Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Last night I watched President Bush's convention speech, with my laptop open, and kept a diary of what I saw and heard. This diary is very, very boring, and that is why I didn't post it last night. His speech was fine, but not all that revolutionary, I thought. He delivered it nicely. Nothing magnificent, but nothing much to make fun of. Nevertheless, I tried. And so I now present: my watching-the-convention diary, even if it's kind of boring and trails off at the end without much fanfare:

10:04 – I don’t know which channel to watch. PBS has a video about President Bush’s bravery after the 9/11 attacks with an unusually deep-voiced narrator who sounds like he needs some helium. It must be a video that’s being played at the convention. "Derek Jeter bumped into the President on the way to the mound... George Bush took the mound. What he did that night: he helped us come back. That’s the story of this Presidency. No matter what, you keep pitching." That’s a pretty forced analogy. Sorry. He threw out the first pitch at the World Series. It’s not a metaphor for the Presidency. It’s what he was supposed to do at a baseball game. Really, I don't get it. Someone may have a hard time convincing me that in fact what President Bush was doing at the World Series was demonstrating to the terrorists that the United States will never give in, as opposed to just throwing out the first pitch.

10:07 – Here’s President Bush. I see he went with the blue tie. The PBS commentator sounds like he’s on drugs. "Audience on all sides... I mean on three sides... that introduction video was narrated by Fred Thompson, former senator, now an actor. A full-time actor." Hmmm. I didn’t like his voice. The crowd is chanting, "Four More Years."

10:09 – He’s starting his speech. Surprise here: he’s accepting the nomination. Wow. That caught me off guard. Thought he was going to punt that one over to Pat Buchanan. He has some squinting problems with the teleprompter.

10:10 – Good delivery so far. He’s rehearsed. Reading very slowly. Almost too slowly. Lots of short sentences. He seems surprised by the applause. He’s smiling. "I am fortunate to have a superb Vice President." Dick Cheney looks very mean tonight. "And we love our First Lady." He looked a little too smarmy when saying that. This speech seems too much about him so far. Introducing everyone he’s related to. Name-dropping. I’m waiting for him to introduce his dog, his barber, and his favorite midnight snack. "There's some Pringles over there in the first row. And we love our Pringles."

10:14 – There’s something disconnected about his delivery, although he’s doing fine so far. It just really seems like he’s reading and not actually engaged in what he’s saying. "Nothing will hold us back" seems to be the common refrain so far. I think I’ve heard it twice.

10:15 – Yes, there it is again. "Nothing will hold us back." That’s an interesting tag line. I guess it basically means "Terror and fear won’t hold us back," but it seems a little bold. If I were a terrorist, I would take that as a challenge. Nothing? Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

10:16 – "Compassionate conservative philosophy... that government should help people improve their lives, not run their lives."

10:18 – "We will extend the frontiers of freedom."

10:19 – "Two-thirds of all moms work outside the home." -- Was this supposed to be an applause line? Some people clapped, but then the camera showed some people mindlessly waving a flag with blank expressions on their faces. I can't figure out who's applauding this one. Moms?

10:20 – This speech, like any other speech at any convention, could have been given at any time in this nation’s history, by anyone, in any party. "To create jobs, my plan will encourage investment and expansion...." Fine, but who’s disagreeing with it? I could probably grab pieces from Kerry's speech and no one would know the difference.

10:22 – We must protect workers from frivolous lawsuits. That an Edwards dig?

10:23 – "The current tax code, which is a complicated mess" got a laugh. I think it was the delivery. Laughs are good though.

10:26 – Health savings accounts? This seems like a bad form of not-insurance. Why are people so happy about this? It’s their own money they can save tax-free. Weird. I'd rather have health insurance

10:27 – I’m watching CBS now. He mentioned OB-GYNs and they showed some teenage kid nodding along. What does this teenage boy know about OB-GYNs?? Perhaps too much...

10:28 – I wonder if people’s hands get tired from all of this clapping. "Our laws should never stand in the way of a more family-friendly workplace." This is not exactly what he means, is it? Our laws should promote family-friendliness, right? We don’t have laws that are standing in the way exactly, do we? Or at least not as many as the number of laws we could have promoting it... no law is *stopping* businesses from having paternity leave, they just may not be doing it. Stuff like that.

10:32 – "We will leave no child behind."

10:33 – People are chanting "Viva Bush." Nice.

10:34 – I am very bored. Please finish soon.

10:37 – "[Kerry’s tax and spend policies] are the politics of the past. We are on a path to the future, and we’re not turning back." Props to the speechwriter for that revolutionary line I think he stole from every other campaign ever.

10:38 – When Bush said something about unborn children, I didn’t see NBC show any pregnant people. Why not? Where’s the creative camera work??

10:39 – No one here seems to like activist judges.

10:40 – They just showed some idiot dressed up like Abe Lincoln.

10:41 – "Prevident Clinton." You know him?

10:42 – Man wearing cheese on his head. Shown after Bush said terrorism. Weird. Terrorist cheese.

10:44 – Ooh, they just showed security taking out some woman. Wonder what she did.

10:55 – NBC just showed the Bush twins. They don’t look thrilled to be there.

11:05 – The "humor" portion of the speech is falling flat. Must be whoever wrote the Bush twins' speech. Bush has a weird chuckle thing going on. I don’t like the President making jokes that people have to correct his English.

11:07 - He seems almost done. I'm more than done. Nothing else interesting is going to happen, or so I decree.