Well, the start was not great. Mike Reagan was pretty flat, and the video was awful. Not awful in general, but awfully inappropriate to the occasion. It was a memorial video of the funeral. I think we got enough funeral in June. Why did they not make a video tribute to Reagan's life, and his presidency? Why not something that would extend upon Arnold's theme linking the war on communism to the war on terrorism? I really disliked that video. Maybe even more than I disliked the GWB campaign video that followed.
Mitt Romney had a couple okay lines, but the crowd seemed sedated. If you weren't watching closely, you may have missed the crowd shot showing Jim Kelly sitting in the audience. Now I have three reasons to like him. (The first two? Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII).
Mitt was followed by one of those celebrities that Mark Steyn derided in his column the other day as unknown, but Sara Evans is a favorite of ours, and we like the song she sang tonight - "Born to Fly." And she looks pregnant - I think it will be her third.
Time for an aside.
I saw, this morning, some little flier that supposedly has been handed out by some folks at the convention. It had a bandaid stuck to it, with a purple, heart-shaped sticker on the bandaid, and I guess it was meant to mock Kerry. As much as I love the Swift Boat Vets for Truth, I can't tell you how much this pisses me off, and how much I dislike pasty, pencil-necked Young Republicans who my imagination tells me were responsible for this gleeful mockery of something they cannot possibly understand.
There is no question that Kerry has exaggerated his record, and there are legitimate questions about some of his awards. But, in the midst of that debate, we should remember a couple of things. First, even SBVT do not question his second Purple Heart - so, by everybody's account, he does have one of them, and that is more than most of us have got. Second, whatever his motives, and whatever he did afterward, and whatever happened on March 13, 1969, and however short his tour may have been - he WAS in Vietnam, and he WAS shot at. And that is more than any of the sniveling sissies with their yuck-yuck, bandaid handouts will ever do in their pathetic, sneering lives, pasty, asinine lives.
Make no mistake - I despise John Kerry. I loathe his actions after Vietnam, and wish there were more discussion of them. But the level of ridicule I've seen and read on the medals issue from panty-waists who don't know better, but would if they'd been raised right, has really begun to anger me. And if it angers a conservative who still intends to donate money to the SwiftVets, it surely will tick off "swing voters" who were raised right.
I hope I've made a clear enough distinction between the SwiftVets, and other war vets, who have every right to be very angry about Kerry's medals, but that, as far as I am concerned, is strictly between them and Kerry. For the rest of us, the medals are not really a matter for campaign debate, and certainly not for mockery - although the conclusions we draw from their arguments should inform our judgments about Kerry's character.
End of aside.
I expected Zell Miller to give a barn-burning stem-winder, slamming liberals, endorsing Bush and bring the crowd to its feet. He delivered. Boy did "this Marine" deliver! Small point, I guess, but I wish he hadn't stepped on the applause so much. When you toss that much red meat into the cage, you've got to give the lions some time to swallow it. I really believe that this speech will have an impact on the Midwestern states. And it was the capper of the continuing "Democrats for Bush" theme of this convention.
Lynn Cheney is great, and one of the very, very few people in political life who really "gets it" on education issues. Too bad she only gave a silly intro to Dick "Big Time" Cheney.
Cheney continued the theme linking WWII, the Cold War and the current war - a linkage the Reagan tribute totally failed to make - but his delivery was awfully subdued. I guess to some it may have come off as professorial, but I think I liked the "help is on the way" speech from four years ago better. Overall, it struck a nice balance with Zell Miller's fiery delivery, though. I did like his amused and patient demeanor as the crowd reacted with cheers and jeers.
Overall, another pretty good night for the convention. The stars so far this week are defintiely