Hello Unmitigates (I know this title sucks y’all. But deal with it…). Sorry I’ve been away for a bit. I’m in the closing stages (I hope) with pneumonia. Not fun. Not fun at all. I’m not quite at 100%, but I’m getting there and have actually returned back to work. Thanks for the emails and for all of your concerns. Now stop it already.
While I’ve been bed ridden for the past few days, I haven’t had the chance to blog about the RNC. For that matter, I regretfully (or not) confess that I haven’t actually watched too much of the RNC. I missed the first night completely. But I did manage to catch the second and third nights. My thoughts:
Day 1: As I said, I missed the first night. But one issue I peeped on CNN was the breaking story that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is carry a bun in her oven. While this should be the non-issue of all non-issues, it’s not. It’s important to discuss in this climate. I’ll explain this more in another post.
Day 2: This was my first taste of the RNC; and it was pretty much what I expected. Watching paint dry, I tell you. It was a boring, bland display of conservatism; both in terms of the political ideologies expressed and the event itself. My stomach was turned turned with all the tepid flag-waving, “God Bless America” singing displays of “patriotism”, but I grinned and bore it. Even their attempt to liven things up with the dance parties in between sessions fell flat. Republicans apparently missed the memo that they are simply not capable of being fun. Admittedly what was pretty entertaining to me were the frequent shots of the same twenty black Republicans in attendance. I mean, I’m seriously wondering if execs told their camera crews to find as many black people as possible. With a roster of 36 black delegates and only a handful more people in the audience, you can’t convince me that the shots of black people were simply by chance.
Perhaps the highlight of the first night was listening to Fred Thompson’s speech. Though I tend to disagree with everything Republican; with this speech being no exception; I think he did a great job of hammering home some key points about McCain. In a campaign that should be about critical issues like the economy, the Republicans have miraculously diverted attention from that to McCain’s “principles” and “character”. I give it up to them for being able to accomplish such a feat.
I didn’t think much of Joe Lieberman’s speech. I never liked the guy; thought he was a horrible pick for VP back in 2000; and will applaud when he faces retaliation in the Senate that is sure to come for essentially betraying the party in favor of somebody who stands in opposition of just about everything for which he ostensibly stands. I’m all for “reaching across the aisle”, but there is something devilishly unsettling about Joe Lieberman. Nonetheless, he was an appropriate person to speak. Given the dullness of the evening, it was only fitting that somebody as dull and empty as Sen. Lieberman would round out the night.
Day 3: Even after only watching the RNC for a day, I felt like I was going to get sicker than I already was.
Gov. Mitt Romney took to the podium and reminded me why I don’t like him. Most of what he said was nonsense. No additional comments provided.
Following Flippin’ Mitt was Gov. Mike Huckabee. I’ve always liked Huckabee. While I’m pretty creeped out by his ultra evangelical position on some things, I think he is one of the religious types who would truly look to following in Jesus’ footsteps; even in the murky waters of politics. I was particularly impressed when he recognized the historic campaign of Sen. Obama and how it slaps the racist history of this country directly in its mouth. So while he shifted his speech in support of McCain, merely recognizing the historic and progressive signicance of Obama’s nomination was A-OK to me.
Rudy Giuliani was a pretty effective in his keynote address. Though I didn’t agree with a single word he said, it wasn’t a person like me to whom his speech was addressed. Instead, Giuliani did what he needed to energerize the base. He tossed out some pretty hard shots (though most of which were are not factually based and not likely to be explored further by Republican supporters).
The highlight of the evening was the emergence of Gov. Sarah Palin on the presidential scene. Before I start with this, the shallow part of me is about to come out again: this woman is FREAKIN’ HOT! She kinda reminds me of the middle-aged librarian who…uh…never mind.
Back to matter at hand, I actually think Gov. Palin did pretty well. In a campaign that will most assuredly be defined by everything but issues, she did a good job of deflecting attention from her clear lack of national experience by channeling her address more toward increasing her familiarity and likability with the base. She started by putting a human face to her and her family, went on to show her ‘fiestiness’ by attacking Obama directly with a ton of trash talk, and by itemizing the things she’s done as Governor. It wasn’t the most impressive speech I’ve ever heard; and at the end of the day, that’s all it was. Still, it was pretty good for the audience to whom it was addressed. Regardless to what happens during this election, I expect to see big things from Palin in the future. All this coming from a person who was almost recalled as the mayor of a town of about 7,000 people, is currently under investigation for abuse of power. OK. I should’ve left well enough alone with that. But the woman really does have some issues. Issues that should be addressed. If this were Obama, you’d best believe they’d be raised.
Day 4: After Palin’s emergence as the next Political Idol, John McCain was a novice by comparison. When he hit the stage, I thought he was a lifeless hack, droning on and on (literally), desperate for the same energy generated by Palin the previous night. Frankly it didn’t work with me. Palin stole the show and will be the person most instrumental in shaping the outcome of this election for McCain. If left up to him, he won’t stand a chance. I had already tuned McCain out after the RNC decided to politicize 9/11 in that insulting montage. But once he hit the stage, it was indeed more of the same.
Overall, I’d say that – despite all of its shortcomings – the RNC was relativesly successful, particularly because of the upstart Sarah Palin. Given that at least one major poll has McCain up double digits over Obama, it’s safe to say that the convention rejuvenated the Republican party when it was desperately trying to find its place in this campaign. For once, I’m starting to think that they may actually pull this thing off, even when it was supposed to be a cake walk for the Dems.
November can’t get here fast enough.