Despite the rainy weather,
Oddest use of prime time: Clint Eastwood's improvisation with an empty chair
They seemed to love it inside the hall, but the folks in charge of keeping the program on schedule were going nuts as Clint's nearly incomprehensible riff went on and on and on. Go ahead, make my nominee's speech run late.
Biggest disaster that turned into an advantage:
As the storm approached Florida, the conventional wisdom was that it could ruin the
Most artful purveyor of mendacity: Paul Ryan
The vice-presidential nominee did a whiz-bang job in his speech. Afterward, numerous fact checkers pointed out the many misleading statements and false assertions peppered throughout Ryan's script. But most convention speeches stretch the truth in order to bring the audience to a conclusion that makes the other guys look bad. Ryan was brazen but artfully skirted outright lies.
Best attack dogs: Republican women
Faintest praise: Video tribute to the
While Democrats are putting President Clinton center stage at their convention, the Republicans limited the exposure of presidents Bush 41 and 43 to a video of the father and son chatting about the experience of being in the
Even fainter praise: Video tribute to
Convention organizers gave Paul a brief tribute on the big screen but would not even allow his vote total to be read out during the roll call of the states – a totally unnecessary affront to all those young libertarian Ron Paul fans whose ties to the Republican Party are already tenuous.
Worst bit of political timing: Holding the GOP convention the week before the Democratic convention
Any bounce coming from this well-presented three days of assaults on the Obama administration is likely to be quickly stifled when the Democrats seize the microphones next week.
Biggest winner: Mitt Romney
His convention managed to humanize him (great use of home movies in the video bio), plus his meandering speech had one sharp attack line that may resonate: "You know something's wrong with the job [Obama's] doing as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him."