07 September 2008
McCain’s speech: I thought it was quite good

Reading the reaction to John McCain’s acceptance speech - most of which was pretty lukewarm - I can’t help wondering if I’d been watching the same one.

I thought it was quite good:

He called for school vouchers.  Now, I have my doubts about this as a policy3 but it does at least suggest some regard for markets.  This will be useful as the Depression starts to bite.

He made clear his concerns over Russia.

He said: “I hate war.”  Good1.

I found his obvious discomfort with the autocue rather endearing.

While I find most mentions of his Vietnam experiences vomit inducing I thought he handled it well.  In essence he said he went out a vain, arrogant youth and came back a team player.

There was one passage I found particularly engaging.  He mentioned that he’d been left to die and only received treatment (such as it was) when his captors found out that he was the son (or was it grandson?) of an admiral.  I thought it was gutsy to mention that.  It communicated two things.  First, that he will tell the truth even if it doesn’t make him look that good.  Second, he knows how lucky he was and hasn’t forgotten those who were less fortunate.

Talking of gutsy while McCain’s gutsy choice of Sarah Palin seems to be paying off I was none too impressed by her speech.  Anodyne would be my summary2.

And what’s all this business about her fighting corruption?  She’s only been governor for 20 months.  Surely, corruption - even of the Alaskan variety - is made of sterner stuff?

1.  Mind you the last statesman I know to have used those exact words was Sir Edward Grey.  That was just before the outbreak of the First World War.

2.  Mind you I have good, personal, reason to beware women making anodyne speeches. See Justine Greening MP

3.  See the comments on Going Dutch?

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  1. You’re absolutely right about McCain’s speech it was a good one.  The problem is that he’s not much of a speech maker and it shows in the audience response.  That being said he came through well.

    With regards to Palin one thing that may not be globally known about her is that she did take on a rather corrupt Republican political machine in Alaska and pounded it into rubble.  She forced the Republican party chairman to resign and he’s currently under criminal investigation.  She dinged a fair number of Republican Party officials who were in fact taking bribes from oil companies.  So she can legitimately claim the title of a reformer.  As to her experience, well she’s been mayor of the 5th largest community in the state (not saying it’s a huge population but it did give her state wide clout).  And she was governor.  She pushed through a pipeline for natural gas which run from Alaska through Canada to the lower 48 states.  That required negotiating not only with the Canadian Federal government but the governments of provinces in Canada as well.  Which unlike every body else on the ticket is real foreign policy experience.  So I would say that given she’s been in politics for more than a decade she’s accomplished a great deal in that period of time.

    Posted by Maldain on 10 September 2008 at 01:08am

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