The GOP bandwagon rolled into town this past week just as the weather began to feel more like fall. But it wasn’t only the weather that was changing.
Remarkably, the Republicans were able to wrap up their conference by stealing from the Democrats the mantle of change. After eight years of short-sighted policies and misgovernment, you’d think it was the Democrats who owned change. Not any more.
John McCain’s acceptance speech was big on change. He told the crowd that he couldn’t wait to introduce Sarah Palin to the “old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second, Washington crowd.” He further promised that “change is coming.”
Only a week ago you’d have been hard pressed to conceive of such a turnaround in Republican fortunes, and though questions may yet surface about Sarah Palin, it appears that the Republicans have re-energized their campaign.
Perhaps in response to Palin’s speech, in which she contrasted Obama's experience to her own, the Democrats are now quiet on the experience issue; whereas the Republicans, for similar reasons, speak more of change than of experience.
As I watched the red, white, and blue balloons cascade down on the delegates I almost had to rub my eyes to convince myself that these were the incumbents. If McCain can succeed in separating himself from George Bush it would be remarkable, though count on the Democrats to continue to link them together at every opportunity.
Finally, contrast McCain’s concept of change (shaking up the government), to Obama’s (inspiring people to make change) and you have a fascinating contest. But with all the alarming things going on, can an incumbent party really successfully re-cast themselves in this way? Can they pull it off? More to the point, will voters buy it?
Change is clearly a force with a momentum of its own. But what an exciting race!