Monday, September 8, 2008

Quick Hits 10: A Star is Born.

Here is my semi-complete rundown of my take on the events of the RNC week. And what a week it was.

-We started off the week with many on the left and in the media drooling over the prospect of Hurricane Gustav wrecking the Gulf Coast and ruining the RNC. The sense of disappointment on Monday night was palpable. It was sad and amusing at the same time.

-Bobby Jindal really seemed to be on top of things in the few days leading up to the storm.

-That picture of Governor Palin holding the M-16 is probably the hottest thing I've ever seen in my life.

-On Monday afternoon I went to to get the latest info on the storm. The top 3 stories on the web page were about Bristol Palin's pregnancy. The fourth was about the hurricane. No ideological agenda there. It's too bad the baby's father isn't John Edwards. If that were the case the mainstream media would have declared that it "wasn't news" and the LA Times would have banned any discussion about it on their website.

-I'm not sure if the McCain campaign was laying an ambush for the Obama campaign, hoping that they'd rail against Palin's inexperience, but if it was they walked right into it. I thought it was funny that Obama supporters of all people cared about experience, and I knew she would probably address this when she spoke, but I was completely unprepared for the devastating manner in which she did so.

-The press release from the Obama campaign deriding the fact that she was the "mayor of a town of less than 9,000" was probably ill-advised given the earlier comments Obama has made with regard to "guns and religion" as well as the statement that Americans embarrass him because we can't speak more languages. I for one would like to see the U.S. government run more like that of a small town. You know, with spending restraint, priorities, etc.

-I'm glad my parents' professional lives don't hinge on what my judgment was like at age 17. Aren't you?

-I liked the fact that Obama seemed genuinely pissed off when he told the reporters that peoples' children should be off-limits. Of course he was completely ignored by the press, who apparently decided they still haven't sucked enough blood yet.

-Now, on to the convention itself. I thought the three-day format actually wound up being better. The major speakers were kept but there wasn't nearly as much filler material. This made for much better television, in my opinion.

-I noticed that they didn't do a lot of fake-diversity stuff like they have in the past few. In the 96-04 conventions it seemed like they had every black republican in the country sitting within 50 feet of the stage, in an effort to make the party look more diverse. Black voters, however, were not fooled by this. This time they just said "ah screw it. Let's just put all the hot chicks up front." Which brings me to my next point.

-I thought it was a very good-looking crowd. It seemed like every crowd shot had some very attractive women in it. By contrast, a lot of crowd shots in Denver reminded me of the bar scene from Star Wars. What does that have to do with anything? Nothing. It's just the kind of thing I notice.

-Another contrast was the people being celebrated. Nearly every speaker or video was celebrating achievement. They had videos of past presidents, Medal of Honor winners, etc. and a lot of the speakers were people who've built successful businesses. The Democratic convention, on the other hand was a celebration of victimhood. It seemed like every other person to get up there was somebody who'd lost their job, gotten sick, or lost their health insurance. I understand that victim status is the highest honor the Left can bestow, but after that you'd think the unemployment rate was 30% and there was no such thing as "health insurance". Are we in rough times economically? Yes. Are we living in some kind of Dickensian nightmare? No.

-I was hoping the Bush appearance would get canceled entirely and we would only see Laura. I was also glad that Dick Cheney was not seen, heard from, or mentioned the entire week. Hopefully this keeps up until the election.

- Fred Thompson's tub-thumping speech on Tuesday was the best I've ever seen him give. He wasn't that passionate when he was the one running for president. The part about taxing businesses was funny and on-target at the same time.

-Liebermann better hope there's a cabinet position waiting for him if McCain wins.

-I felt sorry for the woman trying to speak when Papa Bush walked in and the crowd cheered for several minutes before she could start speaking.

-Mitt Romney did absolutely nothing for me in his speech. He sounded like his party was the one that had been out of power for 8 years. Huckabee was good as always.

-I knew beforehand that Rudy was going to be coming after 'em. Rushing the passer, if you will. He did not disappoint. "nothing. nada." His shots on Obama and Biden were a hit with the crowd. I thought he would be a pretty tough act to follow, and that Palin would have a hard time topping him. I couldn't have been more wrong.

-After several days of talk about her inexperience and people on the left questioning McCain's judgment, I expected that Governor Palin would give a pretty good speech and hit on some of the areas where her resume' matches up pretty well to Senator Obama's. I was not prepared for what came next. She gave the best speech of the convention season. That's right, better than Obama's. And it was perfectly set up by all of the inexperience talk. This allowed her to go on the attack without coming across as being quite as mean. I remember thinking during Obama's speech that there were a few softballs he left hanging over the plate that could be hit back if the GOP was on it's game, like the line about him and Biden "fighting for you". She hit all of them out of the park. She was very conversational, not preachy. She came across as very confident, and from everything I've gathered over the past few days, she has absolutely electrified the base. For example, the next morning Michael Reagan wrote a column entitled "Welcome Back, Dad." Yeah, that's what we're dealing with here. I can't believe the Obama people didn't see this coming with all the inexperience talk. I also found it ironic that the Obama people are now saying that it's not about personality. If that were the case Hilary would be the nominee.

-I also like the fact that she talked about her family and the media, but didn't come across as whining.

-They made a big deal about the Bush speech writer, who I'm sure was thrilled to finally write one for somebody who can actually speak.

-There has been a run on the Kawasaki 704 glasses frames that Sarah Palin wears.

-I saw an article in an actual "respected" newspaper criticizing the way her hair was done for the speech. I'm not going to claim a double standard or anything, but the morning after Biden spoke I don't recall reading the phrase "hair plugs" one time in any newspaper story.

-I was afraid going in about overdoing the Vietnam stuff, and it was mentioned by every speaker, but I'm not sure you can tell the McCain story without talking about a formative experience like that. I mean five and a half years is longer than I've lived in Colorado, which seems like a long time.

-Senator Graham actually did less for me than Mitt Romney.

-Pawlenty wasn't bad. "Who voted against securing loose nukes in the former USSR?" (paraphrased). That one passed unanimously as I recall as well.

-I would have done more to point out the details of those 2 ethics reform bills Obama touts. One had 47 co-sponsors and passed the Senate unanimously. The other had 18 and passed 96-2, with 2 senators not voting. Not exactly tough legislation that has to be rammed through. If Obama had vehemently opposed them it would have made zero difference. Zero.

-The Cindy McCain video was very moving. She is clearly not a professional speaker, and I think the speech was not written very well in terms of being easily delivered. There were too many multi-comma'ed sentences. That said, the actual content about her charity work over the years in some of the most miserable places on the planet was incredibly touching. I can't help but contrast this to Mrs. Obama who was excellent in delivering her speech but whose biggest applause came because she doesn't hate America. I think a lot of the Michelle stuff has been unfair, but the way this went off kind of reminded me of her earlier statement.

-McCain started off kind of slowly and looked a little distracted when all the idiot protester stuff happened at first. It's kind of funny that to some people on the left, trying to interrupt and shout down a man while he's giving a political speech is actually considered an exercise in free speech. I wonder if a persons brain can atrophy to that level simply from lack of use, or does it require ingesting narcotics on a constant basis for a long period of time? Liberalism will always bare any burden to defend your right to agree with it. Okay, maybe it isn't fair to blame liberals for this one instance since most of the people I saw were from a Communist front group known as Code Pink(perhaps best known for donating $600,000 to the families of Fallujah insurgents).
It still makes me regret not carrying out my plan to disrupt the Obama speech. I know I wouldn't have been able to sneak a sign in, but security has no way of knowing that someone's going to get naked and try to run around the stadium. Missed opportunity, I guess.

-Would you be in any hurry to tackle a naked guy? I can't say I would.

-Anyways, back to McCain. I thought he got a lot better as the speech went along. Some of the domestic policy ideas mentioned in the middle of the speech sounded interesting and will hopefully be rolled out in detail once we get into debate season. This is one area where I think the Democrats are the ones living in the past. They'd like to try to stuff the Globalization Genie back into the bottle and go back to a time when manufacturing jobs were the back-bone of the economy. So would I. It just isn't going to happen, I'm sorry to say. His speech got better and better the closer he got to the end. When he ended with the call to service with the crowd going absolutely nuts and multiple shots of crying people, it was the best imagery I've seen from the right in a long time.

-All in all I thought the convention was well done, but without as much economic focus as I would have liked to see. It was also strictly about McCain and Palin as opposed to the party as a whole. This was kind of weird as well. Whether the enthusiasm can sustain itself remains to be seen, but it looks like another long night November 4th.


Friar Tuck said...

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lmerie said...

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Politics and humor! Who would have thunk! I really enjoyed this post -

. . . and should I add an Amen!