First Night Reax

David Weigel:

How awful is his life going to be come January, when Democrats win enough Senate seats to stop humoring him? How much worse will it be if Barack Obama is in the White House? Pretty bad, I'd expect. So Joe's speech, leaking out to press now, isn't too hard on the man from Hope. It's mostly praise for the man who plays Moe to his Larry.

Michael Crowley:

It was odd to see George W. Bush speaking to the convention remotely from the White House. He looked like a man in exile--or maybe a quarantined leper.

Michael Schaffer:

It's early yet, I know, but thus far it seems the overwhelming tone of the Republican Convention is nostalgia. Shot after shot of a room full of white people cheering shout-outs to Theodore Roosevelt, applauding commemorations of aging Medal of Honor winners, misting up at video footage of Ronald Reagan.  Every image up on that giant screen painted in sepia...what about this century?

Franklin Foer:

Keeping Bush locked up in the White House turned out to be a mistake. The crowd  wanted to erupt and warmly embrace him. Instead, the whole moment felt rushed and disembodied. And it was clearly hard for him to deliver a full-throated political speech from the White House. All in all, it had the feel of a busted play.

Rod Dreher:

Fred Thompson is giving 'em the populist red meat over Sarah Palin, attacking the media for its elitism. Smart. This is the GOP message of the day. Huck was on it earlier, zeroing in on the media. It's very clear now that the GOP is going to run against Barack Obama and the New York Times. The anti-Palin freakout over the past four days has given them opportunity. You can't go to that well often enough.


Lieberman is talking about 'my Democratic friends.' I thought his lack thereof was the reason he is here tonight.

Jay Nordlinger:

The feel of the Republican convention, compared with the Democratic convention, is flat. Could be the strange, hurricane-caused truncation. But the convention seems less tight, less purposeful, and less excited (and therefore less exciting).

Samantha Sault:

From my seat in section 226, a mention of Sarah Palin got the loudest cheers. Although many say this crowd doesn't compare to that in Denver, I have a feeling that the atmosphere will be electric when the Republican VP nominee takes the stage tomorrow night.