I think John McCain did exactly what he needed to do tonight- he delivered a speech as John McCain. Not as Barack Obama, and not even as Sarah Palin. He was John, the guy who may be the proudest American that has ever lived, and lived through years of hell as a POW with nothing more than the love of his country to keep him going.
The Dem pundits and MSM will say that being shot down and being a POW doesn't qualify you to be president... not unless character and strength of will is something you think of as important in your president.
Unlike Governor Palin, who spoke to the convention and the GOP base, McCain spoke to the nation, and (for McCain), did a bang-up job. He knows that he cannot beat Obama on lofty rhetoric, and therefore didn't even try. What he delivered was red meat for a national crowd, illustrating how he would change the nation as president, and why he was different than Barack Obama (as one commentor over at Redstate.com put it, the biggest difference is that Obama would have been on the first plane out, in reference to McCain's refusal to be let go early from his prison in Vietnam).
McCain also took a big step in calling out his own party and criticising it for its recent failures, including lack of fiscal responsibility. But, he did take time out early to congratulate President Bush for preventing another terrorist attack on American soil for the past seven years... which, if you are a fair, objective person, will admit that if you were asked that question on September 12, 2001, you would have said such a feat would be practically impossible.
The most recent CBS poll I heard tonight had McCain and Obama dead even. Let's see what the bounce will be. But, regardless of how well McCain does, let's not get too excited. There are still two months to go.
SARAH'CUDA: Haven't had enough of the new face of the GOP? Get your Sarah Palin fix and watch the "Sarahcuda" video here.
LAKE COUNTY UPDATE: I heard from Lake County Republican Headquarters today that the office was crowded in a pretty much constant stream with people demanding McCain-Palin signs, with the emphasis on PALIN, after last night's speech. Don't tell me that Sarah'cuda hasn't re-energized a GOP base that had more or less given up, according to some. Not much worry about that any more...
UPDATED: OBAMA, THE NOT-YET-READY-FOR-PRIME-TIME WOULD-BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF: Well, after ducking Fox news commentator Bill O'Reilly for months and months, Barack Obama finally sat down to give an interview and promptly admitted for the first time that not only did the "surge" in Iraq (which John McCain strongly supported) work, it worked in ways that "nobody anticipated" and beyond anyone's "wildest dreams." Maybe any Democrat's. It certainly wasn't beyond John McCain's... but then, there appears to be a lot that's above Obama's "pay grade." Military strategy appears to be another one of them.
ALSO- LAKE COUNTY GOP LEADERS SEE MCCAIN AS "PHENOMENAL": See the story in the News-Sun here.