speech could be the start of something big.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

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Jon Keller