ElGordillo
Monday, August 30, 2004
  A memorable speech

I missed the John McCain speech at the RNC. I saw bits of it in highlight. I still think he's poison, but I admit his utility in attracting a segment of the electorate that otherwise would not vote Republican.

Then there was Rudy. Rudy Giuliani. Oh. My. God. I think that was one of the best pieces of political theatre that I have seen in the past thirty years. It's not often I get teary-eyed when it comes to a political speech (a corny ending in a movie, on the other hand, can have me be weepy in a heartbeat). I think the last time I was moved to tears by a speech was the re-runs of Ronald Reagan's plea to Gorbachev to "tear down this wall". I'm not saying that Rudy's speech was of similar import, but it was amazingly effective. He mixed vernacular with some pretty high-flown rhetoric. He addressed the crowd in a folksy manner, while introducing some of the most idealistic statements you will have heard recently. Things like 'freedom', and 'self-determination'.

He also whetted a shiv and stuck it in John Kerry. This wasn't grandstanding, ad hominem stuff. Oh, no. Giuliani hurt John Kerry much worse than that. Rudy quoted him. This was devastating. He took a few pairs of Kerry's public utterances and laid them side by side. Giuliani took pains to praise John Kerry's wartime service. That gave him the opportunity to attack his flip-flopping. Excellent. Of course I know he's preaching to the choir, but a lot of his speech was an attack on Kerry that while mild-mannered on the face of it, really drove to the heart of some of the issues that the Dems would rather stay under wraps. I can see this having traction with the swing voters.

I'm not naive enough to think that this will be a tipping point. But from my second-hand observations, RNC 2004 is going a lot better at this stage than its Democrat counterpart.

P.S. A combination of my sucky broadband, my idiotic browser and Blogger ate the first version of this, which was much closer to live blogging. In particular, I observed how Judy Woodruff thought Giuliani's speech was too long. For her, I imagine, it must have been forty minutes of nails scraping down blackboards.

 


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