Really, I was planning to watch Sarah Palin’s speech the other night. But I made the mistake of tuning in a bit early, and Linda Lingle put me right to sleep—my stars, what an awful speaker; did they put her on just to make the others look good? I woke up somewhere in the middle of Rudy vowing to annex the Sudetenland or whatever he was ranting about. I couldn’t bear that, so I gave up and went to bed. I’ve seen only snippets; maybe I’ll watch the whole thing eventually. Or not.
Last night the Terror Porn disgusted me so thoroughly—why isn’t that getting more attention? Am I really that sensitive?—that I didn’t even try to watch McCain; although again I’ve seen snippets (including, fortunately, what sounded like the Football Hooligan section drowning out an idiot protester with drunken chants of “U S A! U S A!”) (and hey, it turns out McCain was a POW!).
Which is probably all just as well. Political speeches and speakers in our era pretty much suck1. From what I saw of Palin she’s not a super-great orator (unless you’re comparing her to poor Linda Lingle). She did seem to be enjoying herself, which I suppose is enough. McCain just seems uncomfortable. Oh, there are some who aren’t bad: Huckabee has a certain folksy appeal, for example, not that he ever has anything to say. But even Barack Obama, by far the best of the current lot, leaves me (heresy!) a little cold.
The only political speech I’ve ever heard that genuinely moved me2 was one from before I was even born: JFK’s inaugural, which I happened to hear on the radio one day. Hearing that I was ready to join the Peace Corps. It’s probably just as well it was a Sunday morning.
1. Ack, I sound like an old codger bitching about the world going to hell in a handbasket. Maybe I should be a Republican.
2. Not counting MLK. He was a Prophet, in the truest sense of the word, not a politician.