Thursday, September 4, 2008

Republican Convention Day 4: McCain's Big Night (Updated)

The speech was, I thought, very good. McCain weaved evidence of his strengths, character and experience, throughout the speech. He gave a good explanation of his governing philosophies - bipartisanship and anti-corruption chief among them. He spent a lot of time discussing economic and energy issues. McCain finally defined "change" as he views it - much of which hearkens back to Reagan conservativism. Comparatively little of the speech was given over to attacking Obama, and even then, the attacks were much less pointed than the stilleto thrusts by Gov. Palin last night. She has secured the base. The main effort of this speech was a reach across the aisle to independents and conservative Democrats.

You can find the full text of the speech at Instapundit. A lot of people are already saying that this speech was overshadowed by Gov. Palin's last night. I don't think so - though because of interest in her, I would imagine it will be remembered far longer than McCain's. This was the best speech I have heard McCain give. He is not eloquent, and he does not have the rhetorical skills of Palin or Obama. He does have sincerity, and it came across tonight.

Best line:

Again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.

I note as an aside that Juan Williams said that the following really caught his ear - and it is something that I have heard before as a critical issue to many living in urban areas:

Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained. But what is the value of access to a failing school? We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice, remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.

Howard Wolfson gave the speech a bare passing grade saying that Mccain did not explicitly distinguish himself from George Bush. I disagree. McCain made completely clear that the Republican Party had come loose from its moorings, enumerating the problems and stating his solutions. I think McCain made clear his definition of "change." Clearly implicit in that was change from the current status quo.

Update: The Horse's Ass Award for commentary goes to . . . Megan McArdle for this opening line of her post:

The words "I fought corruption" should never pass the lips of a charter member of the Keating Five.

I won't go into history of the Keating Five. There is a reason none on the left have attempted to beat McCain over the head with it. It could not possibly stick. And perhaps Ms. McArdle would like to make any sort of argument about McCain's corruption crusade over the years. Indeed, if I recall correctly, Abramoff was just sentenced to four years in jail. If Ms. McArdle was shooting for humor, she fell flat. If she was making a serious comment, she is being grossly overpaid.

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