RNC, Night Three — the view from Cow Hampshire

When he first volunteered Paul and me to cover the convention, Kevin said he’d be sending us the texts of the speeches as soon as he could to make it easier for us. Monday’s texts arrived around 10:30, just as Rudy Guiliani took the stage. Tuesday’s apparently got waylaid when Kevin got trapped in among the photographers for a couple hours. And considering his attention to the GOP Babes For Bush, there’s a significant chance get distracted again, so I’ll just wing it.

But before I start, I want to make a few predictions about Cheney’s speech — about which I haven’t read a thing so far.

First, there will be a joke about Cheney arriving from an “undisclosed location.” If his wife doesn’t make it in the introduction, he will make it in his opening.

Second, Cheney will make at least one joke about his heart. If he doesn’t make the “undisclosed location” joke in his opening, it’ll be there. If not, it will be in while he’s discussing a health-care related issue.

Third, he will attack Kerry in a way previously not seen. He will mention that his sole Constitutional duty is to preside over the Senate, and slam Kerry’s absolutely abysmal attendance in the Senate (which I tackled here and here).

OK, that’s about it for now. Updates will be posted as merited. And pay close attention to the Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey when they talk after 9. Not only will they have some good local perspectives on Kerry, but watch for Healey to make a few puns off her name. Also, Romney is a huge rising star in the GOP — keep 2008 in mind while he’s talking.


9:13: “Michael Reagan, successful talk-show host.” Mr. Franken, are you listening? And here’s an adoptee who comes out swinging against abortion. Potent argument, even a pro-choicer like me can see that.

9:20: I think I’m gonna skip the Reagan tribute. I spent way too much time in tears during the week of mourning. I don’t particularly feel like going through that again.

9:29: My cat is out looking to beat up other cats again. My neighbor is attempting to discourage him with cherry tomatoes tossed from a third-floor balcony. Cut it out, Elmo…

Is it a law somewhere that every single Republican function has to feature a playing of “God Bless the USA?” I think I got sick of it after the third time I heard it…

9:35: Republicans are disco dancing! No! Nooo! Make them stop! Bring back Lee Greenwood! Hell, bring on the Pina Colada song, anything, just please God make them stop! I can’t deal with the waving cowboy hats and rhythmless Repubs!

9:42: When the Bush campaign video started with the sunrise, I heard “It’s morning in America.” It works for him. But if they bring back “there’s a bear in the woods,” I’m jumping ship.

And here’s Kerry Healey, tagging herself “that other Kerry from Massachusetts.” I’m starting to wonder if Mitt Romney partly picked her just for her name…

She’s pounding The Other Kerry on his record… Dukakis’ Lt. Gov, raising taxes…

She’s not wowing them, though. She’s doing better than the Bush twins did, but that’s not saying much. Here’s hoping Romney does better than his right-hand woman.

“Activist court.” For those not paying attention, that’s a shot at the court that legalized gay marriage.

9:45: Here’s Mitt. This could be tough. Romney is a fundamentally decent man, an honorable man. He’s not really equipped to be an attack dog. His digs lack bite — even the “sue me” line. That’s why Romney lost to Ted Kennedy in his Senate race in 1994.

“57 varieties.” Weak, Mitt. Weak.

Poor Mitt. He could be a contender, but here’s his first national political exposure, and he’s so out of his element.

9:49: Well, Romney didn’t do blow it as badly as Clinton did at his first convention, but he didn’t slam it out of the park like Guiliani or Arnold did. He’s really not at his best in situations like this. He’s a very successful businessman — I think he was involved in the startup of Staples — and a man of exceptional moral strength, but he’s not a born speaker and certainly not a born savager like Newt Gingrich. He didn’t do himself any harm, but won’t gain a huge boost from this, either.

9:55: Zell Miller’s up soon. There’s been rumors that he’ll announce he’s changing his affiliation to Republican tonight. I don’t think so — I think instead he’ll announce that he’s not leaving the Democrats, they left him, and he’s calling them back to their core beliefs. I don’t know much about Miller, but that seems the smarter political move.

Oh, no! Not more dancing Republicans! I can’t take it! I’m gonna go over to the badgers until they stop…

Oh, ick. The woman in the red dress had a GOP tattoo on her arm. It’s GOTTA be one of those temporary ones…

10:00: During “Soul Man,” I went out to get my cat, as Cindy ordered. Elmo looked at me as if to say, “What are you, nuts? You got dancing Republicans on the TV in there!” and hid under a car. Cat’s got more sense than I do…

And here’s Zell Miller, “The Conscience Of The Democratic Party.” And he comes in to “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” That’s a questionable choice…

10:11: Democrat Zell Miller starts by praising Republican Wendell Willkie. We’ve gone through the looking glass, Alice…

And now he’s ripping his own party leaders. I might be wrong. I’m picking up vibes he’s gonna bail. My hunch is still that he won’t, but my intellect is disagreeing.

Oh, he’s mad. He’s steaming. Stand back, he’s gonna blow…

He’s ripping the journalists, the poets, the protestors… and he’s just quietly taken a shot at the “no flag burning” amendment stupidity. Good on him…

Back to ripping the Democrat leaders… this is bloody and messy. Ripping Carter by name.

“Ted Kennedy and John Kerry!” Oh, that’s gonna leave a scar. That’s not a bitch-slap, not a smackdown, that’s an aggravated assault and battery.

10:15: Someone call the Audobon Society. There’s a Georgia Hawk loose in Madison Square Garden, and it’s pissed off. There’s blood all over the floor.

Booing the UN, booing France…

Man, someone turned up Miller’s fury up to 11. For too many years his party’s leaders have been pissing on his cornflakes. He’s not just burning bridges, he’s blowing them up and all the roads leading up to them and poisoning the rivers. He’s not only not taking any prisoners, he’s putting heads on pikes. There ain’t NO going back from what Miller’s doing tonight.

10:18 My hunch was right. He didn’t bolt. He closed calling himself a Democrat.

Right now, I think Miller could get himself elected as Bush’s running mate by this convention.

And here’s Lynne Cheney. Will she make the “undisclosed location” joke, or leave it for her husband?

10:20: Lynne Cheney agrees with me. Republicans shouldn’t dance.

But will she mention her gay daughter? I don’t think so…

10:23: Here’s Dick Cheney. I’m waiting for the “undisclosed location” joke…

But first, an improvised line on Zell Miller. And he formally accepts the nomination… I forgot about that little formality.

Looks like he’s going for the humble approach, with mild zingers. More self-deprecating than anything else. I’m starting to reconsider my predictions of the jokes.

10:29: Cheney’s talking about health care. It’s time to mention his heart…

But he doesn’t. Instead, he takes another shot at Edwards. I guess I never really got a feel for Cheney’s style…

10:32: Hey, a disturbance! At first I thought it was someone had fainted, but it was some asshat who got shouted down and hauled off.

10:36: I have always thought Libya surrendering it’s nuclear material was a much huger story, that deserved a LOT more play. So far Guiliani and Cheney have made a point of mentioning it.

And that “black market” that supplied nuke material and know-how to Libya, Iraq, and North Korea is shut down, without mentioning it by name. I think it was our buddy Pakistan, Mr. Vice President…

10:50: “Senator Kerry says he sees two Americas. It makes the whole thing mutual — America sees two John Kerrys.” Oh, that “Two Americas” is not just dead, it’s been processed at the morgue, sent to the funeral home, cremated, and it’s ashes scattered to the four winds. That’s what happens when you keep using the same approach over and over, Senators Kerry and Edwards. Eventually, the other side figures out how to take it away from you and severely beat you about the head and shoulders with it.

Too damn bad the crowd stepped on his punchline. He shoulda repeated the “whole thing mutual” — it really woulda added punch to the conclusion.

10:57: Well, so much for my predictions. By my reckoning, I was one for four. Miller didn’t bolt, but Cheney missed every single point I made for him. Someone didn’t give him my memo…

A solid night, but again the 10:00 speaker completely overshadowed the closer. Last night, Ahnold overpowered the First Lady. Tonight, a Democratic Senator brought the house down, and Cheney had too tough an act to follow.

OK, enough of night three. The cat’s in (he must know I’m gonna turn off the TV before we see any more dancing Republicans), and I gotta be at work early in the morning.

Until tomorrow evening…

Bush Job Approval Rises Again
Yale Student Charges Cheney


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