Friday, September 05, 2008

McCain's Acceptance Speech

I just caught the second half of John McCain's acceptance speech. It was okay, but nothing great. Certainly not on par with Sarah Palin's last night. I thought Obama's speech was better than McCain's but not as good as Palin's. (I missed Biden's.)

McCain was at his best talking about his experience as a POW, but I thought the rest of the speech came across as a bit mechanical. Last night, Palin kept getting interrupted by applause. Tonight, McCain seemed to pause and then wait for the applause to come. As one commentator said:
"If McCain wins, it won't be because of his oratory skills."
I agree. If McCain wants to win, he needs more performances like he had at Saddleback and fewer like tonight's.

More thoughts from Megan McArdle, Stephen Bainbridge, and Ezra Klein.

Read the full text of McCain's speech here.

For the record, I am still expecting an Obama win come November. I think Palin has added an energizing element to the conservative base which is certainly stirring the pot, but I don't know that it's going to be enough to push McCain over the top. Obama seems to be losing a bit of his luster, but still has strong support from much of his base. Having said that, a lot can happen between now and November. This campaign season has already been full of unexpected twists and turns. At this point, I'd almost be surprised not to see any more surprises.

Below are what the prediction markets are currently projecting. As I post this, Obama essentially has 3-to-2 odds over McCain. Barring any major gaffes, changes, or scandals by either side, I expect this gap to gradually narrow as the election draws nearer. Stay tuned. (I also just added this chart to my sidebar. It should automatically update daily.)

1 comment:

thinking said...

The speech was indeed rather mediocre.

But in the speech at least I saw glimpses of the previous John McCain...the one with honor, the one without so much vitriol, the one with some class.

I cannot believe how McCain has changed in his quest for the White House. Worse, he has hired the same political assassins of the Rove team, the one that actually was used to destroy him in 2000.

It's like watching the character of Anakin Skywalker turn into Darth Vader.

It was ironic hearing him talk about bipartisanship after allowing speaker after speaker in the convention to trash Obama, and not just his policies, but his character and motivations.

This Republican party is not the party of Reagan. Reagan's most memorable ad was "Morning in America" entirely positive one. Reagan's most famous negative ad was the "Bear in the Woods" ad which was so very subtle, and in no way attacked the character of his opponent.

Reagan would not have recognized this Republican party or approved. For instance, Reagan never would have mocked the idea of being a community organizer for instance. Reagan never would have run the negative ads that McCain has run. He never stooped so low.

I agree with Andrew Sullivan: this version of the Republican party needs to be burnt to the ground to allow it to rebuild and give it new life. The Rove philosophy of dividing people needs to be crushed and repudiated at the ballot box.

As for Palin, it's a smart short term political move for galvanizing the far right conservative base, but it's also a very polarizing choice and that's not what this country needs at this point.