September 02, 2004

Obligatory Convention Blogging - Day 3

I just can't help myself. Again, these are just personal impressions. Everyone else on the planet can get you the transcripts and probably argue individual points better than I can.

First, Zell. Day-um! Gimme some o' that ol' time religion! I've never actually heard him speak before, although I've seen his op-ed pieces from time to time. I strongly suspect many people didn't even really know who he was before last night. They do now. Impact? Well, FNC's tame liberal Mara Liasson made a rather lame comparison between Zell's old-fashioned stem-winder and Howard Dean's "EEEEEAAAAGGGGHH!" but I don't think that is going to fly.

Then there was Cheney. Stolid, unflappable Cheney. In a way, I think he may benefit from the hysterical villification of the Left. Cheney doesn't appear in the spotlight very often and, after listening to the shrieks of his detractors, I think people are mildly surprised and pleased when they actually see him to find that he doesn't have horns and a pitchfork or a voice like James Earl Jones. And every time I hear him speak, my immediate sense is one of security, one of knowing that the grown-ups are in charge. One other thing - I'll bet John Edwards is already having nightmares about having to debate Cheney.

So What Does It All Mean? Well, I think I agree with Bill Kristal on this - the Dems have gone into the campaign reckoning that better than half the country loathe Dubya and that all they (the Dems) had to do was present someone with half-way decent credentials in order to get the nod. The Republicans refused to roll over on this. They have not stepped back an inch from Dubya's record, but instead have stood solidly behind it, at the same time hammering Kerry's weak spots (and he has many) mercilessly. In this way they have been able to cast the election as a stark either/or proposition, one made all the more important by the fact that we're at war. That was the task of Miller and Cheney last night and I think they did a pretty good job.

Oh, one other thing. There was some debate earlier in the year about whether the Republicans would be smarter to paint Kerry as an unrepentant liberal dove or as a weak, cynical flip-flopper. From what I saw last night, they seem to have managed to do both.

UPDATE: Alas, I seem to have missed Zell putting the hurt on Chris Matthews later in the evening. Kevin at Wizbang has the juicy bits.

FURTHER UPDATE: Holy hell. Allah is in the House.

FURTHER, FURTHER UPDATE: The Commissar exposes the Woody Allen nightmare in which we are now living. Heh, Comrade.

Posted by Robert at September 2, 2004 08:03 AM | TrackBack
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