Obviously, I'm biased...
This was a weird first day to tell you the truth, very dissonant:
The three most notable speakers were in order George W. Bush, Fred Thompson, and Joe Lieberman.
Bush, conveniently held up in Washington overseeing the Hurricane Gustav disaster. Really? What exactly is he doing anyway? Felt like banishment more than service.
Thompson gave a really good speech especially for his standards, the most dynamic and articulate I've heard from him, but he threw out some serious red meat and some very typical party line conservative talking points.
Lieberman's speech was the weirdest, praising McCain's efforts on global warming and immigration, for example, which failed to get much of an applause from the group. And calling for bi-partisonship and inter-party cooperation to an audience that clearly and truly is not interested in such things.
Which really speaks to the challenge of this campaign. McCain really wants to be who he is, a traditional conservative, mainly, but someone who most wants to shake things up, go his own way, do things he believes in, like immigration reform (my personal pet issue) or global warming.
But does the core of this party really want a deviation from the last eight years? Didn't Bush get elected as president two straight times by this base? They don't want immigration reform, or government intervening on global warming's behalf. What is even more strange, while Palin has a record of shaking things up, she also has a record of being very solidly within the far right of the republican party, on oil, on the environment, on drilling, on global warming.
So, how do you blend a story of conservative red meat, and loyalty to Bush's party, with McCain's desire to rebel from the party and go his own way.
There was definitely some dissonance felt by me in this regard, especially with Lieberman's speech. And that's the problem with this campaign, McCain is an appealing person and could make a good president, but will his party truly let McCain be McCain.
"He's trying to run against his own party without running against his own party." - Mark Shields during post commentary.
I do want to say that Fred Thompson told McCain's story very well. He was the perfect person to tell it. His biography was breathtaking and one really good reason why McCain would have made a good presidential candidate in 2000. Why wasn't his biography good enough for them then, when if I remember correctly he was found unfit to govern because of his POW experiences by his own party.
And make no mistake about it, his biography was barely good enough for the party now, he won this nomination with a lot of luck.