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The Speech

I propped myself up in bed tonight and watched John McCain delliver his acceptance speech in St. Paul. You have to give the guy credit for courage. He’s brave enough to walk into an arena overflowing with thousands of Republicans in 2008 and not mention Goerge Bush once. Not once by name. He had the guts to publicly admit that the GOP had failed in the last eight years to deliver on fundamental promises, but that he and his Alaskan sidekick would change everything. Really.

Up until about the last 10 or 15 minutes, the speech seemed pretty flat in delivery. Let’s face it — McCain’s worst enemy is the teleprompter, but once he got back to the P.O.W. story, he spoke from the heart and ended on a sincere note about having people stand up for their country. He could have gotten there about ten minutes sooner and done us all a favor.

A couple general impressions:

First, Palin gave a better speech, both in content and delivery. She fired up the base. McCain overall seemed lackluster on stage. The Code Pink protesters didn’t help.

Second, Let’s get real here. Sarah Palin spent 40 minutes ridiculing Obama, slashing and burning everything about the guy. If the Democrats lose in November, does McCain honestly expect us to believe that there would be any kind of bipartisan cooperation? Who is kidding whom here, folks? You can’t talk about “reaching across the aisle” while you unleash your attack dog on the Democrats.

Third, Palin remains the big unknown. They keep her away from the press, on a very short leash. She doesn’t get to campaign on her own yet. What are they hiding? Hillary hits the campaign trail on Monday for Obama. It will be an interesting contrast.

But make no mistake — despite the intrusion of Gustav, the Republicans had a solid convention. Palin gives them energy. Tonight McCain gave them hope that they might actually win. And they might. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — it comes down to the debates.

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