McCain's Act opens to poor reviews
John McCain gave a speech in New Orleans that he said was the kickoff to the general election campaign.
If true, he may want a mulligan.
Before a lackluster crowd (compared to his Democratic rivals), McCain's talk was fine on substance but lacked passion and competence in the delivery:
Not to offend those who might be offended, but this speech is a mash and tough to digest. You have to get through the self-congratulatory praise of independence and commander-in-chief pose from the Senate, then you have to try to follow the inconsistency of some of his big-government ideas vs. his anti-big-government rhetoric, and his inconsistency even on his supposed strength - the surge in Iraq vs. closing GITMO and conferring additional rights on the detainees. I am also put off by some of the anti-Bush stuff. Distancing himself from Bush is one thing, but he almost exclusively (as best I can tell) criticizes him, giving Bush little credit (tax cuts, Supreme Court appointments and yes, the surge, which Bush ordered not McCain).
The candidate just didn't come off very well in comparison to the Democrats. But he still had some powerful criticisms of Obam - including the notion that this neophyte was dangerous to our foreign policy. That will be a theme repeated often over the next 5 months as McCain seeks to turn this election from the economy into one on National Security.
How successful he is in doing so will be the difference between victory and defeat.