Pay no attention to the “R” next to my name…

Senator John McCain was a POW. I bet you didn’t know that…

In all fairness, Senator McCain’s speech last night was Exhibit A why most Americans watch football instead of political conventions when given a choice. His delivery was wooden, he can’t read the teleprompter, the green and blue backgrounds on the tight shots were hideous and he said very little anyone undecided would care about. Not that he didn’t try.

After Governor Palin finished her acceptance speech, McCain looked ancient next to the vibrant Palin family. He always looks every bit of the 72 years old he is. It doesn’t inspire much confidence in his longevity, if elected. However, the embalmer worked overtime with the Senator during his speech and only Gene Simmons wears more make-up on stage.

I can give you the short version of the boring, insomnia-preventing speech: Please ignore the minor fact that the Republican Party has held the White House for the last eight years and for the last year I pretty much agreed with the current holder of the office, George W. Bush, nearly a 100% of the time. I’m the change guy, not the articulate black man with a Cosby/Huxtable family for the 21st century.

I’m not sure the undecided voters will swallow that one.

Last week at the Democratic Convention, I enjoyed how Senator John Kerry used a variation of the Comedy Central bit of making fun of Candidate Bush and President Bush and applied it to Senator McCain and Presidential candidate McCain on a variety of issues. It was telling. In the acceptance speech, McCain tried to be the guy who bucked the system and towed the conservative base line. I think it made his speech disjointed and lacking in any roadmap toward the future.

He spent a lot of time trying to break away from the President in his presentation. Still, Obama will continue to remind voters McCain voted 90% of the time with Bush and how many of the outlined ideas are simply Bush’s ideas with a fresh coat of paint.

The economy is at the forefront during any election year, but this year its the top issue. Americans are worried. They are worried about how to pay for gas and food. They are worried about their home values and their futures. They also blame the guy in office currently, So far, I’ve heard nothing from the Republicans about how to fix our economic woes. McCain has such a poor understanding of the economy, per his own admission, I can’t believe someone would vote for him.

His energy comments were even more eye-rolling inducing. None of his past record or current plans will fix our energy problems. The drill now people are mind-numbing ignorant about the realities of drilling. It will take a decade to get new drilling platforms where the Republicans want us to drill. So, all this drill now crap doesn’t fix the price at the pump in Peoria you pinheads. More over, you morons, the United States doesn’t automatically get the oil anyway. Exxon does or whoever gets the rigs out fastest. Guess what, they don’t sell their oil exclusively to the United States unless the Republicans want to Federalize our oil industry and I kind of doubt that. I nearly laughed out loud as McCain rattled off his energy ideas. The senator voted against all non-oil based energy ideas such as solar, wind, fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuels.

By attempting to break away from BushCo, McCain is attempting to craft the Republican party into his image. I’d probably like that if this was McCain circa 2000, but sadly it’s not. He’s tied himself far too closely to the Rovian neocons and the religious right. It strengthens his base, but I don’t think it speaks to independents, moderates and undecideds.

The GOP are thrilled to have a hot, GILF on the ticket. Sniping at Obama in Palin’s well-rehearsed Edie McClurg voice, the base gets giddy like schoolgirls, but I don’t think it plays past that. Still, when McCain mentioned her it was easily the loudest applause line. So, how do the Democrats react to this “rising star?”

Essentially ignore her. She’s not sitting on the top of the ticket and Obama knows this as do all Americans who spent any amount of time watching the race. His opponent is John McCain, not Sarah Palin. There won’t be a presidential candidate versus vice-presidential candidate debate.

Obama already has dismissed her. “I’ve been called worse things on the basketball court” is a great brush-off. The idea that just because the Republicans put a woman on the ticket they are going to pull Hilary’s supporters probably pushes all the wrong buttons with Hilary. I’m not sure it was a good idea for McCain-Palin to stir the Clintons.

Now the conventions are finished and I’ve figured out the narrative for both parties. Obama wants the American people to focus on the economy and the other failed policies of the Bush presidency, will tie McCain to President Bush at every turn and push for the change only someone like himself can bring to the Presidency. McCain wants to disavow any ties to the Bush administration, doesn’t want to talk about any issues and wants to make the race about individual character with experience a secondary characteristic.

On paper, I think they both are smart game plans. Personally, I don’t think the Republican have done anything other than solidify their base and they can’t win with just the base.

We now move headlong toward the first debate at the end of the month. I’m looking forward to it.