Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Acceptance Speeches

Yes, I know this is a bit late. Nevertheless, ....

I watched the acceptance speech by Senator Barack Obama from Invesco Field. Nothing I heard was unexpected. (Of course, I'm one of those odd ducks who has been paying attention to the political campaigns for many months.) [Update: Even NPR's Juan Williams said Obama's acceptance speech was flat and lifeless.] I didn't see Senator Joe Biden's acceptance speech, but the press reports tell me it, too, was more of the same.

The next week's acceptance speeches were different. Some of that was because Governor Sarah Palin was a (relatively) unknown quantity, so whatever she said would not be "more of the same". Even so, she did an excellent job. I've seen a number of media analysts saying her speech really didn't/wouldn't "play" outside the hall, and all I can say is they must have been watching someone else. What I saw was well captured by Thomas Lifson:

Sarah Barracuda is turning into Barack Obama's worst nightmare. Her digs at the Democrat candidate were slyly funny, and placed him back in the position of an elitist. She has the potential to be Reagan in a dress. A younger Margaret Thatcher who is also a beautiful woman. No wonder the liberal media is trying to destroy her before they go bankrupt.

And then there's Senator John McCain, not exactly known as a stirring or polished speaker. His speech was more of a "stem-winder" than I remember him giving — ever — and I grew up in Arizona. I felt he did in that speech exactly what he needed to do.

There have been a few things happening since those speeches. Press reports suggest growing crowds and increasing contributions for the McCain-Palin ticket, and reduced crowds and contributions for the Obama-Biden ticket. And then there's Senator Joe Biden's reported reaction to the selection of Governor Sarah Palin for the VP spot on the Republican ticket, that she was only a governor — and of such a small state. (I don't know how he can say Alaska is small — it has the same number of electoral votes as Biden's state of Delaware.) I liked the reaction from New Mexico's Representative Heather Wilson last Saturday:

Memo to Senator Biden: Anchorage has public parks bigger than Delaware.

It's going to be an interesting campaign.

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