The first real night of the Republican National Convention
I just finished watching Joe Lieberman's speech and I must say the entire evening was very interesting.
As expected, the Republicans really pushed John McCain's history as a POW. And why not? It is a truly magnificent story and McCain is truly an American hero.
Fred Thompson really laid it out well. He went over the story in detail, explaining how McCain spent 5 1/2 years being tortured. Thompson acknowledged that being a POW doesn't make you a good president, but he argued it showed the character we are looking for in a president. Good point.
Another point from Thompson, and later Lieberman, is that McCain voted to send more troops over to Iraq last year and we are now winning the war. That is good, but they failed to mention that Barack Obama also voted in favor of this (oh and everyone in America knew we had to do that to win the war). But, in fact, this seems to show a weakness for McCain. When it was extremely unpopular to vote against the war and the Bush machine, it was Obama who opposed it.
The Republicans are saying how bold McCain was last year, but what about when the war first began? Wasn't Obama the correct one back then? That decision is one of the main reasons he catapulted to the top of the Democratic party.
I was also not surprised to see Lieberman speaking tonight. Throughout his career, his beliefs have strongly favored the Republicans, as we saw when he lost the Democratic primary for his Senate seat. He quickly became an Independent, and after getting the Republican voters, he won. Sure he is/was a Democrat, but it seems like it was just lip service. But it was very smart to put him there as the Keynote speaker. Imagine, seeing a former Democrat debunking his own party.
What is really odd about this convention is the Republicans are running against themselves. In every speech they admit we are experiencing tough times. They are trying to embrace George W. Bush, but not embrace the past 8 years under his control (including many of those years when the Republicans controlled the Senate and the House).
So here they are openly advocating change, when they have been in charge.
Tonight the RNC did a good job of tugging the heart, McCain's story is amazing and his character is unquestioned. He is clearly a leader. The question will be, are his policies different from the past 8 years and will they be effective? That is something he will have to prove to America before the end of this convention.
Gov. Sarah Palin is set to speak on Wednesday and she has a whole list of other issues she could address. She could be the wild card in this thing. If she is impressive, she could bring in tons of votes. On the other hand, if she falls on her face, so will McCain.