Friday, September 05, 2008

Four Strange Days

It's interesting to look back at the week that was at the RNC. Going in, I doubt if anyone could have predicted how each day would unfold and how disjointed each would be from the whole.

On Monday, we saw Republicans acting like Democrats by being all about feelings and impressions instead of facts and solutions. By abandoning their planned activities and engaging in emotional pandering and schmaltzy sentimentality, the GOP caved in and accepted the idea that caring (or pretending to care) is the paramount concern in public life. The mass, synchronized text messaging from the floor to donate money to the victims (more virtual than real) was the perfect example of this false notion of service.

Tuesday brought a much-needed return to normalcy (and reality). But it was still a bit to odd to see Joe Lieberman--the man who was the Democrat's choice for VP only eight years ago--play a leading role in the night's lineup. With the duo of Lieberman and Thompson it was a solid if not spectacular evening.

Wednesday was definitely the apex of the entire convention. With the exception of Romney's, the preliminary speeches delivered the red meat that the crowd had been waiting for. Huckabee had some great lines and Rudy showed why he's still one of the best speakers in the Republican lineup. And of course, Palin delivered in the clutch. If the convention had ended that night, everyone would have gone home on a high note.

But there still was one more day. I understand why the RNC didn't want anyone to outshine McCain on his big night, but to subject the delegates to the lackluster Graham and Ridge was just not right. Having his wife introduce McCain was okay. Having her up there for as long as they did was not a good idea.

The video that preceded McCain's speech was unimpressive. I thought the speech itself was okay if a bit too long. We all know that delivering a prepared speech is not his strong suit. Why make it any longer than necessary? McCain did come across as the real deal and when he was talking about his love for the country he was in his element. It would have been nice if he hadn't stepped on his applause lines at the end, but again no one was expecting great oratory.

The bottom line is that he did what he had to do, which is probably a good way to summarize the RNC as well. Now, after four unusual days in St. Paul, the real race can begin.