I obviously am not objective in my musings about these conventions. So with that said, I gotta say, both Rudy Guliani and Sarah Palin hit it out of the park tonight.
First, Rudy came out and just killed. Part comedian, part statesman, he certainly didn't pull any punches. I love the fact that he called out Biden on his previous stance that the presidency was no place for on the job training... and Hillary on the 3am phone call. Peppered with sarcasm (which of course worked for me!), he took Obama to the proverbial woodshed. One thing I thought he was going to say, but didn't (and perhaps he missed the oppportunity) was when he was reminding people of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, there was a huge backdrop of the New York skyline behind him. I was just willing him to turn around and say "look at that skyline -- never forget the twin towers that once towered over my city".
Anyway, I thought Rudy was pretty brilliant.
Then, Sarah Palin comes out and gets an ovation which I believe was longer than the reception Obama got at his Stadium speech.
Again, using some sarcasm (of course the MSNBC pundits have decided she insulted her opponents) and some simply awesome lines, I'd say she has roared on to the national stage in fine fashion.
When they weren't standing, the folks in the hall were literally leaning forward on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next line.
As I'm writing this, the he/she on MSNBC just said she was surprised that Palin gave an "insulting, sniping, cutting" speech that gave us little of her biography and "a whole lot of what is wrong with Barack Obama". To that I say "so what?" What were all of the speeches at the democrat convention about? "Four more years of the same failed policies... it's not that John McCain doesn't care.. he just doesn't know", etc.
Obviously, much if not all of the speech was written by McCain's policy folks, so as she went down the litany of policy positions, it got a little flat... but when she was talking about her family, her town, her job, and her beliefs, she shone like no one I've seen before.
Some of my favorite bits:
I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities.
In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.
And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.
For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words.
For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.
...this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform...
Now, it remains to be seen how she really governed in Alaska. So far, the word seems to be that she did some flip-flopping... apparently supporting the "bridge to nowhere" before she opposed it, and sought pork barrel projects as mayor before crusading against that type of spending as governor. We'll just have to see how it all shakes out. At least she's done SOMETHING.
As for me, for this moment in time, I am a Palin fan. She was tough, likeable, she's got a nearly "Fargo-ish" accent that is just subtle enough not to annoy, and it doesn't hurt that she's attractive. Thank goodness when she speaks loudly, her voice doesn't disintegrate into a shrill shriek. That, maybe more than her Socialist views, bugged me to no end about Hillary.
Oh man, Keith Olberman, always the smug bastard, just "had to get this off his list" -- "It's 'pundit, p-u-n-d-i-t, not pundent." Interesting. Did he correct Sean Penn, Michael Moore, or any of the other dozens of left-wingers I've heard mispronounce that word? At least she can pronounce "nuclear."
I wish the timing had been a little tighter (I guess it was Rudy that ran long), because there was a biographical video they were supposed to run before Sarah P came on stage. That would have helped round out the background story and set up the intro much better. But, ya can't have everything.
Anyway, I say it was a good night for the pubs. Go, Sarah, Go!