A few notes on McCain and the rest of the RNC's final night:
I found McCain's speech the opposite of Palin's: the substance was there, and it times the words themselves were even admirable. But the execution was a mess.
McCain has never been such a great speaker, and tonight was no exception. He didn't have the audience with him until the very end, and even then he talked over the applause and could barely be heard- Public Speaking 101 says never, never do that. Other than that he was generally plodding and uninspiring, tripping over words and having trouble with the Teleprompter.
- And the green screen! It's back! I thought using it the first time was McCain's most mocked decision of the campaign, but then that was like two campaign shake-ups ago.
- The part in which he promised to draw on his experience, and discussed his hatred for war, was undoubtedly the strongest. But what was that "I will fight for you" stuff? Did McCain hire Bob Shrum, to recycle lines from Al Gore's 2000 campaign? (As someone rooting for Obama, I'm all for his opponent using Shrum.)
- This was the McCain of 2000-2004, emphasizing bipartisanship, respect for opponents, distancing himself from George Bush, and various other virtues formerly associated with McCain that have barely been mentioned at all throughout the week.
- I find it hilarious that the same convention audience that's been chanting "Drill Baby Drill!" for four days is cheering McCain for saying he'll go after the oil companies.
- Once again, what ever happened to that idea, after the hurricane, of a "subdued" convention, with no parties or funny hats or balloons? Did you see the end? A lot of fucking balloons, some of which engulfed Andrea Mitchell.
- Protesters interrupted the speech twice. What the hell is the point? Is anyone going to make their voting decision based on whether or not a couple of yahoos successfully broke into the arena?
- It's quite obvious that the Republican base would rather have Sarah Palin as their presidential nominee than John McCain. In fact, she captured and inspired them a hell of a lot more than anyone who ran on the Republican primaries.
- What the hell was up with that "9/11 tribute"? It had just about nothing to do with honoring the victims and everything to do with telling everyone "be very fucking afraid." Olbermann's been way, way over the top the last two weeks, but it's hard to disagree with what he said afterward.
- Lindsey Graham: NOT a good speaker, especially not when he's in ultra-snide mode, as he was tonight. It also didn't help that his entire speech was about slamming Obama for not believing the surge worked. About five minutes before Graham spoke, I heard Barack tell O'Reilly that "the surge worked beyond our wildest dreams."
- Nice of Joe Gibbs to address the RNC, rather than attend or even watch the team with which he is synonymous, the Washington Redskins, open the NFL season.
- Chris Matthews asked if Bush went along with, what he's wondering as he watches at home. Bush, I'm almost certain, watched the football game.Posted by Stephen Silver at September 4, 2008 11:45 PM