convention. This year's event is shaping up to be a downer (from a Republican perspective) for a number of different reasons.
The Republicans are set to begin right on the heels of Barack Obama's triumphant convention in Denver where he put forth a vision of hope and change before some 38 million viewers on Thursday night. Even Republicans will admit that Mad Johnny's death grimace and grumpiness is pretty poor fare when contrasted with Obama's charisma and oratory prowess. Add to that the fact that as many as six Republican senators (including Oregon's own Gordon Smith) are skipping the convention out of sheer embarrassment and --well, let's just say the frosting on the birthday cake looks a little gray...
Gustav invites himself to the party
The big question hanging over the Republican convention is whether the party is going to be crashed by the most unwelcome of guests: Hurricane Gustav. Images of Republicans yucking it up in Minneapolis while Gulf Coast residents huddle against lashing wind and rain must surely cause RNC chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan to feel a little queasy.
On the other hand, Gustav spares the Republicans the embarrassment of having to give Junior and Big Dick speaking slots. The two "leaders" of the party had already been assigned to speak on the first night of the convention (today, Labor Day) when most Americans would be barbecuing and enjoying their last summer weekend and not too likely to spend their evening watching the blowhards in Minnesota. But, now, the Republicans can forgo having Bush and Cheney speak at all.
That's right, Bush and Cheney, the sitting President and Vice-President will not be attending their own party's nominating convention this year. They're going to stay at their respective desks to "oversee the federal response" to Gustav.
Sarah Palin is McCain's "Soulmate"
The McCain campaign's pathetic attempt to steal Obama's thunder after his nomination acceptance speech was to name Sarah Palin, the 44-year-old governor of Alaska and a relative unknown on the national political scene, as his running-mate. The pick raised a lot of eyebrows, certainly. But, despite the claptrap that's coming from the various right-wing loudmouths about it being a "bold and deft pick," I get the feeling that behind the scenes there is a lot of.... well, let's call it "consternation"... about choosing a 2-year governor of a sparsely populated state that was already in the bag for McCain anyway.
soulmate." But, to me (and I'm not alone) Palin's elevation to the national scene smacks of desperation on the part of the McCain campaign. The woman has no real experience, which is, of course, one of the arguments that McCain has tried to put forth against Obama. Further, by virtue of the fact that Palin is a mere 44 years old, she invites examination of McCain's age which was already a peripheral issue. For God's sake, Johnny, at 72, you're old enough to be her father!
It's said that a drowning man will grasp at anything to keep his head above water and I believe that's what we're seeing here. McCain has actually come to believe all that talk about some vast army of disgruntled Hillary supporters. He imagines some mass of Hillary fans so resentful of Obama's success that they will actually betray their own values and vote for the Republican ticket. It is a measure of John McCain's attitude toward women that he assumes they'll vote for him just because there is a woman in the number 2 spot.
Well, Johnny, keep dreaming.
Convention events curtailed
Already, events and speeches at the Republican National Convention are being curtailed or cancelled. Many party luminaries are skipping it altogether. And Mad Johnny has to still go out in front of the cameras and try to make it seem like fun.
Well, is it a party? To me, it looks more like a wake!