McCain delivered a stunningly effective speech. The message was clear: he wants to make sure the American people are “not deceived by an empty call for change.” He went right at the clear difference between himself and Barack Obama (who will also apparently win tonight, although the margin is in doubt). Reeling off the list of the world’s trouble spots, he made the pitch for himself, the candidate he argues who will be the one with judgment, experience and purpose. On the domestic side, he is setting up the choice between a traditional liberal and himself, who trusts not in government but in the American people. He conceded that he is “not the youngest candidate but I am the most experienced.” The crowd cheered loudly, as they did when he declared that in good times and bad “a day has not passed where I was not proud of the privilege” to serve America. That’s setting up the contrast, indeed. His pitch is simple: the other fellow isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief and Obams’s brand of change is not a recipe for success. If the message can be heard above the din of Obama chanting it is a powerful one.
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