Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Did I Just Watch the Same Convention Speeches That the Pundits Did? [UPDATED]

Man, the pundits (even those on FOXNews) have their inside-the-beltway heads stuck so far up their arses that they don't get how well the speeches tonight played out here in flyover country. They're wringing their hands over whether tonight's speeches were effective and how they will play with the voters.

What? Are they deaf? Well, the pundits have proven themselves time and again to be at the very least politically tonedeaf.

I mean, I don't even like John McCain (bordering on detesting him), and I don't believe I've ever been more inspired by a couple of convention speeches than I was by the back-to-back speeches delivered tonight by Senators Thompson and Lieberman. I'm not going to rehash them here, but I encourage you, if you did not see them, to try to view them online (see embedded links above). They were rhetorically and substantively brilliant.

One line does stick with me from Sen. Thompson's speech. If I were the McCain campaign people, I'd put together a 30-second ad tonight and run it from now until election day with a voiceover from Sen. Thompson saying:
"My friends this is the kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of our history have sought in their leaders. Strength, courage, humility, wisdom, duty, honor. It’s pretty clear there are two questions that we’ll never have to ask ourselves: Who is this man? And can we trust this man with the presidency?"

I'm not the only one noticing. A commenter at HotAir in response to the fraud Peggy Noonan:
It is freakin’ Dawn of the Dead out there with respect to beltway “conservatives”.

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At 9/02/2008 11:42 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

I was very moved by the tribute to Navy Seal Michael Monsoor, who gave his life in Iraq to save his friends, together with McCain's fellow POW survivors and President Bush Sr. and other veterans. (It was good to see Bush Sr. again -- something I wouldn't have admitted in college).

At 9/02/2008 11:55 PM, Blogger Father Martin Fox said...

Fred Thompson's speech was good, and yes, there's no question McCain's service in the Navy, and his ordeal in North Vietnam, is so admirable.

Joe Lieberman's speech was very odd, because he kept reminding everyone how liberal McCain is on so many things. Didn't you notice how he brought up campaign "reform," global warming, and immigration, and his refrain, "he's not a partisan" is just a polite way of reminding us all how he's behaved over the years toward his party and conservatives. And Lieberman just shoved it all under the noses of the Republican Convention! What were they gonna do--boo?

It was, for me, a great speech to remind me why I cannot abide Sen. McCain.

Most striking was that President Bush was almost not invited to the convention. They paid tribute to Reagan; where was the tribute to Bush?

I feel bad for him; but I also sit here thinking, "I told you, I told you, eight years ago, this guy was bad news, he'd wreck the party, you didn't listen, and you won't listen now when I warn you about McCain..."

At 9/03/2008 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The liberal MSM is launching vicious attacks against Sarah Palin, please keep her in your prayers. It's disgusting to watch on TV.


At 9/03/2008 12:32 AM, Blogger Jean M. Heimann said...

I was moved by the tribute to Navy Seal Michael Monsoor.

Fred Thompson's speech hit the nail on the head in describing Obama and in promoting McCain -- he made me laugh and want to applaud several times.

I thought Lieberman's speech was good in parts -- especially when he was so honest about Obama. However, I felt uncomfortable with him praising Bill Clinton. I did agree with him that we as a country need to unite at this time.

Ronald Reagan was a wonderful president and is one of my favorites. I enjoyed the tribute to him.

I am so glad President Bush's wife, Laura, was there to remind us of President Bush's accomplishments, as it seemed like he has been put down so much by the liberal press and the party of death, when he has really done a great job, considering all that he had to contend with when Clinton left office. I am so glad that he was in office during 9-11. If Kerry had been elected I am afraid that terrorists would be in control of our country -- if we still had a country.

Can you imagine how someone like Obama or Biden would handle that crisis? Obama: Let's destroy all our weapons. Biden would be bloviating over it for months before he decided to do anything.

President Bush is one of the most pro-life presidents we have ever had. He let us down a couple of times, but, for the most part,he did what he promised -- to protect human life, which is something that the party of death won't do.

I am not 100% for McCain, but he is a trillion times better than Obama. He is also looking better to me now that he has added pro-life Sarah Palin to his ticket.

At 9/03/2008 5:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thompson's speech was a magnificent blend of traditional Southern trial oratory and Hollywood. I have rarely heard a speech more effectively delivered. It was a great reintroduction of the American public to John McCain.

Lieberman's speech was very effective. Most Americans follow politics with half an ear at best. It probably shocked many viewers, particularly Democrats and independents, to see the Democrat Veep nominee from 2000 standing there endorsing John McCain. Lieberman was living proof last night that McCain is serious when he talks about working with the other party. To say the least quite a few conservatives, including myself, have qualms about this, but I have absolutely no doubt that such attempts at bi-partisanship are precisely what the voters want to hear.

The Republicans got off to a very effective start last night. Tonight Palin has to hit the puck through the net, and I have no doubt she will do so.

At 9/03/2008 6:24 AM, Blogger Zach said...

I kept flipping between Fox and CNN, and I found the CNN coverage of the speeches shockingly biased (even for CNN). After watching the lineup of Democratic strategists CNN had assembled to do the play-by-play last week in Denver, I figured they'd have a Republican line-up this week in St. Paul.

But noooo, they had the exact same Democratic strategists (Donna Brazile, Roland Martin, Jack Cafferty, James Carville, Campbell Brown--whoops, did I say that?). At least they were nice enough to include 1 token Republican, Alex Castellanos . . . (Alex who? What the hell?)

Immediately after the Lieberman speech, they went to Donna Brazile, who expressed her "shock" at Lieberman breaking his promise to not mention Obama's name. It must've been 10 minutes before anyone said anything nice about the speeches. Whereas at the Democratic convention, it was a big liberal orgy after every address. PATHETIC!

At 9/03/2008 6:27 AM, Blogger Zach said...

And allow me to agree with you, Jay. Those two speeches blew away anything I saw last week in Denver! (Someone does need to tell Fred to stop clearing his darn throat after every sentence, though)

At 9/03/2008 8:11 AM, Blogger Darwin said...

I felt like Lieberman didn't hit his stride until he addressed the section out to TV viewers who were Democrats or Independants. Maybe it was the feed I was watching (I was watching the feed off the convention website my computer) but it seemed like Lieberman could tell a lot of what he was praising McCain for in the first half was stuff the audience didn't like, and the crowd wasn't as alive as it could have been.

Also, I guess I'd been hoping we'd get a "the Democrats are bankrupt" speech like Zell Miller's barn burner last time around. The liberal pundits may have been mad, but I was hoping he'd rake the party which kicked him out over the coals just a bit more and explain why "this is no longer your father's Democratic Party".

I wish I'd managed to catch Thompson's speech -- I was still getting the kids down at that point.

Tonight should be big, though. After the constant attacks on Palin, I'd love to see her just tear things up.

At 9/03/2008 8:32 AM, Anonymous crankycon said...

Jay, and others:

I work in DC, am pretty heavily involved in politics, and technically live inside the Beltway. If I ever get to sound like the guys on Fox News, or even the Corner, please feel free to fly to DC and kick my ass. It is amazing how far removed these guys are from the grassroots conservatives. They simply view everything through a political prism informed it seems exclusively through their interactions with other pundits.

As for the speeches themselves: very well done. I have never been less bored by a Joe Lieberman speech. Seriously, it was excellent, though I admit I have some difficulty with him finishing up the evening. The Cobra was of course awesome. Then again, he should have been speaking Thursday night at 10, but no need to harp on that.

The Bush "live via satellite" thing was a bit awkward, and I was sort of put off by the "let's put baby in the corner" attitude when it comes to the President. I understand that he is unpopular, but the man is still the President, and deserved a better speaking slot.

At 9/03/2008 8:41 AM, Anonymous Boethius said...

Jay, I watched the Thompson speech and I agree that it was brilliant. I also am not a big McCain fan, but Thompson practically made me forget all that with his moving account of McCain's life as well as his eloquent delivery.

At 9/03/2008 8:41 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

"If I ever get to sound like the guys on Fox News, or even the Corner, please feel free to fly to DC and kick my ass. It is amazing how far removed these guys are from the grassroots conservatives. They simply view everything through a political prism informed it seems exclusively through their interactions with other pundits..."

I've been thinking the same thing ever since Gov. Palin was announced as the choice. I've been particularly disappointed in Ramesh's commentary, which seems as divorced from what plays here in middle America as anything he's ever written.

But the handwringers over at NR have always been a bunch of "girly boys" as a certain pundit once put it.

And all you need to know about the pundits at FOXNews is that one-half of the panelists of "FOX contributors" refer to themselves as "The Beltway Boys". How many folks in Youngstown and Altoona do you figure have ever bothered to watch something called "The Beltway Boys"? They'd probably think it was the D.C. version of "Brokeback Mountain".

At 9/03/2008 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Beltway Boys"?

I watch it occasionally, but Barnes and Kondracke have always struck me as a fake conservative matched with a fake liberal.

At 9/03/2008 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Beltway Boys"?

I watch it occasionally, but Barnes and Kondracke have always struck me as a fake conservative matched with a fake liberal.

At 9/03/2008 9:12 AM, Anonymous crankycon said...

Yeah, Ramesh has disappointed me. He's still the smartest guy they have over at NR, and his overall political philosophy is the one that most closely resembles mine. But he's becoming more and more of a political pundit, more concerned with the inside-baseball aspects of politics than with policy. I think other than McCarthy and Levin, who have become my favorites (other than Jonah), NRO is becoming tough to take.

And don't get me started on the faux conservatives on Fox. Barnes is vacuous. As for Kristol, his perpetual smirk makes me want to punch the screen. It's kind of sad that the coverage there is still miles better than MSNBC and CNN.

At 9/03/2008 9:29 AM, Blogger Dale said...

Barnes is more of a center-right guy, and there's nothing wrong with that. I think he's a better reporter than he is a pundit.

For his flaws, Kondracke is still essentially a decent man (the stupid comments on abstinence education aside) and one of a vanishing breed of sane old-school liberals. I prefer Pat Caddell in that category, but you get what you get.

Lieberman's speech was just fine, if you remember who it was aimed at: centrist Democrats inclined to split their tickets. His references to Clinton were meant to invoke the days of creative gridlock where a Republican Congress and Democratic President faced off for six years. Those years were actually pretty good from a budgetary perspective and Clintonistas will remember that. Every one of those McCain-Palin peels off is a double hit to Obama.

At 9/03/2008 12:19 PM, Blogger Jeff Miller said...

Loved the Thompson speech, was not impressed by the Lieberman speech and he is no Zell Miller (in so many ways.)

Lieberman kept trying to make his Michael Moore joke work. He kept waiting for the laughts and kept bringing it back up trying to get the laughs.


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