Did you watch the first night of speeches at the Republican National Convention? President Bush made a fleeting appearance on a big screen. Fred Thompson needed a throat lozenge but did a decent job of emotionally delivering the story of John McCainâ€™s POW years and got in a few good shots across the Obama/Biden bow. And Joe Lieberman told us Barack Obama had no record of consensus building (true, in regards to the U.S. senate) but didnâ€™t ever tell us on what issues a President McCain would build consensus.
In fact, we heard over and over that McCain is â€œhis own manâ€ and bucks the system but we were apparently just supposed to know on which issues McCain is a maverick. Maybe thatâ€™s for later.
But I have to agree with John Dickerson at Slate who called the night a â€œBizarro GOPâ€ for all the cheering and approval of McCainâ€™s tendency to go against the GOP. The delegates seemed eager for change â€“ even though that change would mean leaving behind the policies of the current Republican president.
If the first night sets the convention tone, then I suspect weâ€™ll hear a lot about McCainâ€™s toughness and willingness to go his own way. Hopefully weâ€™ll actually hear how he plans to change things if elected. I know Obama is basically running on the cut-and-paste Democratic platform. As plodding as I find those positions, they are at least different than the cut-and-paste Republican platform McCain has generally pushed for most of the campaign. Iâ€™m hungry for some new ideas. Maybe Sarah Palin will surprise us tonight and not just talk about being a maverick but actually tell us what that will mean if we elect McCain/Palin.