I have not enjoyed watching either major party in convention since 1980. Too boring, too boilerplate, no drama, no controversy. There are bright spots, such as Mario Cuomo’s 1984 keynote, but they are few and far between.
But SWMBO is an inveterate convention watcher. She and the WMD were at the beach during the DNC, and she caught every minute possible…and last night she cajoled me into watching coverage of the RNC. While it unfortunately lived up to my expectations, it also showed me why McCain will lose this election, but also why he will win.
Why He Won’t: Fred Thompson went on about how McCain will change the way things are done in DC, clean up the place, etc. Well, the GOP has been in the White House for the last eight years and had control of both houses of congress for six of those eight. I don’t see how the GOP candidate can successfully run against conditions that the GOP had a big hand in creating. This is where the substitution of power for principles comes into play. The GOP has in the last eight years operated to gain power, and not to state principles.
President Bush’s comments illustrated the lack of bullet points that McCain can readily roll out. He cannot pull out numbers about how many new jobs have been created, how the economy is growing at a record pace, etc. The numbers that readily catch the voter’s attention and support just are not there.
Then came Joe Lieberman, and he focused on John McCain the man and how he will protect America. All well and good, and it is a fact that since 2001 there have been no terrorist attacks in the USA, but that does not give you the stat you need. For security sake, he cannot say “there have been no successful attacks, and at least 165 attempted”, or something like that. And in Iraq, although it is clear that progress is being made, all progress is colored by the fact that we started that little clambake…which means that while we may be making objective progress, the subjective take on how we are doing is a whole ‘nother matter.
Oh, some asides…I doubt Joe Lieberman runs for reelection in 2012, and Fred Thompson would have been better to say “eloquence is no substitute for experience, and rhetoric no replacement for a record.”
On the other side of the coin, the speakers capably conveyed the image of a man who is ready to take office and lead, who has walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and came out in one piece. Lieberman did about as good a job as possible of making the case for democrats to cross over.
Why He Will:We also got to see Katie Couric show once again how in the bag the media is for Obama, how eager they are to land the KO shot to Sarah Palin, and the double standard they will use. As an example, I was struck by how she noted that as mayor Palin got $27 million for the town, and wasn’t it it time to get the “truth” out.
Well, this is why Katie should not have left the Today Show. Besides the way she loses control of interviews, she is confusing the “facts” with the “truth”. The fact is that while Mayor of Wasilla she succesfully got in 27 million dollars of federal aid. The truth is that as an elected official in a small town with limited resources she got federal aid for needed civic improvements. The money was used for building a youth center, sewer repairs, transportation needs-brick and mortar and real things the town needed. It seems to me that when Congress sets rules for getting funding, all the folks back home can do is play by the rules, because that money is going somewhere.
Then there is the whole Bridge to Nowhere thing, and how she supported it and then came in against it. If it were a Democrat being discussed, that behavior would be described as “growing in office”
I am astonished less at how the media is jumping on every little thing about Palin and her family but the hebephrenic glee with which everything is spun as indicative of something bad about someone.
American’s love underdogs, and I suspect that the more the media and the Democrats go after Sarah Palin on anything other then her record in office the more people will decide to vote GOP in reaction against such behavior.
This campaign is far from over. If election day is about results, etc., then Obama has great chances to win. But if this election continues to be Palin the Pinata contest, then I think McCain’s chances look better every day.