As is my tradition, I spent way too much of my Thursday night keeping a running diary of Obama's acceptance speech. Also by tradition, I watch only the Fox News coverage, because Bill Kristol is hilarious and Charles Krauthammer is an indestructible robot sent from the future to kill us all. I'm taking the over on number of times the word "change" pops up in Obama's speech, but I'll be keeping a tally, just in case. Join me, won't you.
I join Hannity & Colmes already in progress at 6:13PM. I show up in time to here Hannity call it "Barack Obama's big speech on (sic) quote change."
6:19PM – Coming back from commercial we get Harvey Fierstein.. I mean Dick Morris. Yikes! Morris has this great rebuttal to how often McCain voted with Bush: "Most of the votes in the Senate are unanimous." I was not aware the President got a vote on Commendation Resolutions.
6:20PM – I think I should keep track of how many times Hannity uses the Iran is a small country quote. It's just about all he says. I want Dukakis to come back and school him again.
6:24PM – Joe Biden shows up primarily to make a Denver Broncos reference so dated that he has to explain it. Ouch!
6:27PM – What was up with Biden and his winking name checks of Harry Reid? Was there some inside joke there that I missed?
6:28PM – Next up Michael Steele, mostly famous for comparing Stem Cell research to the Holocaust, who suggests that the Democrats see the glass as half empty. He & Hannity actually have the gall to talk about how well the economy is doing. Oh, and Sean reminds us all that the war has been won.
6:31PM – An ad for the McCain campaign congratulating Obama on his nomination. Very nicely done, and a nice gesture. I wish these two could ditch their advisors and have the high minded conversation on the future of America that they both long for. Alas, it will never be.
6:32PM – In case you forgot what channel we are watching, the classy McCain ad is followed by an ad from oil companies wondering why we aren't drilling more.
6:34PM – Hannity zings Colmes with "Remember, Congress has a 9% approval, the President has almost three times that!" Now that's how you make lemonade!
6:42PM – Dennis Kucinich shows up, and is so hectored by Hannity (although in fairness to Sean, Kucinich was dodging his question) that he Colmes proceed to have their own conversation. Kucinich did have a good line when Hannity was rattling on about experience: "The American people have experienced eight years of Republican policies."
6:44PM – As they go to commercial, Hannity actually refers to the last eight years as ones of "economic prosperity." Must be nice to be rich.
6:51PM – Enough with the kids table, it's time for the big hitters, Brit Hume welcomes us to Invesco Field. He immediately throws it to Jim Angle who has an early contender for line of the night, saying "no one criticizes him for being black, they criticize him (Obama) for being green."
6:52PM – Britt lets us know that the concessions stands are open, and he can smell the grilled onions. He seems a little sad that no alcohol is being served, though.
6:55PM – Foxnews has a disturbing number of young attractive newsbots that all have mispelled versions of common names, like Megyn.
6:56PM – Britt finally introduces us to the panel, and Bill Kristol & Juan Williams have a wooden smile contest.
6:58PM – Note this down, Matthew Modine is seen on TV for the first time since at least the Clinton administration. Nice to see him getting work. or at least standing in the crowd.
7:01PM – Another "Don't Call it a Town Called Hope" video introduces Obama. It's a nice pastiche of old photos. A lot of nice candid shots, including a great one from his wedding. Turns out Barack was sort of a chubby kid. I also liked Michelle telling the story of Barack walking up to her and saying "we should go out." The most interesting part of the video was how many of the pictures were Barack with White people. Definitely a sea change from the Benneton ad that most of the videos turn into.
7:14PM – I'll be honest, the setting and environment in the stadium aren't nearly as cool as I thought they would be.
7:16PM – Biden's impossibly white huge teeth creep me out, but Obama's don't. Does that make me racist?
7:19PM – Good line. Something like problems aren't government's fault, but the failure to respond to them is. That is a good tack, bringing up Katrina as it does.
7:22PM – Was there a Senate vote I missed? Last night Biden suggested that McCain voted with Bush 95% of the time, but tonight it was 90%. Hmm? That's just how maverick John McCain is, I guess.
7:22PM – "I'm not ready to take a 10% chance on change." Heck, I've used skills lower than that in Call of Cthulhu.
7:26PM – During some extended applause, Fox runs shots of young ladies crying in the audience. I wonder if they were subliminally trying to keep the rockstar vibe going. See, that's why I love Foxnews, you can't tell if they are being evil or inept at any given moment.
7:32PM – Obama runs through a lengthy list of things he will do as President. I'm not holding my breath.
7:38PM – Man, some focus group somewhere must have really suggested that the Dems hit the equal pay issue, because it has got more play than abortion or gay marriage over the last 4 days. I did not see that coming.
7:46PM – Obama tells us that people can disagree without challenging their character and patriotism. But, he can disagree while talking about how out of touch John McCain is. And did we mention that he is old?
7:47PM – the only real goosebump moment for me so far, Obama takes McCains slogan and shreds it. "We all put our country first." That was a solid hit.
7:49PM – I think that was the first gay marriage reference I remember of the entire convention, and it was pretty watered down. Still, it got a big round of applause.
7:52PM – I don't want to steal my own thunder, but I was a little worried about the old change count, but the last 5 minutes of the speech have really upped the ante. Obama's energy has also definitely risen.
7:55PM – I still can't believe that John "why should he have a holiday?" McCain referenced Dr. King's anniversary before Obama. Weird.
7:56PM – As the speech was clearly winding down, I wrote down "balloon drop?" I was actually trying to figure out how they would do it in an open air stadium. At that point, some vaguely martial Copeland-esque music starts and fireworks explode all over. I have to admit, the spectacle was sort of lost on me. It went on way too long, and the music was just really awkward. I kind of wanted it to come back to Brit Hume asking "What the hell was that?" Instead, Brit loved it. Well, ok, he didn't love it enough to not bust out the first "Barack Hussein Obama" of the evening, but still…
8:08PM – in a bizarre moment, everyone on the panel except Bill Kristol thought the speech was underwhelming, or didn't do what it had to. Kristol on the other hand is effusive about it. Of course, those with long memories may recall that the entire panel doted on John Kerry's "reporting for duty" speech, back in the day.
8:09PM – I panic as Bill Kristol agrees with me that Obama's use of the McCain slogan was a great move. Has it come to this?
8:13PM – Fred Barnes suggests that this speech will not build bridges to undecided voters. But, it "sure was fun." Hume agrees and is "glad I was here for it." He then makes my night by telling us that next we will hear from Charles Krauthammer.
8:20PM – Charles does not disappoint. I swear at one point, he slipped into Max Headroom speech. He calls the speech "not good, but smart." Saying that it painted Obama as a generic Democrat, and "if he runs as a generic Democrat, he wins." Krauthammer just admitted that the Republican Party is in shambles.
As we cut to Greta Van Sustern doing man on the street interviews in Denver, I decide that's enough Foxnews for one night. My final thoughts are that I was sort of unimpressed. I mean Obama is a great speaker, and he was technically pretty good, but the speech itself begged for a much larger context. I sort of agree with Krauthammer (excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little…) that the speech framed Obama as a Democrat. Plus, the spectacle at the end with the weird music and the fireworks really turned me off. It seemed somehow more ominous or dark than the usual pablum pop song and balloons. Maybe that says more about me than anything else.
So, what did y'all think? The final change count was unofficially a slightly disappointing 14. We can do better.
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