After the challenges that delayed the start of the Convention yesterday, I was interested in seeing what the mood would be today. I wondered what the reaction of the crowd would be to the ridiculous stream of smears that the Left and the media have been slinging toward Sarah Palin. I was curious which Fred Thompson we'd see - the energized Federalist who teased us during the summer or the drab one that showed up during the fall. And I wondered whether or not Joe Lieberman could actually hold a Republican crowd.
To answer the first question, the crowd was ready.
To answer the second, everyone in the building was 100% behind Sarah Palin. Granted, the Republican National Convention isn't exactly the most unbiased crowd, but I have yet to see or hear anyone speak out against Governor Palin and her family outside of the media.
Third, Fred brought his A-Game. If you didn't see him, here's the full speech.
He had the entire crowd in the palm of his hand as he told the tale of John McCain's life and character. Fred made a magnificent case for a McCain presidency, and took the opportunity to defend Sarah Palin, attack Barack Obama, and take shots at the country's media - all worthy causes, I must say.
And to the fourth, I never thought that Joe Lieberman could enthrall a Republican crowd quite like he did. Joe isn't the speaker that Fred is, but he came out and made an impassioned plea to his fellow Democrats and independents to cross the aisle for the good of the country. I would hope that a lot of undecided voters were watching tonight, because between Fred and Joe, I can't imagine a better case being made to vote McCain.
Highlights of the day for me: pre-dinner drinks with Amanda Carpenter of Townhall.com (pictured above); the hugely positive reception Karl Rove received when he appeared in the Fox News booth; the unexpected arrival of President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara, which received a standing ovation; video presentations tying great Republican presidents, including Roosevelt, Reagan, and Bush I, to John McCain through the overarching theme of "Country First"; a testimony by a friend of John McCain who adopted a girl that Cindy McCain found in the custody of Mother Teresa; and most movingly, a tribute to Medal of Honor winner Michael Monsoor, who threw himself on a grenade in Iraq to save the life of two fellow soldiers, that had the entire arena in tears.
Tomorrow's schedule is still fluid, but everyone is anticipating Governor Palin's address. Given the nature of the media coverage on Palin since the announcement last Friday that she is McCain's running mate, everyone is hoping to see her walk through the curtain with confidence and tell the American people who she is.
(On a personal note, and I covered this yesterday and then again this morning, I continue to be absolutely disgusted with the sheer malice of the mainstream media and the attacks that they are employing to not only discredit but destroy Sarah Palin and her family. These people are insulted that neither Governor Palin nor her daughter would abort a child, and have decided that it is their civic responsibility as Obama supporters to destroy Sarah Palin and all that she represents - that is, they have decided to try to destroy the image of a woman who can have both career and family. Liberals have finally and definitively forfeited the moral high ground with their shameless assaults on Palin and her family, and I hope that it comes back and bites them hard this November.)
I'll be in attendance tomorrow to hear Palin's speech, and I'll report back with scattered thoughts tomorrow morning.