- Overall, Democrats should feel pretty good about the last two weeks. It's hard for me to compare, since I wasn't also in St. Paul … but last week in Denver was electric — forward-looking, optimistic, energized … and Thursday night in Invesco was simply a unique event in American political history.
This week, on the other hand … it really felt like a post-mortem on the Bush years. The Republicans seemed deflated, worried, unenthusiastic. And even when Mitt and Rudy brought the bombast, the swagger seemed forced.
Even Palin seemed more like the September call-up to the 40-man roster hitting .350 for a week, rather than getting the slugger back from the DL. “Sarah Palin: 20% less corrupt than your average Alaska Republican.” That's your selling point?
In any event, I'm confident that this convention will not produce an enduring bounce for McCain/Palin, if any. I expect the polls will be close, but Obama will maintain a lead of a few points through November. We've just got to take care of business on the grassroots level — particularly in NH.
- I thought McCain's speech was pretty flat, and notwithstanding the gushing of the PBS folks last night, it seems like most commentators agree. He's caught between a rock and a hard right: Too tied to Bush-Republicanism to actually look forward with true independence of vision.
- The bio stuff was really terrific. While we can deplore the McCain campaign's interjection of his POW experience into irrelevant subjects, he has certainly earned the right to talk about it in this context. And the video and speech mentioned his experiences appropriately and powerfully.
That said, “war hero” does not equate to “best choice for president” — not for McGovern, Bush Sr., Kerry, or McCain. It's a meaningful data point, but it's not the trump card. In the same way, “experience” emphatically does not equate to “unimpeachable wisdom”.
- Mitt Romney is quite simply the most revolting figure in American politics today. Mitt's speech didn't just attack left-liberalism — it carpet-bombed “small-l” liberal democracy. Due process?? Get the hell outta town! The Supreme Court is too damn liberal!! [Even with four hard-right judges.] Republicans make government smaller!! And the sun rises in the west!! YEAEAAAAARRGGHGGH!!! Far-right crack-potitude is still relatively new to Mitt; and since it didn't get him the nomination this time, he has to try extra-hard. This makes him come off like a space alien trying to impersonate a right-wing candidate: Comically forced, and more than a little weird.
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