The commentary will be fairly brief, as I have once again been forced to flip between Cowboys preseason football and the convention. As an aside, I'm glad to see Randall Williams finally making some nice catches. Also, Antonio Bryant has looked awfully good throughout preseason. DB is a big concern - Bruce Thornton looked utterly lost tonight, and both Jemeel Powell and Pete Hunter are not much better. If you play fantasy football, Daunte Culpepper and randy Moss are good bets for week one. Hate to say it, but I'm afraid I believe it.
"It looks so much more American than the Democrat convention." Wisdom of Pumpy, 2004
I didn't see much of the early show tonight. I do not like George Pataki. I did not like his whispering delivery. It reminded me very much of Stewart from MadTV, a reference I hope is not lost on you.
Here is your quiz - who said what? (Hint: the answer is either Bush or Kerry):
"I will ensure every poor county in America has a community or rural health center."
"We will add 40,000 active duty troops .... We will provide our troops with the newest weapons and technology to save their lives - and win the battle."
Okay, that's all I could come up with, because Kerry's speech, upon further review was so utterly devoid of content (and spent even more time than I had remembered on autobiographical fluff...) Bush, on the other hand, was utterly devoid of inspiration through the first half of his speech. He tended, as he so often did in the last election, to tell us often that he intended to lead, but did not exhibit leadership. He stuffed reams of minute, Clintonesque micro-policy fluff into a speech that should have sought something higher. At least he didn't seem awkward or tentative, and I don't recall any glaring malapropisms or mispronunciations. Except nucular, but that hardly counts any more. It's a family tradition.
Well, the second half of the speech seems better so far (I write this as I watch.) He missed a great opportunity when the protester disrupted the speech.
"My friends, that may be angry, and it may be mean-spirited, but it is also the freedom of speech that our soldiers risk their lives to protect."
I thought I caught a whiff of Peggy Noonan in that closing, although I wouldn't bet on it.
It was a pretty strong closing, and maybe strong enough to make up for the very weak beginning. His delivery was good. He didn't dazzle anybody, I don't think, and I think he tweaked Kerry just enough. I'll give him an 8, but maybe I have used the wrong difficulty score, and the Korean guy should be the next president. But I think I would have cut about the first 15 minutes - or at least abbreviated it greatly. It gave me tired-head, and, at times, annoyed me. But I understand that may be just me.
Kerry is flailing now, it seems to me (and everybody else) and I don't think, on balance, this speech will ease his worries any, although it won't push him off the deep end, either.
BTW, although this speech was nowhere near as good, portions of it reminded me of one of the greatest speeches ever, Douglas Macarthur's farewell speech. Read it, and I dare you not to get just a little bit misty-eyed: