I listened to John McCain's acceptance speech last night and, probably like a lot of people, I had mixed emotions.
It wasn't the energizing speech Sarah Palin had given the night before. It was a speech designed to appeal to both Republicans and Others. And that's what the party faithful dislike about John McCain, and why his administration will be so frustrating for them.
Despite the caricature of the Left, John McCain has always gone his own way. When his own way meant doing things for the GOP, he did them. And when going his own way meant shunning the GOP, he did that, too. Last night's speech just illuminated that.
The party faithful loved the parts of McCain's speech where he discussed love of country, independence, and loyalty to our causes. But when McCain talked about the fact that the problem of Washington is a bipartisan one and that he doesn't care who gets credit for fixing it, the Republican delegates were decidedly quiet.
I think such talk is more mature than we typically get in a campaign, where each side demonizes the other as being entirely at fault for the failures of our country. But as partisan as I am, even I can recognize the failures of Republicans to adhere to conservative principles over the last eight years. The reason Republicans lost Congress in 2006 had less to do with Democrat superiority and more to do with Republican excesses.
Michelle Malkin sums up McCain's speech very well:
McCain is McCain. He was who he’s always been tonight: a war hero with an unabashed love of country who acknowledges his flaws, gives too much benefit of the doubt to his political opponents, and bends over backwards to reach out to the other side of the aisle in misguidedly mistaking partisanship for evil. But he’s also a man who has taken many risks, desires victory over surrender in the War on Terror, and, after dissing the GOP base time and again, stands beside a vice presidential nominee who breathes new life and hope into grass-roots, outside-the-Beltway conservatism.
I've supported John McCain since early in the primary process, considering him not to be my ideal candidate, but the candidate with the best chance of winning and preventing a Democrat assault on our values, ideals, and advancements. This speech sort of exemplifies the love-hate relationship Republicans have with their nominee. He gives them a terrific vice presidential candidate, but then reaches out to the opposition. I didn't watch Obama's speech (deliberately), but did Obama, at any point, compliment John McCain? Not just for his service in Vietnam, but for his campaign? I sort of doubt it.
More than 40 million people watched Sarah Palin's acceptance speech Wednesday night. I wonder if the people at Delaware Liberal will now say Obama is toast? To rewrite the quote from Eschaton,
Barack Obama’sSarah Palin's acceptance speech at the DemocraticRepublican National Convention was seen by more than 3840 million people.
Nielsen Media Research said more people watched
ObamaPalin speak than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing….
There, that's better.
An audience of 37.2 million people watched Palin on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, Nielsen Media Research said Thursday. PBS estimated its audience at 3.9 million, based on a less reliable sample of several big cities. Nielsen does not count the audience for C-SPAN, which also showed the speech.
Last week, Nielsen said 38.4 million people watched Obama speak at a Denver stadium on the six commercial networks, along with BET, TV One, Univision and Telemundo - four networks that didn't cover Palin's speech. PBS added an estimated 4 million to that total.
Nearly 2 million more women were watching Palin than men, Nielsen said.
That's why Democrats are afraid of her.
Obama's convention bounce is over, and polling doesn't even include the impact of Palin's speech yet. Weren't a lot of Dems crowing about the poll numbers earlier this week? I've said it before and I'll say it again: this election is far from over and regardless of the fantasies spoken aloud by some, it will be close.