Friday, September 5, 2008

Last Impressions of the Last Night of the RNC

Okay, time for the wrap-up blog.

1) Cindy McCain looked great, but her delivery was off-putting to me. It almost sounded like she was on a tape loop of speaking to touch the heart. Same kind of delivery of similar lines. Having said that, there was little doubt that she was sincere with each line. A bit of work on the delivery and it would have been a nice lead-in for John McCain's speech.

2) Two different perspectives on the cheering during the end of McCain's speech. The crowd was boisterous...and McCain just kept going like he was on the clock. And the closer he got to the end, the louder the crowd got. As a public speaker, you never want to give the impression that you don't appreciate the audience's reaction, and it just seemed like he didn't give them the love that he received from them.

3) Comparisons will be made between Sarah Palin's speech Wednesday night and McCain's speech last night, but you really can't compare the two, except in the area of theme. They both talked at great length about change across the board, and both have records reflecting their commitment to making it happen. With two speeches, McCain/Palin have stolen the mantle of "change you can believe in" from Obama/Biden.

4) To the people doing the balloon drop at the RNC, you almost gave me a case of deja vu! In 2004, the DNC's balloon drop was delayed quite a bit due to technical difficulties, and for a couple of moments it looked like the 2008 RNC had the same problem. But, the balloon drop did happen, and not too long after McCain's speech so it looked like more of a timing issue than a technical issue.

5) I've seen Leftist commentators, both professional and amateur, say McCain's speech was long on rhetoric, but short on specifics. Of course, they didn't have a problem with it when it was Obama and Biden doing it...

6) I heard about how the stage would be set for McCain's speech and was concerned. The way it was described to me was that McCain would be on a runway with a long red carpet. Let me tell ya, it made me wince a bit, given how McCain has hit Obama about being a celebrity with no substance. But watching it live, I didn't notice the red carpet at all, which quelled my concerns.

7) You can knock McCain's speech all you want, but one thing came through last night. While Obama's acceptance speech was focused on himself and what he would deliver to the country, McCain's speech wasn't focused so much on him but on his love of the country. Obama's speech talked about how down America has been under George W. Bush, but how a bright future was within reach. McCain's speech was about what America meant to him and how he loved it, warts and all.

8) One other comparison I can make between the DNC and the RNC this year is about patriotism. As I noted during my DNC blogging, it seemed to me that the Democrats went out of their way to show how patriotic they were (provided you could overlook the upside-down American flag on the tickets to get into the Obama acceptance speech and the Democrats' years of mocking and deriding the country, of course). The RNC, on the other hand, didn't have to say how patriotic the GOP was because you could just sense it. The way they acknowledged the veterans in the audience (and the sheer number of them, for that matter), the images shown on the screen behind the speakers, the kind of rhetoric used by the speakers. No, the GOP didn't have to keep reminding the audience at home how patriotic they were; it was abundantly clear.

9) Heart is objecting to the McCain/Palin campaign's use of the song "Barracuda." That's fine, as it's their song, but I have to wonder if it's the smartest move, career-wise. Sarah Palin has energized a lot of people, people who might not have ever heard "Barracuda" before and would go out to buy the song or a CD of the song. And considering Heart hasn't been musically relevant since the late 80s... Ann, Nancy, if you're reading this, you might want to think this through. Yeah, the Left might think you're siding with McCain/Palin, but at least you'd get paid! Money is our friend!

And like with the DNC, I'm going to give my Olympic judging of the RNC.

Compulsary: They got McCain and Palin nominated, which was the purpose. Unlike the DNC, where they made a big deal out of a minor point of parliamentary procedure (mainly because the cameras were there), the RNC didn't. They let it be limited to the convention floor, which is where it should stay. Aside from some of the speeches Thursday night, it was well done. Out of a possible 5 points, I give the RNC 4.0 points.

Artistic: The technical and artistic advisors of the RNC pulled off what I can only call a modern political masterpiece. They truly had an idea of what would play on TV and what wouldn't. Up and down the list, most of the speakers were dynamic and knew how to speak to the crowd, not at the crowd like I saw at the DNC. I could have done without some of the speakers (Sam Brownback, Lindsey Graham), but overall it was a fine slate. Out of a possible 5 points, I give the RNC 4.5 points.

Total score for the RNC: 8.5.

And just for the Ron Paul folks, here's my analysis of their "convention" at the Target Center.


There. I feel better now. We return you to your regularly scheduled blogging already in progress.

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