McCain Delivers a Stunner — Worst Speech Ever

I’ve never seen commentators and news readers laugh at a speech the way the people of MSNBC laughed at John McCain’s victory speech last night. Laughter, outright prolonged laughter at how abominably lame the speech was and how poorly McCain delivered it. Chris Matthews said that every advisor McCain has ever known got a line or two in that speech. Tom Brokaw said, with his half grin, that the people who voted for McCain Tuesday night “deeply regret it after that speech, and the makers of Nyquil are in deep despair.” (Nyquil is an MSNBC sponsor, nice plug Tom.)

The speech started OK, but then wandered off into reciting every dull cliche that any politician has ever said through all of American history. You gotta see it. I dare you to figure out what he’s talking about — or to make it to the end. Somebody needed the shepherd’s crook to pull the poor guy off the stage. Speechwriters, take this as a lesson — a speech is not an Old Country Buffet. And speakers — good lord, don’t read speeches, or at least don’t read them for the first time with the cameras rolling.

Dave Barry, in the Miami Herald, had the best McCain line today — among the questions still to be answered in the coming weeks is this one, Barry writes: “Is John McCain, at 117, too old and cranky to be president? Like, during the White House Easter Egg Roll, would he come outside in his bathrobe and yell, ‘You kids get off my lawn?'”

Seriously, for those of us who wonder what brought so many New Hampshire women voters to Hillary when Obama won with women in Iowa, Maureen Dowd’s take on Hillary’s tears and victimhood is deeply perceptive. Hillary’s tears, Dowd says, were for Hillary.

After two primaries and seeing all the candidates, scripted and unscripted, I remain convinced that the only way any Republican can win in November is if the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton. My wife, Lisa, assures me this won’t happen. And Lisa acknowledged that she fell down on the job last night, and she takes personal responsibility. I believe she had a tear in her eye.

–Bruce Benidt hotel internet marketing kind

7 thoughts on “McCain Delivers a Stunner — Worst Speech Ever

  1. Having been US-based for the past 3 weeks rather than my normal UK location, I can honestly say that I’m ready to return home and watch the 2008 elections from afar and via the BBC. The low point thus far? Hilliary’s tears. Cringe worthy was my take, and I think I’ve seen plenty of cringe worthy political performances in more than 20+ years of covering and observing.
    I agree with your wife – the only way a Republican gets elected this time around is by the Democrats nominating Clinton.

  2. Malaprop says:

    Very telling in the meltdown moment: the “this is very personal” comment. That’s exactly what spooks some of us, I think, about Mrs. C. That this is, indeed, personal. It’s about one person’s ambition, “anything you can do I can do better,” one-upping the fatally flawed spouse, creating a Clinton mystique to rival a Kennedy mystique. It would be (it is) great theater. It’s very scary as a motivation for being POTUS.

  3. Ken Kadet says:

    Call me a softie, but I found the moment to be very real. Look, you have to have a big ego to run for president — you think you can change the world. Your doing it because you love your country and think you can make it better.

    Of course Clinton is ambitious. Fortunately, she tends to channel that ambition in toward doing good works. In the immortal words of Jon Lovitz, “is that so wrong?”

  4. Eileen says:

    Interesting. Lisa and I have to meet for coffee. This past week I moved more toward Clinton. My sister, who works with all men, moved more toward Clinton, too. Why? Because of the reaction to — oh my god — emotion. The men in my sister’s workplace pounced on her about women being too emotional to handle the job. Grrrrr.

  5. Kelly Groehler says:

    Character attacks are run-of-show, so I wasn’t surprised by the backlash against Clinton’s tears. The tired machismo has officially appeared in this race. Goodie.

    I’m truly torn between empathy for another woman (hey, I’ve cried at work) and cynicism that she likely musters those tears on cue (a talent I don’t enjoy).

  6. Reality Chuck says:

    She wasn’t faking the emotion, but she was mischaracterizing it. She was exhausted and on the brink of seeing her life’s dream evaporate just out of the gate at the hands of someone she feels cut in line. That was genine emotion, but it was more about self pity and self righteousness than it was “about the kids.”

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