John McCain Convention Speech

McCain’s delivery was awful. He seemed out of synch the whole time and his applause lines were pretty muddy. There must have been an applause sign in the hall, as the delegates seemed to wildly cheer in unison at various points, although many times for no apparent reason. He seemingly had no idea that he would be periodically interrupted by applause and seemed flustered and annoyed by it.

Michael Moore seemed to enjoy the applause line aimed at him, even if it was poorly delivered.

Courtesy Drudge Report

It’s been a while since I last heard McCain do one of these things. I can’t recall if he’s always this bad.

Update: See GOP 2004: Michael Moore Draws McCain Barb, Taunts from Crowd (Editor and Publisher)

Other reactions:

  • Steven Taylor agreed with my overall assessment but thinks McCain got better and that there were several good sound bytes for tomorrow’s coverage.
  • Bryan S. is quite pleased with the Michael Moore slam.
  • Karol Sheinin (guesting at Dean’s World), too.

Transcript: Remarks by Sen. McCain to the Republican National Convention (WaPo)

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. That was my initial reaction–and the beginning was lifeless. Still, I thought the middle was pretty good.

  2. James Joyner says:

    It got better, to be sure, although never very good by convention speech standards. The last part would have been a good Meet the Press appearance but not exactly a stemwinder.

  3. bryan says:

    Whatever we think of the delivery, the fact that he spoke strongly *for* Bush and Cheney is the key thing the pundits seemed to grab onto. Jeff Greenfield on CNN particularly focused on the strength of this opening lineup of McCain and Guliani.

  4. I missed McCain and didn’t have the Tivo queues. Is Moore admitting he’s a loser?

    Well, it’s not like I pick up USA Today when I travel, but I sure as hell will avoid it now.

  5. legion says:

    McCain’s speech was overscripted – rather than simply applauding at key points, they all stood up and applauded. It felt like a religious service. And while I usually like McCain, even when I disagree with him, the repetition of the 9-11 theme was unseemly; borderline grotesque even.

  6. dc says:

    It totally sucked. For a political speach it was abismal. For a political speach broadcast live on national television it was a disaster. Fortunately for McCain the print media ignored the delivery and focused on his main points.

  7. La Femme Crickita says:


  8. I am to so far to the right I scare people.

    But I loved McCain’s speech to death.