Rare is the incredibly memorable nomination acceptance speech. Usually, it’s the vibe we remember. Obama’s speech was hard-hitting, substantive and prosaic, but years from now no one will remember its verbiage, they’ll remember how it felt. Love it or loathe it (and count me in for the latter) Palin was such a completely blank slate her more than competent delivery of a rather generic attack speech will be remembered as better than it actually was.
But while the words of a nomination acceptance speech are rarely long-remembered, they are almost always "good" speeches, among the best the candidate has ever delivered. This is usually true even of rather poor public speakers as candidates. Gerald Ford, Bush Sr., Walter Mondale, John Kerry, even Doofus Tiberius Boosh all gave speeches that were considered surprisingly good upon review by the pundits in the immediate afterglow. It always helps a speech to be delivered to a throng of cheering people willing to act like they adore the speaker for a half-hour at least.
It also helps to have a rather low-bar, and Lime-Green Jello & Cottage Cheese McCain’s bar is pretty much buried underground already.
So I say with some incredulity, how could his speech — which he had MONTHS to work on and was written especially for him (as opposed to Palin’s being adapted for her) SUCK. SO. VERY. MUCH?!
Only a few themes:
Actual quote, "I’m not running for president because I think I’m blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need." Seriously, you’re going to try to pull this one off at your own faux coronation? Riiiiight.
Oh, and who doesn’t love this line?
I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.
Other than the first time he used it on the original Mrs. McCain, of course. But you have to admit, it’s the most patriotic version of "I’ve found myself a young beer heiress" you ever heard.
"Please allow me to be the candidate of change, by supporting every GOP platform plank of the last several elections" — okaaaaaaaaaaaay.
And, of course, it’s always a good idea for a person that isn’t a dynamic speaker to have a speech that goes on way too long.
The Horror, The Horror!
(pic via Watertiger)