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“this is the end” . . .


First, a quick introduction. I’m Bill Whalen, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution. I cover California and national politics — and I live for weeks like this when you simply can’t escape election news.
I’m what you’d call a charity case. Chris Nolan doesn’t send kids to summer camp. But she does let Republicans blog on her site. So here goes.

Rumblings and grumblings . . .
1) Thank God I never went to law school, John Edwards wouldda smoked me in court. He’s bright, earnest, great voice, great presence. And the hair . . . Let’s suppose it’s 2012 and Edwards and Gavin Newsom are running to replace John Kerry. Breck Girl vs. Gellin’ Like a Felon. Who carries the Sassoon vote?

2) This is the “Bob and Carole and Ted and Alice” ticket. Time for someone to talk about switching: make the First Couple second, and vice versa.
3) Maybe the most centrist speech by a Democratic veep nominee I can recall in that he talked about beefing up the military and fighting the war. This was noticeably absent from Edwards’ remarks on the campaign trail. Back in Iowa, it was all “Two Americas”, precious little Osama Bin Laden. Not so in Boston.
4) High moment of the speech: Edwards singling out his parents. Kerry’s folks have passed away; I have no ideas about Teresa’s. But seeing Edwards pere et mere up in the sky box was touching. Like back in 1961 when Jack Kennedy doffed his top hat in his old man’s honor.
5) Low moment of the speech: Edwards looking in the camera and telling Al Qaeda that he and John Kerry would hunt them down. You can imagine the bad guys huddled around their plasma screen deep in some cave high atop Afghanistan, gagging on their popcorn, fear in their eyes (“Allah have mercy, the infidel boy litigator will kill us all”).
6) If the San Francisco Chronicle suspended a letters editor for donating to the Kerry Campaign, how many people at MSNBC should be sidelined? This is the network that hired Ron Reagan as a commentator, previewed his convention speech with an “exclusive interview” before his turn on stage, and then let him return to supposedly objective analysis of the proceedings. Revolving door? That would insinuate some sort of firewall.
7) Thirty-five years ago, I was named “most improved player” of my little league team. Like John Kerry, the years since then deserve little mention. Will we get through the entire week without a speaker listing three concrete things the candidate did during his 20 years in the Senate (dating Morgan Fairchild, Catherine Oxenberg and Dana Delaney don’t count). Three specific laws. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
8) New college drinking game: out with “Hey Bob” (from Bob Newhart reruns). In with”A serious man for serious times.” Seriously. Sadly, the GOP will come up with some just as vapid by the time the NYC confab rolls around.
9) Theme music for tomorrow night: “This Is the End”, by The Doors. River boats, war, ‘nam. It’s “Apocalypse Now Redux . . . Redux” .

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