I think they delivered on both fronts, actually, which brings up a good point about our forthcoming election. There seem to be actual issues this time around. Sure, there are always issues, but often they seem kind of made-up. The gay marriage issue that keeps trying to come to the fore is like that. A lot of bluster from the politicians in, what appears to me, to be an attempt by the Republicans to divide and galvanize the country.
Don't get me wrong, I think that the right to marry has been long time coming to my gay friends. It just doesn't strike me as an issue that would have made the national campaign if it wasn't being forced there.
What do seem to be "real" issues to me include: economic choices; from tax cuts to trade agreements to federal spending, the parties seem deeply divided on what the correct path to take is. Another is foreign policy; Bush's unilateral war on Iraq and his administration's eschewing of some key international treaties (Kyoto and the ICC) mark him a significantly different than Kerry. I don't think that Kerry will be able to make significant strides in directions I support along these lines (we'll still end up shoring up Iraq and work on the treaties will take years to bear fruit) but his attitudes and intentions differ markedly.
So it will be interesting (to me at least) to see what more comes out of this convention, the Republican counterpart and the remainder of the campaign.