Friday, September 5, 2008


John McCain exceeded low expectations in his acceptance speech last night.

Given his reputation as something less than a skilled orator, and facing the daunting task of following the boffo performance of his running mate, McCain delivered a boilerplate address with few hiccups, a mesmerizing recounting of his personal travails, and even a stirring Knute Rockne-like finish.

But McCain hit only a couple of other high notes, with few precise indications of what his administration would be all about, save for the usual promises of reform and change.

The speech was remarkable for the way it divorced his candidacy from the incumbent Republican administration. And he served up more convention Kool-Aid by suggesting Washington's problems aren't the fault of the GOP. (Speaking of Kool-Aid, imagine people like Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani distancing themselves from the so-called East Coast elite.)

But, as one commentator noted earlier in the week, the Republicans know how to put on a good convention. So there were lots of balloons, cheers, music and waving families to send the faithful on their way out of St. Paul (just as the other guys did last week in departing Denver). It's called political theater.
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