Liveblogging RNC Day 2: Joe Lieberman kills the buzz
Well, citypages is moving up in the world. We’re in the top most section of the press rows, tucked behind stage right, unable to see the podium. And the Jewish Press and Der Blat flank us. The elephants love us.
Here we go:
6:30 Opera singer blasts out a version of the national anthem.
6:45 A video plays a quick montage of past Republicans who died last year, including former president Gerald Ford.
6:48ish John Boehner takes the stage and talks about the broken system, people mill around the convention floor. He blasts on about radical jihadists and the threat they pose to Americans. Media laughs in unison, discretely.
6:49 Boehner asks the delegates to stand and have their photo taken. Some audience members heckle them, “You can smile better than that Missouri!”
6:55 Journey blasts from the loudspeakers and conventioneers mill about on the floor. Most are waving signs that say, “service” and “country first.” Yells erupt when they see famous politicians enter into private luxury boxes. “Don’t top believing…” Or don’t stop deceiving yourselves.
7:00 “You can’t really touch your country…” This montage is lame. But images of Lincoln and Barbara Bush and Roosevelt get shout outs. When Reagan appears, the place goes nuts. They cheer for him louder than they do McCain. Robert Duvall narrated the montage. Doesn’t that guy have a crappy southern thriller to work on instead of voicing this crap?
7:02 Old woman with gray hair takes the stage. Didn’t catch her name. But just got word the Republicans are hosting the black delegates welcoming committee right now, so, you know, they won’t be on the floor to mess up the crowd shots.
7:04 Some Old lady says the Republicans have been waiting for them since 1882, the last time a convention was held here. More black suits walk around, not really facing her as she speaks. “Help elect Sarah Pawlenty the next vice-president!!!” she yells. Ooops. Freudian slip?
7:08 Norm Coleman walks out on stage. Hot damn, this guy has the whitest teeth on the planet. He should do commercials for Orbit gum. “Welcome to Pig’s Eye Minnesota,” says Coleman. Up on the blurry side screen (only view we have of the stage) he kind of looks like John Kerry, blue tie and all.
7:11 Coleman tells the story of the only failed McDonald’s. Then he does a few pot shots on Obama. He says conservative principles helped raise St. Paul from the death trap. He talked about how he rebuilt this great, great city. Maybe he could tell us why it’s a ghost town at 10pm on a Saturday night when no Wild game is going on. “We’ll paint this river John McCain red,” he says. Funny, I was going to paint my room John McCain red.
7:14 Coleman references the party of Lincoln. And earlier in the day Lincoln was on the convention floor. For reals, some dude dressed as Lincoln was running around on the floor. It reminds us of the joke: Did you know that Lincoln was Jewish? Yeah, he got shot in the temple…
7:15 Video: What America means to you? Some girl is talking about America over the speakers but a German looking guy who just sat down distracts me. Let’s call him, Dieter.
7:17 Dieter starts sneezing.
7:20 Miles McPherson speaks. He’s the former defensive back for the San Diego Chargers. The prayer he gives is longer than his speech. Dieter laughs when he says that America is the greatest country in the world.
7:25 Cindy McCain makes her appearance. She’s wearing a coral colored outfit, not that it’s important, I just love me some Project Runway.
7:32 Michele Bachman takes the stage. The woman has a butter-colored belt buckle over her tits. This woman makes Sarah Palin look qualified. Vacant. Vacant. Vacant. She pauses and smiles out toward the crowd. It’s a permanent cheerleader smile. Gimmie an F! A! I! T! H! What do we have? Abstinence.
7:37 “Government is not a philanthropic organization.” Cheers. “Government is not the family.” Yells. “Government is not the church.” Muted claps.
7:39 She seriously is a Stepford wife.
7:41 Just got word of a riot breaking out on 6th and Washington. The Rage Against the Machine concert must be over…
7:42 A Bangladeshi girl comes out onto the stage. She has a weird Bachman smile on her face. She is girl that Cindy McCain helped save years ago. Now she is an American girl.
7:46 Teddy Roosevelt video: The greatest Republican presidential ever to ride a horse. Now, he’s that dude you don’t recognize at Mt. Rushmore.
7:49 Christian country singer comes out to perform a song. Unlike Bachman, she wears a belt across her waist like normal folks.
7:53 Girl finishes tune. Girl start new tune. Somewhere Bristol Palin’s unborn daughter is bouncing to the beat of Jesus.
7:56 The former Arizona superintendent of schools come to the stage. Audience begins to file out for hot dogs. The murmurs in the luxury boxes behind us grow. She talks about hurricane relief and reads out numbers that appear on the screen. Texans look drunk.
8:05 HW and Barbara make their entrance. They do it while a Minneapolis fire fighter walks on stage. She waits until the cheers die down. It takes a good amount of time. HW is the Texan form of Bono.
8:07 Fire fighter talks about the I-35W bridge collapse. It’s pretty descriptive. Good use of language. Fire fighters are natural storytellers. But someone need to tell her to talk directly into the mic, she’s a little hard to hear. Speech ends abruptly. Cameras continue to snap photos in the direction of HW.
8:11 Another video on Lincoln. It mentions how he kept the nation together. It doesn’t really mention how he fought to end slavery.
8:14 A Catholic Mexican Democrat walks on the stage. Seriously. This isn’t the start of a joke. The Catholic Mexican Democrat is the godfather of John McCain’s kid. “So why does a Catholic Mexican democrat support john McCain? Faith. Hope. Love. Viva! John McCain! Viva! America!” And keep those lazy Mexicans out of our southwest?
8:20 Video about HW and his life as a former air force pilot. He survived a plane crash during WWII. Dude has huge balls. 41 is tough. He helped the Berlin Wall fall. And that made David Hasselhoff dance on top of the wall to German techno. And that makes America proud.
8:22 HW and Barbara receive another standing ovation. Texans are going crazy-crazy-crazy. Shoooweeee!
8:23 Bill Brooks comes on to the stage. He’s another regular guy. I’m thinking they put the regular guys in to provide the delegates time to sneak out and use the bathrooms. The murmurs come back in full force and most every one on the floor mills about. They shake hands and take photos.
8:27 Brooks finishes his speech. He looks relieved. It took a ton out of him. People continue to mill about, a few put on coats. The Xcel center is seriously cold. Cindy McCain looks frozen, or more frozen than usual.
8:33 CNN delivers a private gift to the writer at Advocate. We’re sure it’s from Anderson Cooper. Positive. Super-positive.
8:34 Video about a kid with asthma and his mission to become a Navy Seal. The kid becomes a Seal. He head to Iraq. He goes to Ramadi. The kid enters into a firefight. But he comes out okay. Then the kid has a grenade lobbed at him and his fellow Seals. He tosses his body over a grenade. He dies 30 minutes later. He wins the medal of honor. Michael Monsoor is his name. His family receives a tear-jerking standing ovation. Most everyone is crying in the stands. It’s pretty moving stuff.
8:40 Five medal of honor recipients are in the house tonight. Vote Republican. U-S-A!... chants the crowd. There are also 12 of McCain’s fellow POWs on hand. Did you know that McCain was a POW?
8:43 HW receive his third standing ovation of the night. With Texas representing huge it won’t be his last.
8:44 Laura Bush in da’hizzy. Is it okay for a white guy to say hizzy? My Dad’s Honduran if it makes a difference… Anyway, Laura Bush makes the case for the exciting GOP group this year of McCain/Palin. Laura loves her some female vice-president. “Thank you to the dedicated women who make the Republican Party strong,” she says. Now she talks about the man she wuvs, W. She gives a shout-out to the Supreme Court appointees. Women scream with glee. Roe v. Wade going down Mo-fos. Mo-fo is cool to use, right?
8:52 Laura is killing it. They love her. Now comes the president.
8:53 W starts before the applause dies down, he’s giving a pre-recorded speech. Camera lights are flashing throughout Xcel. Bush waits for applause lines, but always starts in before they’re over. This speech is going to take a team effort. C’mon Xcel, show your stuff.
8:55 W talks about John McCain’s experience as a POW. Did you hear that John McCain was a POW?
8:56 W uses the term, “Angry Left.” It’s an upgrade from wimpy left, I guess. W says that McCain will do amazing things like keep the tax happy folks sad. W says McCain will do and say anything he believes in. W says McCain was the lone wolf who supported the surge. W gives shout out to Sarah Palin. (This whole video thing is weird, like when you’re at the movie theater and the words don’t match-up with the pictures. You can see W counting in his head, applause 1, applause 2, applause 3, applause 4… talk.)
9:01 The screen fades away and Laura returns. She gives a couple more shout-outs to John and Cindy. And Cindy, the Fem-bot, cougar edition, will make a wonderful first lady. She will kick ass. She will kick ass as only a Fem-bot cougar edition can.
9:04 Here it comes… the tribute to Ronald Reagan. Son of a shoe maker, B-movie star, but one who never forgot who he was, that is, until he forgot everything and everyone in general. Reagan replaced Carter with conviction politics. The Reagan revolution was led by his foot soldier, John McCain. But back to Reagan, don’t want to lose this buzz. O-baby do people love this guy. The movie said he saved the county, the century and the world. If anyone doubts it they’ll be shot.
9:08 Cue the next Hollywood movie star who was supposed to inherit the Reagan throne, Fred Thompson. The man who had that knack of connecting to people, the man who, shoot, just plum don’t want take the time play the role of president. Law and Order is gonna call any day now, cross my fingers.
9:11 Thompson provides a defense of Palin. The media is in a state of panic. She will take on the establishment. She is brave. She ran a state. She, umm… Thompson just made an inside Republican joke. Didn’t get it. But Thompson loves her small town American values. Now he talks about McCain. His father was a rebel. John was the leader of the troublemakers at the academy. He drove a corvette and dated a bartender. I’m sure Cindy just loves this anecdote…
9:17 Thompson tells the story of John McCain. McCain had his plane shot down. But he got back up and went back to fly again. Then he got shot down and ejected and was captured and placed into the Hanoi Hilton. Did you hear that John McCain was a POW? They’ve been telling this story since 2000. Sheesh, I though David Foster-Wallace gave it the credit it deserves. But people still tell his POW story. They love it. And Thompson is waxing a seriously good McCain POW yarn right now. He has people convinced that McCain should be elected on the base of his character. Funny that he doesn’t mention the part of the story where McCain returns home to find his beautiful wife had turned ugly and then dumps her. That’s where it gets a little too deep and novel like and well, regular folks from small towns just plum don’t like novels.
9:26 Headline from Politico: Palin reignites culture wars.
9:27 Thompson says the Senate has been full of smooth talkers, and big talkers. Audience is confused.
9:28 Screw you, Obama, and your teleprompter speech making abilities.
9:30 Thompson is taking it to the Democrats. It would be awesome to see him and Biden in a spit-off. Bachman loves it. She’s going ape, standing at every other sentence, competing in a side-by-side smile off with Coleman.
9:32 This just in. We cannot confirm nor deny the presence of Pawlenty on the floor. But we can confirm the usage of “scruff of the neck.” Attaway Freddy swing for the fences.
9:33 Thompson defends abortion, place goes bonkers. Culture war is off and running. Be careful. Women, protect your wombs.
9:35 Thompson crushes W’s speech. Place goes nuts. Netflix will run out of Law and Order dvds tonight. Swear to God.
9:39 Here comes Gore’s Vice-presidential choice. He encourages one America. Says it shouldn’t take a hurricane to bring people together. Preaches unity, but after the performance Thompson just gave, and the culture war he just induced, this crowd isn’t up for unity.
9:43 Gore’s VP is the keynote speaker for a shortened Republican National Convention? His whiny voice is going out to the masses of NRA lovers. WTF? People are beginning to mill about. This is pretty big signal that the Grand Old Party is in trouble. They’re inviting a sappy, let’s all hold hands Democratic to tell them in a sappy voice to all hold hands. It’s confusing. This is the guy who ran with Gore. Gore! The Nobel Peace Prize winning dude who is doing everything to stop the people from using Texan oil. That Gore. We have entered into Bizarro land. Lieberman makes a joke about Michael Moore. Then he has to assure the crowd that Michael Moore doesn’t like him. People are suspect. He reminds then one more time that Michael Moore doesn’t like him.
9:45 Lieberman just gives a shout-out to Clinton. Is this guy insane? He just gave a shout-out to Clinton. The crowd is dumbfounded. Whose idea was it to invite this guy? He bears a scary resemblance to Droopy (shout-out to the Rake blogger for that line).
9:53 People are filing out of the Xcel center. They need to go drink this weirdness off with an oil executive. Gore’s VP has completely ruined their Thompson buzz. People better not remember that Giuliani was bumped to tomorrow for this guy. Lieberman is talking to the Democrats and the Independents. He is not rallying the base. He is healing the culture war with oats and vanilla yogurt.
9:58 Lieberman gives yet another shout-out to Clinton. WTF. WTF. WTF. Then follows it with a message that people need to vote for their country and not their party. He receives applause. It’s pretty mellow compared to the standing ovation the group gave to Thompson’s abortion line.
9:59 Unity, unity. We all wuv each other. And we wuv-wuv-wuv the USA.”
10:00 Did you hear that John McCain was a POW?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.