Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

John McCain’s Big Speech

Posted by sanityinjection on September 8, 2008

I wanted to wait to write this in order to soak up the reactions from the media and ordinary voters.

McCain’s acceptance speech at the GOP convention was unusual because it was not the highlight of the convention – arguably, that was Palin’s speech the night before. McCain was unlikely to equal either his opponent or his running mate with his oratory, so he didn’t try. His speech was very plain-spoken and matter-of-fact, devoid of rhetorical flourishes, and this underscored the contrast McCain is trying to make between himself and Barack Obama.

Having heard McCain speak previously on many occasions, I was struck by the absence in this speech by some of his usual turns of phrase and applause lines. Every politican has a few stock quips or phrases that are used at almost every appearance. Instead, McCain spoke about his background and his goals if elected President. Again, the speech played to the two themes that McCain has based his campaign around – experience and character. I thought he came across as sincere, a judgment confirmed by my mother, an undecided political independent who thought the speech was powerful in its simplicity.

There has been some criticism that the speech lacked policy specifics, but there will be ample opportunity to delve into those during the debates. It was also noted that McCain never mentioned the important issue of healthcare, and I’m not surprised. That’s not a winning issue for him, because he’s not promising universal coverage.

McCain is currently enjoying the post-convention bounce in the polls, but the pundits are correct in speculating that it will be short lived. The race is so close that it may well be decided by the course of economic and political events over the next two months that are totally out of the campaigns’ control.

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