Tuesday, August 31, 2004

# Posted 11:11 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

ON THE FLOOR WITH LAURA & ARNOLD: Along with Tom Bevan from RealClearPolitics, I had the opportunity to stand right behind the Kansas delegation, right on the convention floor during Arnold and Laura's speeches.

My first reaction is that both speeches fell somewhat flat. Arnold told the story of a young Austrian who came to America with nothing in his pockets but hope in his heart. He established a decent rapport with the crowd, but there was no real emotion in the story so it came off as shopworn and predictable.

Strangely, Arnold identified Richard Nixon as the man who inspired him to become a Republican, then left Nixon of off his list of great Republican presidents.

In the second half of his speech, Arnold talked about the importance of having faith in the American economy and not listening to the nay-saying "economic girlie-men." He got some compulsory laughs but not much more.

And what exactly does it mean that you should have faith in the economy? That you should ignore the statistics and the government's policies? That you should assume things will get better even if they aren't so great right now? That's hardly a ringing endorsement of the President.

After Arnold spoke, Jenna & Barbara came out to introduce their mother. They started out with bad jokes and stuck with their bad jokes all the way to the bitter end. Next to me, Tom was cringing and muttering under his breath.

It's not just that their jokes were inappropriate. Yes, it's embarrassing when the daughters of the family-values president remind their grandparents that Sex and the City is a television show and not just something your not supposed to talk about.

The bigger problem was that the twins came across as childish and totally lacking in substance. That is not what George Bush needs to help him overcame his reputation for being a lightweight.

These girls -- women, perhaps -- are graduates of some of America's best universities. Can't they talk about politics or ideas? Or at least talk about their father as a human being? Instead, they came across as self-involved, self-indulgent sorority girls.

Well, the clock is ticking and the bar is open so I'll share my thoughts about Laura a little bit later. Cheers!
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