Let me share with you some quick and hastily-assembled thoughts about the evening just concluded.
I thought the president tonight was better than his speech. And what I mean by that is that he seemed confident, assured, and at ease — all the qualities that he should have conveyed and embodied. But the speech itself, while good, seemed like less than it could have been. In many ways I thought Cheney’s was better.
I trust you’ll understand that it’s a given that I didn’t think much of the content of either speech. But purely evaluating them in terms of political effectiveness, I thought the president’s speech left unaddressed issues that I thought he should have and could have dealt with more effectively.
My watching of the speech was disrupted in a jarring way because I happened to be sitting two seats away from one of the protestors who was hustled out of the arena during the president’s speech. An unassuming women had been sitting on our press row for the couple hours prior to the speech. And about half way through out of the corner of my eye I saw a plainclothes police officer lunge in our direction. I looked back to see the woman who — without my having noticed — had tossed on a pink slip over her dress and I guess was about to start some sort of chant or statement.
He grabbed her; there was a brief commotion. Other officers rushed in our direction. And then before I could even figure out what was going on, she was gone.
There are some more details to the story, including the journalist sitting next to me, who started yelling at the woman — or perhaps better to say, aggressively scolding her — as she was dragged off. But I’ll leave that till tomorrow.