So here we are the final night of this godforsaken show, and having managed to snag the last piece of official White House press corps cheesecake. The party was over and they let me have it. So much for the food at the Convention, it wasn’t nearly as good as it was in Boston despite the fact that it’s generally better here.
Now to the program: The first speakers were lightweights and it was a good time to eat cheesecake. Our first major speaker is Tommy Franks, who is an independent and endorses the President, after all as the commanding general during the Afghan and Iraqi battles, and he’s about as responsible as Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney for the progress of the war. Possibly more than them because he was the one who let Osama Bin Laden and pals escape. So at this point, he cannot possibly endorse Kerry at this stage. He’s actually a pretty good speaker. Thus we cannot be sure how much bullshit is being slung.
The crowd is pretty attentive. I cannot see the general speak because I’m in one of the worse seats in the arena, although I’m in the press seating area. They come and check, but it seems no one here is in their proper assigned seats and getting everyone to get up and go would be an impossibility. So I get to be able to see the President make his acceptance speech from a decent angle. It’s in the round and there’s a stage painted to look like the presidential seal.
The former Railroad Commissioner of Texas, an old friend of Bush’s and a black man, gives a touching reminiscence of life back in Midland Texas in the 1980s. There’s a preview of a commercial which is totally information free. Then there’s a singer named Donnie McClerken, who’s does some mediocre and uninspired gospel music. Well, it’s a way to kill time before we go on the air and Dubya makes his big speech.
There’s some mre music and a guy named Martinez, a Cuban who’s running for the US senate, and a former secretary of something gives a speech in which he says how awful Castro was and how wonderful the US is. Having been to Cuba I can sympathize. But then he goes into the same tired spiel that we’ve been hearing all week.
We’ve got less than a half hour until the President’s address. The guy who’s going to introduce him is George Pataki, the governor of New York, who thanks the Oregon delegation for keeping the New York tourism industry going and the Iowa delegation for sending blankets for the firefighters for ground zero. He talks about what happened here on 9/11. The people in the Republican party hated this city until that day. I guess Pataki is right to thank the rest of the country for the response to 9/11. But then he goes to the usual bullshit and a few cheap jokes…he then defends the War in Iraq, and the crowd goes wild.