The RNC: A quick summary so far
The GOP is moving toward a "reform" platform at its convention, Jeff observes. Sound familiar? (AP)
Quick thoughts on the start of the RNC Convention:
1. Its clear that the Republicans have largely abandoned the experience angle, and are moving more toward a reform platform, which is eerily similar to Obamas change platform. While Obama definitely has a more eloquent message about change, both McCain and Palin have more tangible examples of reform they can point to, while Obama and even Biden cannot. Biden has experience, but some of his tangible reforms are not things he will want to highlight (like the creation of the drug czar position, or writing an anti-terrorism bill in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombings that was similar to the eventual Patriot Act passed in 2001).
2. Aside from the cheers for the veterans, the biggest cheers in the crowd last night were consistently for pro-life comments. There were enough of them to make me think that this is going to be a theme for the next two days, especially with Palin and Romney on tap for today. The selection of Palin should be enough of a pro-life message to the base that the party doesnt need to make so many explicit comments about abortion during the convention. This is absolutely a losing issue for Republicans as nearly 60 percent of Americans favor keeping abortion legal.
3. The new Republican meme about Palin from last night is that shes an energy expert. Newt Gingrich was one of a few Republicans seen gushing about her energy expertise, even saying that hers far outstrips any of the other three candidates. That shes held an executive position in the countrys largest energy producer will help validate that expertise. The fact that she doesnt think climate change is man-made will cause a lot of people to question it.
4. John McCain canceled an interview he was to have with Larry King because of a hostile interview that McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds had with CNNs Campbell Brown. While I dont believe Browns line of questioning was out of line or unduly harsh, her mannerisms and baby comment came off a bit condescending and unprofessional. Its not cause for canceling an interview, especially with Larry King who would have provided the biggest softball questions imaginable.