Best Speech: John McCain. He laid out the case for taking the fight to the Islamofacists better than than anyone I've heard up to now. His references to "our Democrat friends" made a subtle point about which party reallly is being divisive this year. I don't recall any speakers at the DNC referring to Republicans that way. The ending was a passionate reminder that we are one nation that needs to be united in the face of those who want us destroyed - something else the Dems didn't bother to do. Plus, a wonderful, bonus bitch-slapping of Michael Moore!
Honorable Mentions: Rudy Giuliani for making a case against the Democrats' being able to properly defend this country, done with a relatively light-hearted touch.
Arnold Schwartzenegger for giving the most positive speech at the convention (in prime time).
Zell Miller: Fiery and over the top. He clearly is speaking from the heart and in a style that is reminiscent of decades past. But the rhetoric was too harsh, even if the delegates loved it. I can understand the anger, given the tone used by the Dems in criticizing Bush, but although it was entertaining it was too angry. However, it did not deserve the kind of reaction as quoted from Ken Layne:
No kidding. I grew up in the South, surrounded by sons of bitches like Zell Miller -- bitter old nigger-haters who couldn't possibly understand why they weren't right about anything -- and this dixiecrat piece of shit is probably the best advertisement for the Bush Administration's Compassionate Conservatism we've ever seen. Thank you, Zell
Just another example of that famous lefty tolerance and respect for others, I guess. Then we have Andrew Sullivan's view, summarized in his first paragraph here:
Zell Miller's address will, I think, go down as a critical moment in this campaign, and maybe in the history of the Republican party. I kept thinking of the contrast with the Democrats' keynote speaker, Barack Obama, a post-racial, smiling, expansive young American, speaking about national unity and uplift. Then you see Zell Miller, his face rigid with anger, his eyes blazing with years of frustration as his Dixiecrat vision became slowly eclipsed among the Democrats. Remember who this man is: once a proud supporter of racial segregation, a man who lambasted LBJ for selling his soul to the negroes. His speech tonight was in this vein, a classic Dixiecrat speech, jammed with bald lies, straw men, and hateful rhetoric. As an immigrant to this country and as someone who has been to many Southern states and enjoyed astonishing hospitality and warmth and sophistication, I long dismissed some of the Northern stereotypes about the South. But Miller did his best to revive them. The man's speech was not merely crude; it added whole universes to the word crude.
I fail to see how that is any worse (or even as bad) as Democrats referring to the GOP as fascists, bigots, murderers, etc. . He basically calls Miller a racist without any real evidence, other than 40 year old stuff that at the time was unfortunately a staple for southern Democrats (in which case what does one say about Robert Byrd?). His record as governor of Georgia does not indicate racism, nor does his Senate record. Unless you have real, recent evidence of racism Andrew, shut yer gob or find some other grounds for criticism.
Andrew went on to officiallly jump the shark after Bush's speech even though he liked it, because Sully is now a one issue voter - gay marriage - and that is more important to him than dealing with the folks who want to kill us. Mr. Sullivan, I just want to point out that Bush's position on the subject (although not mainstream) is closer to the mainstream than yours.
Bounce: I don't know. The polls I've seen indicate anywhere from a 4 to 6 point boost for Bush, but let things simmer for a few days. So far, neither of these guys has convinced me to vote for him, although I find that I dislike Kerry more.