I can sum it up in three words:
Whomever scheduled the final hour -- the only hour covered by all major broadcast networks, and the hour leading up to Willard's big acceptance speech -- should be fired. Drummed out of the business. I think jail time may even be appropriate.
Understand that on all nights of the convention, the cable channels -- including CNN, msnbc, Current TV and Fox Noise -- carry multiple hours of the fun and excitement. But that's not what America watches. Only political geeks -- people who write blogs like this -- watch hour after hour. But most of America watches only the single hour that CBS, NBC and ABC carry, which begins at 10pm eastern. That hour should have been meticulously choreographed.
Traditionally, just before the nominee speaks, conventions run a produced video showing the "human" side of the nominee -- biking with the kids, walking down the aisle, something to make you laugh, something to jerk a tear, whatever.
Here's where I uncharacteristically say something nice about Willard's campaign: The video they produced was actually pretty good. It almost did make the robotic, uncomfortable-in-his-own-skin Willard look human and -- dare I say it -- likeable. But the idiots running his campaign didn't run it just before he spoke. They ran it a few minutes before 10pm when the networks weren't yet covering the event. So nobody saw it, except the delegates in the room and those watching the cable networks.
Now, for the nightmare...
You know how the Regressive republicans are always griping about how much they hate all those Hollywood showbiz types? Well, they should have stuck with that thought. But no. They invited Clint Eastwood to the last night of their prom.
This was to be the secret mystery guest. But they leaked his identity early in the day. So what was the point? I have no idea.
So the music swells, Eastwood walks out to the podium, the audience jumps to their feet and cheers... and there's an empty chair next to the podium.
Eastwood then does the most embarrassing thing in his entire career -- and if you've seen some of his movies, this is saying something.
He begins talking to the empty chair as if President Obama is sitting in it. What?! The babble was so incoherent, rambling and pointless, I actually sat up on the couch in shock and wondered if this could really be happening.
Eastwood asked the chair if getting involved in Afghanistan was a good idea; he wondered if we had asked the Russians how their ten year adventure there worked out. "But we decided to go in there anyway," Eastwood complained.
Excuse me? Did I miss something? Did President Obama get us into Afghanistan?
It got worse. He pretended the invisible president told him to shut up and to "go eff himself." Not once, but twice.
Would you ever imagine President Obama talking like that?
It was demeaning to the office of the president, disgraceful, inappropriate and embarrassing. I've never seen anything so bizarre at any convention. Ever.
Apparently they allowed this confused, angry old geezer to just wing it, with nothing scripted on the Teleprompter. But they must have known what he was going to do since the prop chair was positioned right next to him.
It was unbelievable.
And THIS was what the country saw during the broadcast hour.
Next up was Mr. "Up and Coming Regressive Republican," Marco Rubio, far rightwing Teabagger from Florida. He apparently was closely watching the festivities on the first night, and took a cue from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I say that because he did exactly the same thing -- talked about himself and totally ignored the party's nominee, old what's-his-name. You know, the Mormon guy.
Finally, Willard came out, walking through the crowd, shaking hands as if it was a State of the Union speech, and eventually made it to the stage to read his speech. How was he? Okay. That's it. Wife... five kids...church...blah blah blah. He said nothing specific about anything. He spent most of his time trying to paint himself as likeable, and then, weirdly, alluded to making military strikes against Iran and standing up to Russia (as if it's our enemy once again). The whole thing was surrealistic.
Unfortunately for Willard, tomorrow everyone will be talking about Clint, not Willard.