* Got the acceptance over with. Good idea since only 24 minutes left officially.

* “Big Heart” not exactly first words that spring to mind in connection with Paul Ryan.

* Mitch McConnell didn’t get memo on “parties always coming together.”

* GOPers seem really concerned about Cuban-American vote this year.

* Whole minute devoted to a completely gratuitous USA! USA! chant. In fact, they’re still chanting over Mitt. Never gets old.

* First major lie of speech: “I wish President Obama had succeeded.”

* Mitt getting hot and bothered over delivery of bromides.

* Wonder if another precious minute devoted to Neil Armstrong was part of plan.

* It’s 10:48. Still not a drop of substance.

* It’s a good guess that George and Lenore Romney would have been horrified by today’s GOP.

* It’s 10:53. Clearly counting on network overtime.

* Okay, there’s the big stump line about Obama. Still cracks up crowd.

* Mitt poor-mouthing about his hardscrabble early days less compelling than his wife’s.

* Getting all shouty over bromides again. Would make helluva Rotary speaker.

* Guess there are Americans who haven’t heard all the 1980 analogies.

* Okay! Super Prime Time Over! Wrap it up, Mitt!

* Some of crowd seem to be cheering jobs sent to China.

* Jobs plan?

* Oh yeah, the Five Pillars.

* With the exception of the allusion to Mitt’s proposal to voucherize federal education spending, this five-point “jobs plan” mostly goals, not plans.

* Quickest dogs whistles on abortion and same-sex marriage ever!

* Modest Mitt!

* Shouldn’t have mentioned fictional “Apology Tour.” Unleashed another round of USA! chants.

* Now we’re really getting into boilerplate, lines Mitt was using in Iowa a year ago.

* Should be moving into something new, or at least altar call, instead of another call-and-response with delegates.

* You know, really struggling to recall what the Big Theme is here.

* And it’s a wrap, after a climax of kinda pointless shouting.

* Biggest indication of the power & originality of this speech is that it didn’t even upset me. What do you think?


* Yes, life always begins in 1980.

* Thought he was about to say: “Mitt’s grandfather, like mine, knew life outside the United States.”

* As Rubio goes into tired GOP talking points, must be cursing agreement to follow Clint.

* “Choice election”–guess the “referendum on the incumbent” officially buried.

* Odd scripture reference, since it’s biblical version of “from each according to his means, to each according to his needs.”

* GOPers really going for that parents-with-kids-who-moved-back-in vote!

* Cameras drawn to Callista ‘n’ Newt as to a car crash.

* Marco’s really in danger of using up some of Mitt’s time. Maybe they figure nets will have to go into overtime.

* Not a lot about Mitt in this very long introduction.

* I’ve watched this guy give really good speeches. This isn’t one of them, in my judgment.

* Mitt coming up from the crowd like Dukakis in 1988. It would be cool if the band played Neil Diamond.

I’m back, and struggling against the temptation to bag this convention and watch college football.

The Mittster is due on the Big Stage in about 30 minutes. The build-up appears to be very soft-core, and focused on building up his tattered biography. At the moment, that involves his Winter Olympics gig in 2002. Doesn’t have a lot to do with serving as President of the United States, but it helps.

At the moment we’ve moved from the Olympics to Ann’s story–with a detour into the whole family saga. Quick mention of George being born in Mexico, but nothing about the hows and whys.

We’re still, of course, in the time slot before live network broadcast, so this biopic is mainly for the benefit of the delegates and loyal Republican cable watchers.

But here we go:


* Yep, as reported, Clint is the “mystery speaker.”

* Conservatives love this Secret Hollywood Underground stuff.

* Clint cried for the unemployed? How’s about the uninsured?

* Wonder if all these hedging words are on the script, or ad libbed?

* Maybe this is working, but has to be oddest big-time convention speech since Admiral Stockdale.

* B’lieve we had a businessman president pretty recently.

* Love hearing a gazillionaire say “We own this country.”

* “Make my day” would have been better if it had been connected to the speech.

* I’ve now seen three convention speeches unmoored to a teleprompter: Carter in 2000, Sharpton in 2004, and now this.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.