I spent much of Saturday at the big liberal rally in Washington, a very good day, a very strong crowd, a sign that the Democratic base is alive and well.

For now I would make one simple point, which I believe is extremely revealing and important.

At the rally there were very few Obama shirts, Obama signs or Obama posters. I believe this is profoundly important, and positive, for Democrats and national politics.

A year ago there would have been wall to wall Obama pictures. At this rally they were few and far between. This is good. People came to the rally because of the beliefs they share, and the causes and issues they believe in, not because of any one person or personality.

This is neither praise nor criticism of the president, just an observation about the state of the Democratic base and the state of our national politics.

I believe Democrats will turn out in lesser numbers than in 2008 but in greater numbers than pundits expect. Democrats will turn out because they care about the future of the nation but not because of any single person or personality.

I doubt the president or White House staff fully understand this. But I doubt that it matters whether or not they do.