Well that was a truly forgettable speech. We learned that McCain is still aiming to recast himself as the real agent of change, somehow. But there was little in the speech to explain why a Washington insider who's tied himself as closely as anyone to a deeply unpopular president should be considered an agent of change. I'm reminded of a comment my father made in passing back in the 1970s about the philosophy of Republicans:

"Republicans are always in favor of change, just not now."

The other thing we learned is that McCain still believes he can capture some of Hillary Clinton's voters. But Sarah Palin offered nothing in her banal speech that would be attractive to those voters aside from her own gender.

It was a 4th or 5th drawer speech that would have been more appropriate for the state-level chicken-dinner circuit than for the national stage. No wonder John McCain looked so nervous you thought he might have a seizure right on stage.

What didn't we learn? Why Sarah Palin should be considered ready to take over the presidency. We heard nothing about her foreign policy views - if she has any. We learned practically nothing about domestic issues. She said nothing that spoke directly to the interests of voters of Ohio specifically. It was as if she didn't know how to reach out to people outside her own state.

Heck, we didn't even learn how large the crowd was in Dayton. I wonder if the McCain campaign wanted to keep it that way.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 10:05 AM PDT.

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