The straight talk train wreck
And then there was John McCain's speech from Kenner, LA, just outside New Orleans. (which McCain uses four syllables to pronounce)
As the kids say, OH - MAH - GOD.
If one word had to be picked to describe this performance, that word would be, painful. Watch it at the link below and you'll instantly agree.
Here's this stiff, wooden guy in front of a listless small crowd, reciting a speech that he's clearly laboring hard to make sound natural, complete with unnatural gestures that don't match the words ala Bush Sr.
The crowd didn't have any idea where they were supposed to applaud despite staff plants in the audience which would try to give them their cues, so McCain would stop for applause, and hearing none, continue. THEN, there'd be a smattering of applause after he'd already moved on.
And worst of all, some speechwriter had thought it clever to try to give old John a catch phrase he could repeat during the speech... you know, to make it memorable and get the crowd going. Why John might even do his famous creepy chuckle too.
So every so often, McCain would do his creepy chuckle through what looked like clenched teeth, and say, "THAT'S not change you can believe in."
Perhaps the most painful moments in a painful speech. See how long you can take it. (pay special attention to the repeating punch line and the skeevy fake laugh.)
You can watch the atrocity here as well in a slightly larger version.
It's just awful. You really should watch it, though a sense of pity might prevent you from watching to the end.
Then just when it couldn't get worse, not long afterwards, Obama was shown speaking to 18,000 people in a fever pitch of enthusiasm and support, and at the very venue where the Republicans will anoint poor old John later this year.
After seeing the two speeches back to back (and thank goodness MSNBC at least broke into the McCain speech to announce that Obama had crossed the finish line and secured the nomination, thus ending the carnage.) One truly wondered why McCain didn't just concede right then and there.
It was quite possibly the worst, and most embarrassing political speech I've ever seen. You couldn't possibly catch all of what he was saying because the sheer weirdness was too distracting.
I was actually put in mind of the infamous opening remarks at a debate by the late Vice Admiral James Stockdale, who obviously overwhelmed and over his head, opened his remarks by saying, "Who am I? Why am I here?" in a manner indicating he was asking himself that question rather than the audience.
Enduring the McCain travesty, I found myself thinking as utterly unbelievable as it sounds, that McCain just may be a worse speaker than Bush. (I know, I know... but watch it and then tell me I'm crazy.)
The commenters here didn't seem to care for it too much either.
A few reviews of the McCain style:
"McCain has a sing-songey cadence, like he's reading a children's book to a 5 year old for the 400th time. It puts me to sleep. He speaks like a bedtime story."
"I think some image consultant convinced McCain to try to maintain his calm as much as possible and to control his tendency to whip himself into a froth of furious gibberish. As a consequence, he's begun to sound like a bizarre version of Mister Rogers with a poor command of facts."
"I almost felt sorry for old man McCain when I was watching that putrid speech, but then I remembered I was the one being subjected to that drivel. And what about that seemingly on cue Jack o' lantern smile he was sporting? Weird stuff, I tell ya!"
"George W. Bush has a goofy smile and idiotic panting chuckle that's only made more comic by the way his shoulders bounce up and down as he snickers. McCain stares directly at you through the camera as he grins too broadly and you hear the chuckle coming from the back of his throat, but his face and body remain frozen, giving no indication that the chuckle is coming from him. It's just plain creepy."
Surely, the McCain camp will lock McCain in a room with a speech coach. It simply can't get much worse than this.
But of course, Obama has some truly disturbing numbers when it comes to certain key demographics, and his rather dismal performance the last few months isn't exactly confidence inspiring. McCain may indeed make it a tough race for Obama, though it's hard to imagine that simply comparing their presence on stage won't be enough in itself to cinch it for Obama.
And with the shrewdness displayed thus far by David Plouffe and Obama's team, his great good fortune to be running to succeed a much despised failure as president, and the Republican's choice of opponent, I have no doubt that Obama has another historic achievement in store.