More of what people thought about McCain's speech:
We've now heard McCain's personal story as a prisoner of war dozens of times in just three days and he included again in his speech. It's truly inspiring. No one would ever doubt that McCain loves his country.
But no matter the content, McCain had serious delivery problems with this speech. Starting with the awful lime green background (that later turned to blue) and continuing through McCain's difficulties reading from the teleprompter, the speech was very disjointed and hard to follow. To top it off, the crowd reaction at the end of the speech seemed forced and staged, almost like delegates were reacting to flashing "applause" signs at the side of the stage.
Overall, it was a very mediocre performance. I'm not sure it got the job done.
It's like staging a revolution against yourself -- saying that the Republicans have got to go so the Republicans can move in and clean up the mess.
"John McCain was re-branding his party as the party of change," one CNN commentator said after the speech. "Re-branding" is a very popular term these days, but what does it mean? Perhaps that you can make something true just by saying it's true.
Rich Lowrey: Don't focus on the words or the delivery or McCain's voting record with Bush or what party he belongs to. Just focus on change and the idea that Republicans are fighting for you.
So I wasn't bowled over by it, but I'm still encouraged.
"My country saved me," McCain said, "and I will fight for her as long as I draw breath, so help me God."
At this point, the director should have cut to a reaction shot of Sarah Palin, the vice presidential nominee who statistically would stand a chance of becoming president should the ticket be victorious in November.
Michael Gerson (MSNBC):
The policy in the speech was rather typical for a Republican. Pretty disappointing. It didn't do a lot of outreach to moderates and independents on issues that they care about. It talked, about issues like drilling and school choice which was really speaking to the converted. I think that was a missed opportunity. Many Americans needed to hear from this speech something they have never heard from Republicans before. And in reality, a lot of the policy they've heard from Republicans before.
"I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving
again," McCain will say, according to prepared remarks. "I have that
record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not."
But when Joe Lieberman tried this line of attack on Obama, fact-checkers
called the "claim false."
But after the two conventions, it looks as if Obama and Biden are going to do their best to focus voters' attention on issues -- the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, energy, and the environment. And it looks as if McCain and Palin have decided to run on a platform of personal history.
Don't Believe the Hype: McCain Is Still a Bush Republican
How did it play politically? Will it energize the base? Will it make swing voters swoon?
As usual, your guess is as good as mine--or any of the pundits you see yapping on the television right now. Until the focus groups and polls come in, we're all just speculating.
But I can register a verdict on substance. If this was McCain's answer to voter anxiety about the economy, it wasn't too impressive.
Baseball metaphors seem to be the preferred standard for political success lately ("homerun," "grand slam," "hit a triple"), but after watching John McCain's acceptance speech, I'm inclined to think he fouled one off. The pressure was on, but he just couldn't connect the way he'd hoped.
The crowd simply wasn't giving him much love when he wasn't talking about the three P's -- Palin, Petroleum, and POW. That led to a fairly dreadful stretch of ten or fifteen minutes as he tried to rebut the Democrats on the economy, which in turn reduced the energy level and deprived Mark Salter's conclusion of some of its thunder.