Most of the attention today appears to be focused on Sarah Palin's speech and the excitement that she is generating among many conservatives. And rightly so as they provide more reasons for optimism for the GOP than we've seen for some time. There were also a couple of other encouraging signs from last night's action at the RNC.
- Republicans have finally been able to focus in on Obama's weak points. Last night, speaker after speaker locked in on target and hammered away. It was by far the most coordinated and effective attack that we've seen so far and it shows how vulnerable he is. If they can maintain discipline on this and continue to hit the same points it's going to further erode the Obama mystique.
- They also have finally come up with an effective counter to Obama's "Hope and Change" mantras. Rather than allow Obama to limit voters with a choice between the status quo and change, last night they emphasized the message that change itself is not necessarily good. The choice this year will be between good change (McCain/Palin) and bad change (Obama/Biden). Given that eighty percent of Americans feel the country is on the wrong track, this is a critical distinction to make.
- Much has been made about the potential for Palin to appeal to disaffected supporters of Hillary Clinton. However, it appears that she may have a much larger impact on bringing disaffected conservatives (included some who supported Ron Paul) back into the fold. After her speech last night, a friend and ardent Paul backer e-mailed:
Wow! She's a pleasant surprise. Could win him the election.
And, after previously stating that he would never consider voting for the GOP nominee this year, my friend now says that he will vote McCain/Palin if they're within five points of Obama/Biden here in Minnesota. Somehow, I don't he's the only one whose attitude is changing.