Friday, September 05, 2008


I don't hate John McCain, but boy was that a lousy speech.

The content was terrible, and the performance was worse. He acknowledged the housing crisis by highlighting a couple in Michigan who lost their... "real estate investments." Really? Their investments? That's a shame.

Wait, let me back up a bit. That biographical film was horrible. All those shots of WWII made me think McCain was older than he is. The hammy joke where the punchline is "Mama's boy" was the worst, and fell so flat. The inserted shots of black folks--what's up with that? Are there no photos of John McCain shaking the hands of a black person? Just three random insertions of clips of black people, seemingly culled from stock footage. The music was a weird pastiche of the Theme from Dallas, the editing was choppy (especially the audio and video disconnect). The narration was terrible.

Then we got Fred Thompson's intoned introduction which sounded like he was reading it live for the first time.

The speech was poorly written. Aside from the fact that I disagree with the policies, the rhythms of the speech were choppy. When he got to the litany of differences with Democrats, he cited his own position, and then the Democrats, leading the ExCel Center to grow with "Boos!" Then he ripped into his own party, without really acknowledging his own part in the culture of "Warshington." Take a little responsibility, John.

And then the way McCain gave the speech made me cringe, the way I do whenever I see a public speaker blow the delivery. Doesn't matter if it's in a classroom, a wedding toast or a Powerpoint presentation, it drives me crazy. He swallowed the ends of sentences, and misspoke a number of times, correcting himself after. He let the crowd control him, rather than control the crowd. As the wave of applause built as he said, "Governor Sarah..." he should have shouted her last name "PALIN!" into the crescendo, but instead backed off, let the applause die down and then spoke her full name when he could hear himself again. It was like he was an old person talking on a speaker phone. "I'm ready to fight for... Are you still there? Can you hear me?... Okay, let me start again..."

The backgrounds were ugly and reflected blue and green light on his face. He walked and waved his arms stiffly, like he had just been reanimated last week. And that terrible smile of his kept reminding me of someone and it wasn't until later that I realized who it was.

I thought Palin did a great job for what her speech was and McCain was terrible.

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