5:22 Central Time: Just setting up the post. Let's watch!
5:31: Ugh. CNN is still going over and over the hurricane. Would they be making so much of a hurricane of this dimension if it was the Democratic Convention?
5:32: I'll have to run off at some point to go to a hair appointment. Feel free to tell me how you think I should get my hair cut. Pictures especially appreciated.
5:49: The subject is whether Sarah Palin should stay home with her "special needs" child. Can you be a mother and pursue a career? Gloria Borger, a self-identified "working mom," says you can't make "generalizations," and everyone must make her own decision.
5:57: Wolf Blitzer is pushing the meme -- which I've heard elsewhere -- that McCain is a "maverick" and that means he makes impulsive decisions like the choice of Sarah Palin. He doesn't add -- but there are versions of this meme where it is added -- that this supposedly gut level choice of Sarah Palin should stand as a warning about the way he will make decisions about foreign policy.
6:38: Super-serious singing of the the national anthem, but I really don't like the singer's enunciation. Weird to have the flag waving on a digital screen.
8:22: I'm back. Hair cut. Just scrolled through all the stuff I missed, and it seems like virtually nothing.
8:43: Very moving presentation of the story of a Medal of Honor winner, Michael Monsoor. I see from the NYT that Senator Lieberman spoke, but I didn't see that in my scroll-through, so I didn't mean to count that as "virtually nothing." What I saw was a lot of Blitzer et al. commentary. [ADDED: No, that was just a preview. I didn't miss it.]
8:53: It's Laura Bush, extolling her husband as a man of principle and resolve. She praises his achievements: the appointment of women and 2 new Supreme Court Justices, the faith based initiative, the fight against AIDS -- "you might call that change you can really believe in" -- "and let's not forget, President Bush has kept the American people safe." Will Laura's husband ever be honored? Does she believe he will? She introduces him.
8:56: And here he is, on the video screen. "I know the hard choices that fall solely to a President. John McCain's life has prepared him to make those choices. He is ready to lead this nation."
9:09: A film clip about Reagan. In the car, I heard the film clip about Abraham Lincoln. The Republican Convention, much more than the Democratic Convention, highlights the heroic individual. This fits the party's ideology. John McCain was "a foot soldier" in "the Reagan Revolution." Reagan "broke the self-confidence of the Evil Empire of Communism." And he had Nancy. He put "country first." ("Country First" is the new McCain campaign slogan.)
9:14: And now: Fred Thompson. Ah! He springs to the defense of Sarah Palin. "I say give me a tough Alaskan Governor who's taken on the political establishment of the largest state in the Union and won over the Beltway 'business as usual' crowd any day of the week!"
9:18: Fred says Sarah has got the other side "in a state of panic." And she knows "how to field dress a moose." Now, he's telling the story of John McCain's life, "putting his country first." He's putting a lot of passion into the delivery. The harrowing story of McCain's imprisonment. "We hear a lot of talk about hope these days. John McCain knows about hope. That's all he had."
9:29: Remember. After the comments go over 200, you need to click on "post a comment" and then "newer" to keep the conversation going. I know a lot of you know how to do that.
9:35: "The respect [John McCain] is given around the world is not because of a teleprompter speech designed to appeal to America's critics abroad... *ahem*.... no, it's not that."
9:38: Obama is "history-making" all right: he's the most inexperienced, left-wing candidate the Democrats have ever run -- says Thompson.
9:52: The CNN commentary is insufferable. After Thompson, they all just kept saying "red meat."
9:55: It's Joe Lieberman. I kind of love this guy. I voted for him one time. Man, he is a boring speaker though. I can't imagine him as the VP candidate. Palin is a much better speaker.
9:59: "I'm here to support John McCain because country matters more than party."
10:05: "Eloquence is no substitute for a record," Lieberman says of Obama. Now, he compares Obama to Bill Clinton. Clinton stood up to interest groups and worked with Republicans for major achievements. [ADDED: He was saying Clinton was better than Obama: "In the Senate [Obama] has not reached across party lines to get anything significant done, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party. Contrast that to John McCain’s record, or the record of the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of those same Democratic interest groups and worked with Republicans to get important things done like welfare reform, free trade agreements, and a balanced budget."]
10:07: Sarah Palin is a "great lady."
10:12: He's warming up. Maybe it's not so boring now. "These are not ordinary times and John McCain is no ordinary candidate." He says what he thinks is right... ah... too much repetition. John McCain has character and experience....
10:17: After-speech commentary. Donna Brazile is talking fast but stumbles in a way -- "Look, Joe... Lieberman is a man... " -- "speaking at this conviction, this convention" -- that makes me feel sure she's reading from a teleprompter.
10:21: David Gergen thinks Lieberman has "extremely annoyed" some Democrats by not only supporting his old friend McCain but also really going after Obama "in a very personal way."
10:43: That's it for me. A decent convention night. The highlight was Fred Thompson's dramatization of McCain's Vietnam experience. Or was it Joe Lieberman telling everyone we should vote against his party?