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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What a letdown ... or was it?

If Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday was as magnificent as all the breathless bloviators on the right have been telling us, then John McCain’s address at the convention’s close on Thursday was dreadful. Monotonic, flat, unexciting, a bit clumsy.

But if McCain’s speech was good — which it was, because he spoke from his heart, laid out his vision for America and came across as sincere — then Palin’s much-ballyhooed moment in the spotlight 24 hours earlier was just theater. All style, no substance; a performance that was long on oratorical skills, but woefully short on message. Made for TV. In other words, phony.

That said, it’s also worth noting the most glaring element of McCain’s speech: He never mentioned George W. Bush by name. He cited the unpopular chief executive just once, and when he did, he referred to him only as “the president of the United States.” That speaks volumes.



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