04 September 2008

McCain's Speech

I heard some things I didn't agree with tonight, and some things that made me laugh out loud. I didn't really hear anything that made me think of John McCain in any new way. His policy half of the speech fell far short of addressing policy. And the biography? I don't know if we'd have heard any of that tonight if the campaign wasn't desperately searching for something, anything, substantial to offer the American people. To his credit, he didn't go nasty on the attack. It was a softer, gentler John McCain the handlers put on stage tonight. In the end, I thought he reached for a sweeping scale he couldn't quite deliver. Compare that with Obama, who ratcheted the rhetoric down last week in Denver to talk nuts and bolts, more or less, on the how to of his policy initiatives.

Most notably, however, is what I didn't hear tonight from the pundits. We watched the coverage on ABC (after the local PBS started flaking on the rabbit ears). When the speech ended and the confetti fell, Charles Gibson, Diane Sawyer, and George Stephanopolous didn't talk about what a McCain presidency might look like, what we'll hear on the stump the next few weeks, or what the Palin dynamic means to the campaign landscape. They talked about the balloons falling from the rafters. For minutes. They left to talk about other meaningless things then and came back to the topic of balloons. Then they cheerfully signed off.

Should we read anything into that?