The Conventions from OverseasBesides the other things I refer previously to missing because of this vacation, I have certainly been sorry to be confined to BBC/ITV/Sky coverage of the two conventions. I do very much look forward to the campaign when I get home, and am even more excited that there will be a Canadian campaign, it seems, during that time, which will of course be relatively colourless.
But the British coverage has been interesting. There was the knee-jerk BBC swoon after Obama's acceptance speech, though the parts I have seen did not strike me as some of his better speech-giving, but rather some of his toughest talk and major continuing migration to the centre. How must the reflex lefties who got him the nomination be feeling now?
What has amazed me here was the BBC's, and every network's, response to Sarah Palin's acceptance speech. This was certainly partly driven by the low expectations, but, and I have watched the speech on YouTube now (what a great tool!), by how marvelously she delivered it, especially when the teleprompter appeared to fail and she began to deviate a little from prepared text. It is very easy to see how she became governor and why she has high approval ratings. And her role as a self-appointed pit bull with lipstick should create a lot of entertainment in the weeks to come. My favourite British comment on Palin came from SkyNews yesterday morning : "We don't have any women like that here", with a response from another commentator that maybe far in the North (Scotland?) they might. (Of course they likely do have all sorts of such women, but I do not think they have come along so far as to allow them to express their skills in the same way. The UK has changed a lot, but not as much as it needs to.)
I do not get at all the many blog references I have seen describing her as shrill and negative. I thought all the criticisms of Obama were utterly fair, though I wish she would keep her index finger in the speech and stop waving it around and pointing it at me. Jackie Danicki has a post that captures a good bit of my overall view, and Megan McArdle's somewhat random reflections hit many points I agree utterly with. McCain knew he had to roll the dice, and did he ever!
I found the mixed reviews for McCain's acceptance speech odd - he is a terrible orator, of course, but he moved me terribly when he described the ultimate effect of his torture in the hands of the North Vietnamese. And I thought he reached out brilliantly to the centre as well.
Continuing disclosure : I would still vote Democrat had I a ballot, and again only because I cannot see how the Republicans can build a decent and competent team of advisers, especially on economic issues, and have full confidence that Obama will do that. And I am someone who has reached the stage of considering Obama a pompous windbag, who has a running mate who is even more so.
When you read this I will have moved on to Germany, and am even more curious about what they make of Sarah Palin.