I only hear the speeches and worse, hear them on NPR. There, commentators tell you after a speech what deprecatory things you should have thought in case you didn’t think them. We tuned in last evening just as Clint Eastwood began speaking. We didn’t know then what is evident here that I watched this morning, the stage business with the empty chair. I also know this morning, from reading the news, that the response is mixed on Eastwood’s speech, but I tell you that from out here, he stole the stage last night by saying a few simple things and saying them simply. “You own this country!” Is it just a tell on me, an awful simplicity on my part, that all of the carefully written speeches given last evening, that line of Eastwood’s and the response of the crowd was all I remembered when I woke up this morning.
I heard Mitt Romney accept the nomination for president last evening. I thought he delivered a fine speech and Marco Rubio spoke well when introducing him. They, everyone I heard over the last few days, sounded grand, mostly smooth, well rehearsed, all they should be and all I expect and therefore wholly unmemorable. The guy who bumbled a little, sounded like my uncle saying what he would like to say to the president if he ever could; that I remember. Corny? Sure enough, American corn right through and welcome at the table. I read someone this morning who said it was a reminder of the less-scripted conventions of fifty years back and I believe it. Here’s to old-fashioned conventions.