Thursday, August 23, 2007


In today's Politico, Elizabeth Wilner tries to imagine how George W. Bush's 2008 convention speech will go. She almost loses me in her opening sentences:

ST. PAUL, Minn., Labor Day 2008 –- Twenty-five hundred delegates to the Republican National Convention pause in their exchange of hellos on this opening night and break into warm if not wild applause.

Up to the podium steps George W. Bush....

"Not wild applause"? Nonsense. Even a year from now, the party regulars will still be Bush end-timers. Like middle-aged moms and dads at a state fair cheering on a pot-bellied rocker two decades past his sell-by date, they'll just swoon, still seeing him the way he looked to them when he was in his prime.

Besides, the GOP and the press will have spent the last seven months beating up on the Democratic nominee over some years-old bit of trivia that will become so well known it will regularly lead every late-night talk-show host's opening monologue, so the Republican nominee's chances are going to look surprisingly good -- no negative coattails from Bush. (And the press will have concluded that the GOP nominee is just such a hunk.) The preceding few months' Iran war drumbeat won't hurt either -- the public just never realized that Ahmedinewhatsis guy was so scary. And what about that terror alert a week earlier, the one that shut down fifteen blocks of midtown Manhattan mere hours before the Democratic nominee's acceptance speech in Denver? Scary stuff, hunh?

Oh, and the wedding. In her article, Wilner imagines it taking place in June '08, but she sees it as "no match for overall Bush fatigue." Well, probably not -- but Laura's announcement of Jenna's pregnancy a few hours before W. speaks will send a ripple of excitement through the hall. That and nephew George P.'s arrival at the hall in his Naval Reserve uniform will set the stage for an ecstatically received speech.

It'll all be about how we have to kill a lot of terrorists because we love our families. Jenna and Mr. Jenna will introduce Laura, who'll introduce George W.; A teary-eyed Poppy will come out at the end (though his son will mostly ignore him).

Wilner imagines the content of the speech:

What good news Bush has to deliver to the party faithful this evening is tempered. While Europe continues to be terrorized, there hasn't been another attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

The markets are chugging along, though not at their 2007 highs. Investors are hedging their bets against a Democratic White House. The just-concluded Beijing Olympics represented a brief respite from an otherwise worsening U.S. relationship with China, which both presidential nominees now blame for America's economic woes....

But Republicans don't want good news from Bush. They want bad news -- they want to hear that America is under siege, then they want to hear that it's all OK because God wants them to triumph, and the triumph will be happen as long as no Democrat is ever elected to any office ever again.

Bush can certainly manage that.

Oh, it'll go just fine, unfortunately.

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