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Sometimes you catch a bit of a news report or a piece of text from an article that beautifully frames what a phony game all this convention business really is.  Happened to me this evening while reading the Washington Post, with this passage:

Sitting around a dining room table, the McCain team has talked to her about Iraq, energy and the economy but has focused on what she should say in her speech, struggling almost as hard as she has to prepare for what will be, along with a debate in October, her main opportunity to shape the way she is viewed by voters. Not anticipating that McCain would choose a woman as his running mate, the speech that was prepared in advance was "very masculine," according to campaign manager Rick Davis, and "we had to start from scratch." 

Few politicians write their own speeches anymore.  But even my jaded eyes bugged at the idea that McCain's campaign had already written tonight's speech before they knew who the running mate would be.