The unfortunate thing about McCain's convention is that it had to end with McCain.
I caught O'Reilly's "teaser" interview (part 1 of 4) with Obama. I give Obama credit for meeting with O'Reilly who I'm sure asked tough questions and didn't back off.
The media could really decide the election. I have always believed that Obama is a deeply flawed candidate, in ways that the media is trying hard to ignore. McCain should keep going negative because there are a lot of real negatives there. Palin is going to be receiving a lot of attention and she should start hitting at his soft spots right away. I mean today. The major influences on his life and his thinking are more than a little disturbing to this American.
Back to the O'Reilly clip. Obama, in a few minutes' time, contradicted himself on three points:
1. "Iran is a major threat." Previously he said Iran is a minor player, more of an irritating side story. Now a major threat. He is catching up to the rest of us.
2. "The surge has succeeded beyond anyone's expectations." Say what? How about McCain's expectations, for example? Logically, then, he is saying that the generals and the politicians launched a major military initiative without expectations that it would succeed. That is quite a charge.
3. By his comment that "McCain says he'll pursue bin Laden to the gates of hell, but he won't even pursue him to the cave where he lives," well, really, all he meant by that is that "in my administration, if we have bin Laden in our crosshairs, we'll take him out." Gee, no kidding, so would anyone. As if bin Laden is a stationary target and we know the station. Maybe we do. Maybe that was his point, I don't know.
What little I saw of the convention leading up to McCain was terrible.
Joe Gibbs was going on about the importance of "God as coach of our lives" as if he were teaching a 4th grade Sunday school class. It was beneath believers and offensive/simplistic/preachy to non-believers, consistent with the caricature. I have no idea why he was allowed to do that. Stupid. Palin rallied the base, Gibbs should have been scrapped.
Lindsay Graham is just not a lively speaker. Weak.
Tom Ridge came across as intense, angry and defiant. Totally wrong tone for the evening. He would have been a disastrous VP selection and I doubt he was ever seriously considered.
The Cindy McCain video touted Anheuser-Busch's "great products." I am not sure that's a winning message with the base. She was an "organizer" of doctors and medical professionals. So now organizing has professional merit? Dumb dumb dumb. She talked way too long and said too much. She is best when she is smiling and waving. Just say hello and look friendly and then disappear.
Tonight sort of had the feel of the Pro Bowl for me -- all the enthusiasm died off after the Super Bowl, but you still have to go out and play this game for the networks.
The McCain intro video. I was afraid it would be over the top but I thought it was okay. It hit the main themes without lingering too long at each stop. National peace through strength, personal strength through brokenness. Good. His mom is old and lively. "I will not die in office." Overall a good intro.
The blue background behind McCain when he walked out was awful. The green background that followed it was worse. The first impression was terrible for me. I was not hearing his words, was just shaking my head at the background and wondering what they possibly could have been thinking.
I watched on C-SPAN to avoid the interruptions from the talking heads. I expect C-SPAN to just show the event, unbiased. So why did they cut away FOUR TIMES to a lone protester ("McCain votes against vets") AS McCAIN ACCEPTED THE NOMINATION? That was completely unfair.
I like how he laid his own claim to the mantle of change. They are chipping away directly at Obama's perceived strengths and diluting his message.
At 10:38, halfway through, it was mostly platitudes and thin anecdotes.
He needed to communicate "I am not Bush" and I think he did that fairly well without trashing the President. Most of the things I said yesterday that he should do, he didn't so, and that may be part of why I was mostly unimpressed. I had set my own expectations and they were not met.
Most of the "I will do this" stuff was at 30,000 feet. He left me wanting. Maybe I was just sleepy and cranky. I am glad it's over.