Thursday, September 04, 2008

John McCain: Great American. Great Speaker? Not So Much.

So, McCain's speech is a bit of a letdown. His rhythym is disrupted by the crowd's cheering. It's clear that he's thrown a bit off his stride by the interruptions. It's hard to blame him. His speech is not a rabble rouser. It's not really filled with applause lines. The audience doesn't seem to have caught on to that. McCain's speaking style seems more suited to addressing an audience intent on listening rather than reacting. Oh well.

Also it sure looks like a major teleprompter problem occurred again tonight. McCain was speaking of cutting payments to countries that don't like us much and the crowd went wild cutting him off in midsentence. He appeared he was trying to say something about spending the money here at home. When the crowd finally stopped yelling, instead, of finishing what seemed to be that line, McCain returned with a line about drilling. It sure seemed to me that the teleprompter just kept going during the applause lines.* If true, the same thing reportedly happened to Sarah Palin last night. The teleprompting gig at the Republican Convention must have gone to the lowest bidder. Or maybe it went to an MSNBC teleprompter. Anyway, Palin handled the glitch smoother. She does the big public speeches better than McCain.

It's too bad McCain's delivery is off tonight. He's a great American. Unfortunately, it's not coming through in this speech as much as it ought to.


*Update: Well, apparently not. The full text of McCain's speech is here. The teleprompter did not run on. Here's the portion I wrote about. "My fellow Americans, when I’m President, we’re going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don’t like us very much. We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we’ll drill them now." I still don't think that paragraph flows well in the first three lines. But, whatever.

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