Thursday, September 04, 2008

Great Plan, Good Speech

Everyone says that John McCain is not at his most comfortable in giving a speech from a teleprompter. He does better in less formal settings, such as a Town Hall. I was hoping perhaps that tonight would be an exception, but in many ways it was a confirmation. The themes he touched on were all good ones. Perhaps it is difficult to make an exciting speech about making sure government gets out of the way of the American people. It is a challenge. Much easier to right a speech that rips into your opponent, the way the ones yesterday did.

McCain's speech was not helped by a couple of interruptions. After the last one I could clearly see a code pink woman being carried from the convention hall. It may be that the shouts of "USA! USA!" from the crowd were not helpful. It was also a bit odd the way the speech ended, with the entire hall screaming, and McCain continuing to talk, with the sound system unable to generate enough volume for him to be heard over the crowd. Probably those of you watching on TV were able to make out what he was saying, I could not.

My last criticism goes to the way the comparison of McCain's plans with Obama's went. It was odd that the pauses were after mentioning what Obama would do, such as raise taxes, which naturally led to booing by the crowd. It seemed that there should have been a way to do it the other way around, so that there would be cheering after McCain's plans.

Overall though the speech was a success. The bit about learning to love America in another country's prisons was very touching. It was particularly difficult for me to listen to because I remember visiting Hanoi and seeing the "Hanoi Hilton" undergoing demolition. I was told that they were building a modern hotel on the site which was hard to believe, but is apparently true.

The part about school reform also went over well, and I was surprised to find the entire hall cheering with me when he mentioned Judges who will not legislate from the bench.

The woman next to me was a black lady from New York City. She was very pleased by the bit about school reform, and told me that she is doing the best she can to bring black people into the Republican party. One of her chief weapons is letting them know that Martin Luther King was a Republican. I wished her good luck.


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