This has been one of the longer days in recent memory, beginning with a blogger breakfast at 8:00. The day included technical problems with our internet connections; our first video post; interviews with a number of luminaries including Ed Koch, Ken Mehlman, Ari Fleischer, and, most memorably, recent Miss America Erika Herold; a National Review party at which I met Rich Lowry and Byron York; an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show along with John Podhoretz; and, finally, an evening spent inside the hall watching the first night of the convention. I just got back to my hotel a few minutes ago, and will wait until morning to post detailed impressions of the speeches.
A few preliminary comments: John McCain is at best an adequate speaker, but it is hard for me to believe that he can’t muster a more enthusiastic delivery for his endorsement of President Bush. I think his speech was important simply because of who McCain is, but it could have been much more effective if delivered better. McCain waited until the last fifteen seconds to show any emotion.
Rudy Giuliani was nuclear. He went on a little too long, but the middle portion of his speech, in which he eviscerated John Kerry, was a brilliant performance. Kerry cannot withstand that kind of ridicule from a man with as much credibility as Giuliani. And Giuliani’s reminiscences of the events of September 11 were important, if only because the media studiously avoid recalling them or showing images of them, lest Americans be roused to fury and tempted to support President Bush.
I’ll elaborate on what I observed in the hall in the morning, and probably post some video footage too, but for now I want to go back to our interview with Erika Herold, who will address the convention Wednesday evening and begin her studies at Harvard Law School on Thursday.
She is an attractive young woman, as one would expect, but that really is secondary. I’ve rarely met a more impressive young person of either sex. She is intelligent, extremely poised and articulate, and has a lively, immensely likable personality. And she projects an impression of kindness that is rare, especially in one so young. Herold is a strong conservative, whose views sometimes brought her into conflict with the Miss America people, and she could have a very bright future in Republican politics. She couldn’t possibly have been friendlier to a group of bloggers, who, contrary to what you might expect, tend to be a bit nerdy. Here she is:
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