This past evening, Senator McCain walked down the stage and accepted the Republican nomination for President.
Then he spoke.
It was not a great speech. John McCain is no Sarah Palin. He is, however, a hard worker. The speech was the speech of a worker — of a fighter. Having watched it in the arena and just now on television, I must say it played better on television.
The end was much better than the middle. The beginning was interrupted by Democratic activists who could not return to the GOP the courtesy the GOP gave the Democrats of an uninterrupted speech in Denver.
John McCain confessed the sins of the party. He asked for forgiveness. He repented the sins of the party and pledged to return to basics. I was personally disappointed that bit did not get the hearty applause it deserved, but the crowd seemed to save its ultimate energy for those occasions on which the words Sarah and Palin were uttered.
John McCain’s speech had substance. For all the pablum of Senator Obama’s angry rhetoric in Denver, John McCain went for nuts and bolts. He had to.
The McCain campaign knows it could not compete with Obama for the media’s affection in delivering flowery prose and poetry. But, because of the vapid shallowness of Obama’s speeches, McCain could compete on substance.
He did. And he delivered.
It was not a speech to the party. It was a speech to undecideds. Judging by my emails, they loved it.