I got home a little late tonight and got in just as Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard, is speaking. I’ll leave her “comments” alone as I didn’t see all of it. I’ll start tonight’s “running diary” of the GOP convention with the first speaker I had the opportunity to fully observe.
8:08pm—Mitt Romney’s on stage. Wait, what? Romney’s on stage? Who decided to let him out of the Christian fundamentalist doghouse?
Romney moves swiftly to call Obama/Biden the “eastern elites.” Yes, Mitt Romney, the billionaire from Massachusetts, just called Barack Obama and Joe Biden eastern elite…
He calls the US Supreme Court liberal… this has got to be the biggest laugh of the night! Seven of the nine justices have been appointed by Republican presidents and Romney thinks it’s liberal! It’s no wonder that even the Republican base don’t trust him; it’s because he’s a total phony who comes across as phony.
He calls government spending out of control and apparently, that too, is a liberal thing. Hey, Mitt, Bush has squandered a $208 billion annual surplus and will leave us with over $500 billion of annual debt and an overall national debt of $8.7 trillion. TRILLION. I guess Romney sees Bush as a liberal.
He talks about the importance of preserving Constitutional values… Wow, Mitt is seriously high on hallucinogens tonight! Either that, or he’s desperate to make another run for president in 2012. Everybody knows that George Bush has done more to destroy constitutional rights than anyone sine Richard Nixon. Even John Dean, Nixon’s white house counsel, has come out and plainly said that the Bush Administration is much more corrupt than the Nixon one.
“It’s time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother.” I was wrong. This is the biggest laugh of the night! Mitt, look around. All those folks in that convention hall around you belong to the party of big brother. Romney needs to look up a little thing called the PATRIOT ACT.
Then he takes a jab at Al Gore: “Let’s keep Al Gore’s private jet on the ground.” And how many uber rich Republican corporate CEOs fly from Houston to New York on a whim just to have lunch? And to sleep with their “mistresses”…who happen to be men…
…or underage pages.
He talks about keeping America safe from people like Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin. Hmm…didn’t Bush say he had looked into the soul of Putin and saw a “good man?”
Oh, Mitt…thanks for the laugh! LOL!! You and your speech are both full of crap from the rich Massachusetts variety. Wait, wouldn’t that make him an eastern elite? Oh yeah, facts don’t matter. It’s good to know that total denial of truth even in the face of facts isn’t just a Christian fundamentalist trait; it’s also a Mormon (at least this one, trait).
Ok, I’m back. I had to go wipe away a tear that had welled up in my eye. I’m just a sucker for happy family reunions and I’m ever so glad Mitt “Mormney” has finally been hugged by the Christian fundamentalists.
Even Alex Castellanos, a very Republican-oriented commnetator, is shaking his head right now at the Romney speech. Get Romney off my TV set. He embarrassed himself tonight.
8:26pm—Mike Huckabee is here (Yay! Sorry, I like Mike, short and simple) and he jokes that he’s delighted to here, but really was hoping for the Thursday night spot. See why I like him? The dude is the only Republican out there with a sense of humor.
He, too, makes a crack about the “elite media.” Apparently, the litmus test in 2008 to see if you’re a true Republican is to believe that it is “elite” for the media to do the vetting job that McCain’s campaign should have done on Palin. And this continuous charge—by Republicans no less—that others are “elite” was funny initially, but is getting tiresome.
Huckabee praises Barack Obama for his rise to power despite his color. Slow applause for Obama…and I’m assuming, “color.”
Huckabee also wisecracks about Joe Biden by saying Palin got more votes for mayor than Biden got for president of United States. How does vote equal experience? A person running for office for the very first time has no experience but still gets votes.
He tells a very touching story about “desk earning” to honor the vets of this country. You know what would be better than telling a good story—which by the way, isn’t being able to tell a good story rhetorical prowess? It’s treating vets right and making sure veterans’ hospitals are kept up. Yes, I’m looking at you, George.
Huckabee delivered a very folksy speech laden with common folk appeal and pop culture references. Even though I take issue with many of his points in this speech, I miss this guy. He really seems to care, which is why he really needs to be a Democrat. He’d be happier. He would.
Up now, the Keynote Address by Rudy Giuliani. Wait—what time is it?
Damn! These Republicans are really organized. They timed Rudy’s appearance to exactly 9:11pm.
9:11 It takes Rudy all of three seconds to start in with “USA!” Where’s the big, wall-sized image of the flag? Oh, speak of the devil…there it is!
9:11 Rudy goes on the attack. He says Obama voted “present” 130 times in the State Senate. A yes or no vote was apparently too tough for Obama. Cue drum beat—bah-rump-bump! His exaggerated body gesture while he said “too tough” was funny as hell though. Gotta love the theater that is Giuliani.
9:11 The oft-used line of “he is the least experienced person to run for president in the last 100 years” is tossed out. I’m racking my brain here and I can only think Giuliani is talking about George W. Bush. Two terms as governor of Texas, but the state legislature only meets once every two years, and only for three months. So in Bush’s six years, that means he got a full nine months of experience.
9:11 You know, I just realized something. Sorry about the preaching, but I have to offer some personal testimony right now. I just looked over at my clock and it still reads 9:11. Alright. I’ve been in denial for years but now I’ve got to admit God is a Republican. He’s frozen time at 9:11 as an homage to Rudy. And God truly is on America’s side and in its hip pocket. Look out, World!
9:11 Obviously, it’s still 9:11. Rudy gets the crowd to chant “OK drill!” Not a good thing as this just links the party to big oil.
9:11 Visual behind Rudy turns from flag to NY skyline without the Twin Towers. I think—and this is just a guess—Rudy might be readying to play the 9/11 card.
Wait, I was wrong. He plays the bin Laden card instead. Mentions how evil and dangerous the man is. If that’s the case then why hasn’t Bush been looking for him in the last six years?
9:11 Rudy, in his Mormney moment of the night, tries to label Obama a flip flopper. Um, McCain on taxes, on the religious right…any of his ring a bell?
9:11 Damn it! Still 9:11! I need to get to bed soon. Can we please start moving the clock? God? Are you there? It’s me, Phil. I’m a Democrat, so I know I don’t really exist to you, but can you please unfreeze time now?
9:11 Rudy wraps up by delivering two pretty funny lines, one about Biden getting the “VP thing on paper” because Obama changes his mind so often (according to Rudy), and the other about “clinging to religion.” Nice jab.
9:12pm!!!! Rudy has exited the building. THANK YOU, GOD!
And here now, is the featured speaker of the evening, the new media darling and newest card-carrying member of the celebrity politicians club.
9:30pm—The much-anticipated, long-awaited Sarah Palin finally makes an appearance. The crowd is pretty rabid for her. Long session of applause. I wonder if it’s because she looks soooo different than anything else the Republican Party has seen.
Television camera pans audience full of wide-eyed women. You know, if I looked at her the way these women are looking at her, I’d be thrown in jail. So much for equality of the sexes.
She plays up McCain’s service and his son’s service, as well as her own son going to Iraq “a week from tomorrow, on 9/11.” Wow, these Republicans will really find every excuse to toss in a “9/11.”
The Palin children: Trak, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig. And still expected to come in the next several years, five more children to be named Field, Estuary, Weep, Moonbeam and Calculus.
Seriously, where’s the Republican “scorn” about hippies with all these hippie names? You know if Bill and Hillary named their daughter Piper, the Republican scurge machine would make sure they paid the, um, well…piper.
7:37—Palin talks about her youngest child having Downs Syndrome and then panders to the “special needs” folks in the US.
The middle class?
The red meat: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.” Done very well; she has a stage presence and is poised. But then, what did anyone expect? She was a beauty contestant. She’s in her element with all eyes on her.
She then tags a subtle, or maybe not so subtle line about being proud of America. There were lots of talk tonight about “always being proud of America.” I can only take that as an orchestrated attack on Michelle Obama, a way to paint Obama himself as unpatriotic and unAmerican. I mean, how can he love this country? His middle name is Hussein. And he’s a Muslim…
Palin adds to the flame by saying, “politicians need to go to Washington to challenge the status quo and to leave this country better than we found it.” Sarah darling, isn’t the status quo George Bush, a Republican, the leader of your party?
And please offer us specifics on how Bush has left this county better than he received it?
Maybe I’m a little slow, but how come no one tonight mentioned Bush’s name as they were desperately running away from their own “great leader?” Oh. Nevermind. I just listened to my own question. Got it.
Palin looks to separate herself from big oil and portraying herself as a reformer by saying, “starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines.”
Sorry, I got that wrong. She’s aiming to portray herself as more of the same.
She talks about tapping into nuclear, solar, wind energy, etc… Has she asked McCain why he kept voting against these things?
Palin delivered a strong speech and did so with humor, strength and charisma. She did better than I thought she would, but then again, I never thought she would bomb. I mean, after all, how hard is it to read off a teleprompter. Oh wait, that’s what they say about Obama. Does this mean they now have to say Palin is an empty suit with great rhetorical prowess?
Her two finest lines of the night:
“Some use change to promote their career; others like John McCain, use their career to promote change.” In the same line as Bill Clinton’s “people the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power,” but not nearly as good.
“when those Styrofoam Greek columns have been put back on to some studio lot…” Ouch! Nicely done, Governor, nicely done.
Final summation? The Republicans’ theme tonight was obvious (9/11): Obama is the devil, Democrats equal higher taxes and more terrorists (and 9/11). Tonight may be the best night of the entire convention (9/11). Lots of hard-hitting stuff (9/11), only I was a little disappointed (9/11) with Rudy (9/11). He’s one of the best speakers (9/11) the Republicans (9/11) have (9/11) and he just (9/11) didn’t (9/11) really bring it (9/11) today (9/11).
The A game was clearly in Palin’s court tonight. But then again, it was very hard for her to fail tonight. No one had any expectations of her. The only way tonight would have been a loss for her is if she broke down and cried because she couldn’t calm her nerves enough to deliver a speech. Otherwise, the totally-unknown Palin was a lock for a good night no matter what.
Is it me or is this the second night where the Republicans have attacked Obama for not having any details and then not offered any details or specifics of their own?
Lastly, has anyone else noticed this? On screen, Michelle Obama is either emotional with pride or sadness, or smiling appreciatively; Cindy McCain looks like she’s always gloating about something. 9/11?
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association