Document the atrocities. The convention hall could not care less about Cindy McCain until she mentions Sarah Palin. The poor volunteers who are bouncing signs at the audience, rousting up applause, can get a little relief.
The post-Cindy music:
"Johnny B. Goode"—the touching story of a low-IQ child who learned, against all odds, to play basic guitar solos.
"Celebration"—the joy that comes after a bone-grinding day of community organizing.
"Rock this Town"—a tribute to our crushing victory over the Islamists in Anbar province.
A fairly bland video (it's impossible to make parts of McCain's story bland, but that montage at the end… eh) ends and there's a weird moment as Fred Thompson's disembodied voice re-re-introduces McCain. "When you've lived in a box, your life is about ensuring others don't have to endure that box." Well, thanks!
9:16: Is it only happening in the hall, or is the screen behind Mac a sickly shade of green on your TV, too?
9:17: Someone heckles McCain: the actual heckle is inaudible where I sit, but it's quickly drowned out by a cheer of "USA!" Maybe he was chanting "USSR"?
9:20: Aha: It was members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, yelling that McCain votes against vets.
9:21: I have the speech now, and there's the expected distancing from Bush.
The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics.
I will work to establish good relations with Russia so we need not fear a return of the Cold War. But we can't turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.
As I look for more, the hecklers strike back! This time it's Code Pink. "Americans want us to stop yelling at each other!" McCain says. And they scream again. This isn't bad at all for him, is it it?
9:29: When is "maverick" not a compliment?
9:31: The speech contains 34 iterations of the word "fight," which isn't actually that much for a Democratic speech. For a Republican speech, though.
9:34: Actually, go to it. Here's the speech.
Thank you all very much. Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans—the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for President of the United States. And I accept it with gratitude, humility and confidence.
9:35: The reference to Obama "passing corporate welfare for oil companies" is the first Obama reference that doesn't draw boos. If only he'd passed welfare for community organizers.
9:39: The boos on McCain's "my opponent" section are seriously robotic. Like, outtakes from Metropolis robotic.
9:54: I've moved the whole speech to a direct link, but here's the Cause Greater part from the ending, which is stronger and more Mark Salterish than the preceding.
If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.
Stuff that has nothing to do with McCain (or Obama!) being president. I like it.
I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need.
So says the co-author of Character is Destiny, Hard Call, and Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Better Life.
10:11: Fully half of the balloons have yet to drop. They're being saved for Earth, Wind and Fire's "September," I think.