McCain’s Speech

Driving home from a friend’s house to catch the speech, I decided to live-blog the speech just like the real bloggers. I wish I had come up with this idea before, but here goes.

***

It was very classy to thank President Bush at the beginning. He’s been trashed so unfairly, including by Republicans. Could have been more, but good man, John.

Excellent handling of the Code Pink protestor. Honestly, is that what political discourse has come to? Interesting that this doesn’t happen at Democratic events– should tell us something. “Americans want us to stop yelling at each other.” Well done.

Makes the point that Palin has actually done the things Obama says he’ll do.

Better get past the “change” mantra soon and talk about some specifics of the vision.

He keeps giving the “I feel your pain” thing, but he needs to explain how his economic plan benefits those who are hurting right now. Roll out a plan for a big middle-class tax cut.

On to the surge. Obama said today it had worked– mention that!

The references to specific people are nice, but again– show how you’re going to help them. No better than Obama on this so far tonight.

Here we go: we believe, we believe. Effective. Let people keep their money, Culture of life, defense, open market, personal responsibility, judges who don’t legislate from the bench. Gov’t that doesn’t make your choices for you.

Thank you! I will cut taxes, Obama will raise them. Points out folly of nationalized health care. Keeping taxes low helps small businesses and creates jobs. Yes, yes, yes! This is the best part of the speech so far.

“Education is the civil rights issue of this century”. Good for hammering on choices for parents. Oops– backed up & tried a line again.

Stop sending 700B/yr to countries that don’t like us very much– !!!

Energy: Drill, and nuclear, clean coal, wind, tide, solar, nat gas, flex fuel, hybrid/electrics. Also, thank goodness he’s pointing out that pursuing energy independance will create lots of jobs and be good for the economy in general.

Calls out Russia right along with Iran and al Qaeda. He’s got cajones, have to give him that. I like how he’ll take sides– this, at least, really is some “Straight Talk.”

Have to have strong military, carry on the fight because “I hate war.” This is good, because Republicans get painted as warmongers.

Apparently he has a military background. Interesting.

But seriously…  It is nice to hear a candidate admit some sense of weakness or imperfection. “I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independance. “I know he tells the story of his captivity all the time, but it’s incredibly moving. “I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s.” The experience broke him of the desire to be his own man and made him want to be his country’s man. I like the vulnerability here. Shows weakness without being Oprah-esque.

Nice job calling out Obama for the messiah complex. “My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her as long as I draw breath, so help me God.” Strong.

I LOVE THE TALKING OVER APPLAUSE AT THE END. Good gravy, I’m about to stand up and scream along with them. What a brilliant finish.

Of course, then the cheesy “Raisin’ McCain” kicks in. Dang it.

YES! “Barracuda.” I’ve been waiting to hear that.

***

Takeaways: I think they did well not to try to top Obama’s speech, and generally they used McCain’s strengths well. He’s never been accused of being a great orator, but the more casual he is, the more he can feel the crowd, the better he does. They did a good job of moving the feel more toward that end of the spectrum. He wasn’t painful to watch tonight, like he sometimes is when he gives a speech.

It wasn’t Obama, and it wasn’t Sarah. But it wasn’t a bomb. He hit some good themes. He didn’t dwell on his captivity too long– it was just one more component. Good job articulating some basic conservative principles, but there could have been more. It was a good McCain speech.

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Comments

  1. John & Kristi says:

    Agreed…I thought he did a fine job. I felt so sorry for him when the protestors kept yelling, but he handled it well.

  2. i had some similar thoughts as I was watching Jake. At the beginning I was thinking that Team McCain hadn’t learned much from Obama’s generalized speech, but then he did hit home many points. I also wondered why we didn’t see idiotic protestors interrupting Obama’s speech. And loved the finale, though he could have had a few less shouted phrases.
    One thing you didn’t mention was the stress on serving your country… He really spent the last half of his speech stressing serving rather than complaining, which I thought was unusual for this type of speech, but good if a little naiive for effects it might have. I’m more confident in McCain now than I was several months ago.

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