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.)