- C-SPAN is the best way to watch a convention if you actually want to see what's happening. Gavel to gavel coverage without someone trying to spin you.
- I tuned in when John Thune was ending his remarks. He's the senator from Central Casting. Made his points and then walked off. I wish more politicians did that.
- I was impressed with the governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuño, who gave an impassioned speech that I doubt many people watching on the nets would have seen.
- T-Paw got the lounge act warmup slot and he delivered his one-liners adequately, although it's really not a role he's comfortable with, which seemed evident to me. He's always the good soldier, though, and if Romney/Ryan wins he'll be rewarded with at least a Cabinet slot. It became pretty evident later on why he and Rob Portman, who also spoke, did not get the VP nod.
- Mike Huckabee is an excellent speaker, but he's always given me the creeps in a Robert Mitchum/Night of the Hunter sort of way. Nothing he said yesterday changed that impression.
- Condoleeza Rice is always impressive, although I only saw a little of her speech, since I had to take a phone call during her remarks. It will be interesting to see if she returns to Washington.
- Probably the biggest surprise of the evening was Susana Martinez, the governor of New Mexico, who gave a very impressive speech. I hadn't seen much of Martinez before and she did get a little buzz as a potential Veep. Now I know why. It will be interesting to watch her progress in New Mexico in the coming years. I fully expect we haven't seen the last of her on a national stage.
- I've been watching speeches at conventions since 1976 and Paul Ryan's speech last night was one of the best I've ever seen. He's always had the "smartest guy in the room" persona about him but he was able to soft-pedal the wonkery and still get his points across in a measured, forceful way. And he might have had the line of year when he said this: College graduates should not have to spend their twenties in their childhood bedrooms, looking up at their fading Obama posters and wondering when they will be able to get going in life. That's perhaps the most important shot across Obama's bow that I've heard so far in this campaign. Young people played a major role in the Obama campaign in 2008 and it will be interesting to see if they are still looking up at their Obama posters four years on. More importantly, will they be willing to leave their childhood bedrooms and get out to campaign for Obama? Perhaps they will, but you have to wonder.
- There was one problem with Ryan's speech, however -- it's going to be a very tough act to follow. I will be quite curious to see how, or even if, Mitt Romney tries to top it. I wonder if he'll seem like a disappointment when the comparisons are made, and they will be made.
- The takeaway of the evening -- the Republicans have a pretty deep bench. One thing I've noticed about the Democrats is that they don't seem to have many younger faces to offer the cameras, other than Barack Obama himself. I mean, seriously, do you consider Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to be a credible talking head? I'll be curious to see who the Dems trot out next week at their shindig in Charlotte. If you see a lot of Chuck Schumer, or Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi next week, you'll get a sense of the problem the Democrats might be facing.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
I did sit down and watch part of the RNC convention last night. It's good to get a sense of things. A few comments: