Friday, September 5, 2008

Recap of the 2008 RNC Convention

From my perspective, the RNC Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul was much more successful than anticipated , especially following the "drama" in Denver. Kudos to Convention President and CEO Maria Cino and her staff who have been working in Minnesota for 18 months to prepare for this week.

My Top 5 highlights of the week:

No. 5 -- The Stage: Loved the simplicity of the stage, especially after seeing all the "fluff" in Denver the week prior. No gothic pillars, no fanfare, no loud colors -- just a simple stage and a BIG HD screen. A textbook example of K.I.S.S.

No. 4 -- Going on the Offensive Against the Media: It was nice to see speaker after speaker during the prime time speeches not beat around the bush when it comes to pointing out the obvious -- that the mass media are biased and liberal. It seemed to catch Anderson Cooper, Keith Olberman, Chris Matthews, and Tom Brokaw off guard.

No. 3 -- Mike Huckabee's Speech: Showed why he was such a force during the primary season. Extremely articulate, convincing and likable.

No. 2 -- Fred Thompson's Speech: Really did a fantastic job helping paint a picture of the character of Sen. McCain with a combination of humor and sincerity.

No. 1 -- The Speech: Still can't say enough about Wednesday night's speech. Only 1 million less viewers tuned in than the Obama speech in Denver (38M vs. 37M). It has been the talk of the carpool line, school pickup, neighbors, Irish Dance moms and dads, family members, et al. Even Michael Reagan wrote that he sees his dad in her.

You'll note that I did not include Sen. McCain's speech in my top five. He had a tough act to follow after Gov. Palin's night on Wednesday. McCain's speech seemed choppy in many places and the green background on the screen at the start of his speech made him look older than he already is, but he did put it together between 10:45 and 11:05 and ended nicely. He needed to get a C+/B-, which he accomplished -- not a "knock-your-socks-off" speech but also not a dud.

Now it's off on the campaign trail for both tickets, with the first debate set for September 26. Also looking forward to the VP debate -- Palin vs. "Plugs" -- on October 2.

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