Perhaps, I shouldn’t have talked to anyone before I reached my own conclusions about the speech. I have to say I liked it, though not nearly as much as I liked Sarah Palin’s last night. Still, it moved me more than I had expected it to.
Was it the speech, a week of constant blogging or the sadness in realizing today was the last day of a convention where I met and befriended many people whom I had only previously known as pixels on a screen which caused me to pause, sit back (or stand up) as the case may be and focus on the speech and not considering how to formulate a verbal reaction to it.
I watched, I listened, I was moved. I was not wowed as I had been last night, leaving on Cloud Nine, floating out of the Xcel Center, so dazed I headed in the wrong direction at one freeway interchange. Then, I was full of energy, exuberant, ecstatic almost.
Tonight, I was more subdued. It was a much different speech, a much different leader delivering it.
Sarah Palin’s was clearly the best speech of the convention. This was only one of the best, better certainly than Barack Obama’s last week, not as good as Fred Thompson’s or Rudy Giuliani’s this week.
Perhaps, that’s because there was less excitement about this speech. People tuned into Palin’s speech, curious about her because of the stories circulating in the media about that good woman. Americans wanted to see who she was. Not just that, as blogger Josh Trevino put it, “we know McCain, and there is no anticipation of the new” (via Instapundit).
As I left my spot on the rafters and descended to join my friends at the Pajamas TV booth, something struck me about the speech. It may be significant. Or it may mean nothing at all. I was struck by what I will call his “framing device.” He began and ended the speech with acknowledgement, expressions of gratitude.
At the beginning, he acknowledged his rivals for the Republican nomination and expressed his gratitude to the president and his family. He concluded by acknowledging his fellow POW Bob Craner, telling us how that good man “saved” him.
Maybe I read too much into this, but it says a lot of a man that he frames this speech by acknowledging how much he owes to others, showing how grateful he is for their love, their inspiration, their support, their compassion. He knows, more, he recognizes what he owes to others. For no one who has achieved any measure of success in any given endeavor could have accomplished anything without the support of others.
Devoting so much time in a speech of this significance suggests a certain humility, something we don’t see in many politicians, particularly this election cycle.