Republican Convention 2008

McCain Draws Record Big Ratings for Lousy Speech

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I find this genuinely surprising, especially given the lackluster energy level of everything associated with the GOP convention in Minnesota:

A record 38.9 million U.S. TV viewers watched John McCain accept the Republican nomination for president on Thursday, slightly more than the 38.3 million people who tuned in for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's speech, Nielsen Media Research reported.

McCain's tally was also higher than the 37.2 million Americans who tuned in to hear Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's address, Nielsen said on Friday.

Part of the McCain audience was tied to the NFL game that immediately preceded his remarks, but still…

More here.

One thing you can say about Palin pick independent of anything else: It has kept McCain in the game for a while. If he'd gone with Tim Pawlenty or some other minimally memorable (male) suit, I can't imagine anyone woulda tuned in Wed or Thur evening.

NEXT: A Tale of Two Conventions

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  1. The NFL lead-in worked perfectly. Game ended just after 10PM, and NBC immediately switched to the convention.

  2. And he didn’t speak about nukular issues even once!
    Truly a bonus evening for the Repubs. Glad-hands all around.

  3. And I simply love what you’ve done to the place! The new McCain banners are charming!

    Contributions to the Compliance Fund will be used solely for legal and accounting services to ensure compliance with federal law, including a portion of the cost of broadcast advertising, campaign offices, and computer/website expenses. Federal law prohibits the Compliance Fund contributions from being used for a candidate’s election.

    I *guess* that’s “investing in victory” … or at least “investing in making sure our attorneys are getting paid while we campaign”.

  4. yeah, they got a boost from the Giants game. I watched the end of that and then this just came on right after; i hadn’t specifically planned to watch it. Glad they covered the spread!

  5. “Compliance Fund” makes me think of this line from Futurama:

    “My fellow Earthicans, we enjoy so much freedom it’s almost sickening. We’re free to choose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted in. And if we don’t want to pay our taxes, why, we’re free to spend a weekend with the Pain Monster.”

  6. I’d bet a bunch of those viewers didn’t know his story as a POW until the speech.

    Lousy as it was, he didn’t say anything “scary” to an “independent” voter and was gracious to the opposition. He was boringly sincere. All that might work out well for him especially with the excitement on the bottom of the ticket.

  7. @Episiarch:

    The quote belongs to Warner Bros. and I doubt you paid them.
    Citing the source is only a weapon against charges of plagiarism.
    Reason.com could get in trouble for allowing thieves like you to continue posting copyrighted material.

    It would be safer if they removed your post.

  8. It would have been funnier if you had posted with the handle “Pain Monster”.

  9. He is not an electrifying speaker. Most people know that. But, he came across as geiune, humble and gracious and a genuinely good person. I think that goes further than people think. Journalists are always looking for a show.

    The POW stuff was really well handled. He told the story to explain why he is who he is. Moreover, a good portion of it was praising the people he was with and talking about his own failures and the things he learned from it.

    I would love to hear a similiar example from Obama where he explained in a major speech where he was wrong and how he went through self reflection and learned and grew from it. How someone deals with failure and adversity says more about who they are than anything else. It is the kind of question that isn’t asked enough of candidates.

  10. “But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before, for a long time, and they broke me. When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn’t know how I could face my fellow prisoners.”

    What did he mean by this? I thought that McCain had stood up to his captors and come away a proud, if damaged, testament to American incorruptibility.

  11. JB,

    He signed some propaganda document admitting to being an Air Pirate.There should be no shame in that. I don’t think Stockdale signed anything though.

  12. @Episiarch

    Lame attempt to trick me. “Pain Monster” is copyrighted.

    Surely you can do better than that.

  13. John McCain was a POW?

    Wait ’till people find this out!

  14. How about “Agony Booth”?

  15. Wait… who the hell is this McCain guy?

  16. It’s electing time again?

  17. @Episiarch

    Google research:

    “Agony Amplifier” 5 hits.
    “Agony Booth” 21.800 hits.

    Don’t push your luck.

    The resemblance of your suggestion to “Suicide Booth”, suggests that it would have been even more ironic, if you had posted with the handle “Originality Drain” (4 hits).

  18. > He is not an electrifying speaker. Most people know that. But, he came across as geiune, humble and gracious and a genuinely good person.

    Sounds like something that might have been said about George W. Bush in 2000.

    (By the way, what *is* the proper way to quote around here? We need markdown!)

  19. @Episiarch

    Good day, I’m new here, but I’ve made invention which exactly fits your needs.

    It’s called the “Filled-With_Things-You-Would-Not-Want-To-Spend-Even-A-Short-Time-With Room”.*

    Sincerely, mriuQ aD odarnoeL

    *or for short: “Ends-With-Preposition Room”

  20. James Butler,

    Is this “compliance fund” exempt from the provisions of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Let’s Take the Filthy Lucre Out of Politics Act?

    If you donate to the Compliance Fund, you’re not subject to McCain-Feingold’s contribution limits? Is that how it works?

    Genius – they pass a law making compliance with campaign regulations more expensive, then exempt the expenses of complying with campaign regulations from donation restrictions. Then you can solicit buttloads of “compliance” money from donors? Is that their racket?

    I genuinely don’t know – maybe someone does?

  21. (By the way, what *is* the proper way to quote around here? We need markdown!)

    blockquote tag Nate.

  22. One thing you can say about Palin pick independent of anything else: It has kept McCain in the game for a while. If he’d gone with Tim Pawlenty or some other minimally memorable (male) suit, I can’t imagine anyone woulda tuned in Wed or Thur evening.

    What a revelation! It’s almost like they planned it that way!

  23. Hmm, I thought the speech was mediocre, but I’m a terrible audience for these speeches. I’m not sure that a record audience for a mediocre speech is a good thing.

  24. Nate: Use HTML’s blockquote tags … strip out the spaces:

    < blockquote >yaddayadda< / blockquote >

  25. I’m not sure that a record audience for a mediocre speech is a good thing.

    I think people generally liked what they saw in Palin (compared to the opponent) and were looking (or hoping) for anything to like about McCain. The speech was good compared to his norm, but it would’ve been better had he been the only one who told his story instead of hearing it 10 times within a few days.

  26. Mad Max, this doesn’t really answer your question … but what do you expect from the Straight Talk Express?

    “McCain-Palin Victory 2008 is a joint fundraising committee by the McCain-Palin Compliance Fund, Republican National Committee, and Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania Republican Parties. Because the McCain-Palin Campaign is participating in the presidential public funding system, it may not receive contributions for the any candidate’s election. However, federal law allows the McCain-Palin Campaign’s Compliance Fund to defray legal and accounting compliance costs and preserve the Campaign’s public grant for media, mail, phones, and get-out-the-vote programs. Contributions to McCain-Palin Victory 2008 will go to the Compliance Fund, and to participating party committees for Victory 2008 programs.”

    https://secure.donationreport.com/donation.html

  27. Palin and Obama were, whatever else, historical. Record numbers for McCain? There is no God.*

    (I thought the same thing when Hancock was the number one movie for weeks)

  28. Record numbers for McCain? There is no God

    There is a God, and he’s a prankster!

    Look out!

  29. All that might work out well for him especially with the excitement on the bottom of the ticket.

    Palin may have an exciting bottom, but with all of the pictures of her taken from the front, how are we to know? I can’t vote smart if I’m not fully informed.

  30. Episiarch – we could always join the Apathy Party.

  31. Vote smart, vote S-Palin! You got that?!?

  32. Episiarch – we could always join the Apathy Party.

    Not with that attitude, BP.

  33. I think its probably likely that there were 37 million Obama voters watching McCain’s speech, and 1 million republicans.

  34. To be fair, a large number of the McCain speech viewers were tuned-in to play a drinking game –“He said ‘POW’ -everybody drink!”

    Did you know that John McCain is reluctant to talk about his POW experience?

  35. Don’t war heros fight to the death?

    What example does surrendering to the enemy send to the children?

  36. “Episiarch – we could always join the Apathy Party”

    I thought the Libs were the Apathy Party! What the hell have you people ever done wothwhile?

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