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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why Republicans are better at conventions.

But, to extend a point I raised last night, I don't think the definition of McCain has been sharp enough. Each speaker seemed to approach the task his/her own separate way (and sometimes not at all), leaving viewers with a kind of mish-mash of objections: too many houses, too unilateralist, too long in Washington, too close to right-wingers, too resistant to energy reform. The one person who distilled the objections into a single, pithy critique was Kerry, with his inspired "Senator McCain" versus "candidate McCain" riff. But I worry it'll get lost in the whirlwind.

Which brings me to my point: Had the Republicans stumbled onto such a worthy frame, their convention would have played it on a permanent loop. (I'm sure they'll do that anyway, with less inspired material.) Every no-name speaker would have repeated it, so that, even if you'd barely been paying attention, you'd be mouthing it unconsciously by the end of the week.
I'm becoming very curious about just what form that "less inspired material" will actually take. What are the smears that the Republicans are going to run with at their convention?

They seem to really like the whole "The One" meme a lot, but that's not going to take them very far, especially after a sizable chunk of Obama's highly publicized speech is devoted to praising the hard work of his disciples volunteers and laying the groundwork for the biggest voter registration drive in history.

After Paris Hilton and Housegate, the celebrity line of attack seems pretty stalled, too, and doesn't make a lick of sense at a shrine to Ronald Reagan attended by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. (UPDATE: Whoops. Looks like Arnold's afraid he'll get his skirt dirty.)

The Muslim thing seems pretty far past its sell-by date. Same with Rezko, despite the heroic efforts of my cousin to flog that dead horse.

So is it just going to be the infanticide smear? Is that the last bomb left to throw? Will they call him gay? Back again to Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers? The nation can't be this stupid, can it?