The script reads:
Take away the celebrity.
The thrilling words.
Old ideas masquerading as change.
Obama and his liberal allies promise higher taxes on your income, life savings, your electric bill.
They oppose offshore drilling.
It’s not change, it’s more of the same.
Obama and his liberal allies. Not ready to lead.
I have to say that this is a very effective ad in that it reframes Obama’s convention speech. Also note that they’ve used the line “old ideas” to rebut the charges of “same old policies” that the Obama team has been using in their ads. I wish the production values of Obama’s campaign ad team were more up to par, and that’s the one thing that has bothered me about the Obama ad team is the clear contrast in terms of media marketing.
I agree with zenbowl on the awfulness of McCain’s speech, and I still think that in general this election is Obama’s to lose, but I want to make an important point that should temper some of the triumphalism we’re feeling today:
About halfway through the Democratic primaries, people (and by “people” I mean Nate Silver) started figuring out that demography was destiny. Based on the demos of a particular state — as well as whether it was a caucus or a primary — one could predict the final results with eerie accuracy. Along similar lines, what we’ve seen so far in this election indicates that which candidate is setting the agenda is pre-determined by the medium in which the battle is being fought.
I can’t believe no one’s talking about the most ridiculous line in McCain’s speech:
My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy.
Really, John McCain? Really? You’re 72 years old. You have cancer scars on your face. Your entire campaign is built around your actions in a war four decades ago. You have repeatedly referred to “Czechoslovakia”. And you have publicly admitted that you don’t know how to use a computer.
Your opponent, meanwhile, is a biracial 47 year old who was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, has used the Internet to revolutionize politics, and who recently gave a speech to 200,000 screaming fans in Germany.
And you’re going to run as the candidate of the globalized future? And portray him as a backward-looking fossil? Really? Really?
I’m waiting for McCain to tell us he’s the candidate who will help American move past its racial divide.
The few remaining reality-based Republicans are waking up this morning with the same eerie feeling Democrats had four years ago.
Four years ago, the Democrats stupidly tried to “out-tough” the Bush administration. Reporting for duty?
I wanted to like it, I did. But a part of me knew then that it was the worst decision ever. Instead of challenging Bush on transparency, instead of making an argument for change, instead of running on the economy, we tried to take their issue and run with it. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
You can’t out-tough an administration that is dedicated to torture, to rendition, to pre-emptive war. Sorry.
So it was with much glee that I heard this last night, and read the headlines this morning: ‘Change Is Coming’
Change? This guy? It was as believable as the Kerry Salute. This is John McCain’s “Reporting for Duty” moment. He is now SCREWED.
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7:47p PDT: This speech is awful. And still 10 or so minutes left to go. They should bring back Gov. Palin. In fact, after this they might want to consider putting her at the top of the ticket. I should add that while the protesters disrupting the proceedings was satisfying, I’m not sure if it will really do all that much and may create a backlash. But it was pretty funny to see McCain lose control of the proceedings.
8:00p PDT: Please, no more! I can’t take it. I’ll vote for you if you just stop talking!
8:04p PDT: Finally it’s over. A decent finish got the crowd fired up, but this was a spectacularly pedestrian speech (if that’s even possible). The media response should be interesting to say the least.
Update: The reaction from the media is lukewarm at best. Some quotes I’ve heard so far:
Jeffrey Toobin: “Worst speech by a nominee since Carter in 1980″
Karl Rove (!): “It wasn’t all that great”
Charles Krauthammer: “It was a strange speech… a strange convention….”
Chris Matthews: “He’ll be ahead in the polls next week because Americans like a winner.”
But the most surprising (and negative) critique of the night came from former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson:
I think the one major disservice we’ve done today is the lack of expectations we’ve set for John McCain’s speech tonight. On the threads on Dailykos today, I kept reading the same theme over and over again about John McCain being unable to read a teleprompter, stumbling off the stage, and repeating the cliched phrase, “My friends.” Those are the current expectations that we have.
Jonathan Martin at Politico points out that John McCain has delivered excellent speeches in the past, notably at the 2004 Republican National Convention. I can already see on Yahoo! News an article about McCain saying, “Change is coming,” and that’s the angle he’s going to work at to undercut Obama’s central message of change.
And Mark Halperin at The Page notes that John McCain is going to outline very specific proposals for veterans to hide his own dismal record on veterans’ issues, as this is one of his major weak spots, so McCain’s looking to outflank us on this one.
And with Obama stating that the surge has worked military, but not politically, on O’Reilly’s The Factor, John McCain will incorporate that statement in his speech and say, “I’m glad Obama’s agreed with us, and victory is at hand, so that’s why we’re bringing our troops home now!”
I think we have to be ready for this. I would post this on Dailykos, but I’ve used up my allotment in the post-Palin speech anger that resonated throughout the netroots.
EDIT: Okay, I was wrong. There were no surprises in this speech. It was boring.