Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, September 04, 2008

UPDATED, FRIDAY NIGHT, with the mystery of the mansion-backdrop resolved, below.
[I cut the picture of the Oscar statue that originally headed this post and replaced it with a still from McCain's speech with the confusing backdrop.]

The first several minutes of McCain’s speech felt like an Oscar winner’s.

Probably because: This is his peak, his apex, his high watermark. He ain’t going any higher than this.

He had some stumbles over his line readings, but on the whole the speech worked, if you discount the misrepresentations, which you probably should, because, even if he gets called to account for them, the vast majority of listeners will never hear the corrections. It was brave of him to criticize his own party, but he is no outsider, and Palin is no reformer.

I missed part of the speech before the end, but his talk of his experiences as a POW was moving, and his call to service and to not give up was stirring. I missed Cindy McCain’s speech, but she’s attractive in the reaction shots, as are both of the Palins -- they all remind me of my relatives. I come from a Republican family; neither the Bidens nor the Obamas reminded me of my relatives, except, come to think of it, Barack’s sudden outbursts into a joyous grin when talking to or about his family, and of course his daughters were adorable Every Children.

The video backdrop for the opening of McCain’s speech puzzled me -- a vast green lawn in front of a mansion on a sunny day -- was it one of his mansions? I don’t know. Didn’t get it. Seemed like a bad idea. The cornfield later was better, and then the blue sky with an American flag flying was good too.

But the end, with the two couples pacing the stage waving to the crowd -- McCain looked old. He moves like an old man. He has undoubtedly shrunk, and his younger wife looks taller than him. That was interesting -- he isn’t nearly as tall as and doesn’t come of as nearly as vigorous as Reagan was at a similar age.

Congratulations on your Oscar, Senator McCain. I do not know for certain, but I think the majority of voters will prefer a newer direction than you can offer. I hope so.

* * *


Talking Points Memo reports that the building projected on the video backdrop for the opening of McCain’s Thursday night speech was Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California. Apparently Team McCain considerably whitened the building for their show.

It seems that McCain’s team intended a backdrop of Walter Reed Army Medical Center but goofed on the Google.

(And by the way, that was footage, not a still shot, of the high school -- at one point the TV network I watched showed someone walking into the high school behind McCain.)

TPM followed up with a statement from Walter Reed Middle School principal Donna Tobin:

“It has been brought to the school's attention that a picture of the front of our school, Walter Reed Middle School, was used as a backdrop at the Republican National Convention. Permission to use the front of our school for the Republican National Convention was not given by our school nor is the use of our school's picture an endorsement of any political party or view.”

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