Rich Galen

In case you were wondering, Fox News Channel won the ratings war for the 10-11 pm slot Wednesday night when Condoleezza Rice, Susana Martinez and Paul Ryan delivered their speeches.

Fox, according to, pulled a high of 8.2 million viewers during the hour which not only led the other cable news networks, but led all networks.

NBC was second overall with 4.14 million; ABC had 2.85 million; CBS was fourth with 2.55 million viewers.

MSNBC edged out CNN with 1.44 million viewers to 1.34 million.

I did the addition for you: 20.5 million viewers total. That's down about 17 million from Sarah Palin's speech four years ago.

We'll have to wait and see if the Dems' convention suffers similar drop-off.

The main part of the night started off with an extremely powerful video history of Mitt Romney that included photos and video of him as a boy and young man; and video of his boys teasing him.

Time should be purchased on cable channels all over the country and that video run in a continuous loop between now and November 6.

Clint Eastwood led off the 10 O'clock hour sort of ad-libbing his way through an "empty chair debate" with an invisible Barack Obama. Reporters were tweeting that the TelePrompTer was blank.

I thought it was a little jarring - maybe a lot jarring - but I suspect that Eastwood demanded he perform without a net or he wouldn't do it at all; and I further suspect it played pretty well outside the press filing center.

Marco Rubio was next and was as smooth and polished as Clint Eastwood was gruff and rumpled.

He returned to the well-crafted, well-delivered phrases. Listing a litany of Obama's ideas, Rubio said:

"These are tired and old big government ideas. Ideas that people come to America to get away from. Ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world, instead of helping the world become more like America."

Toward the end of his remarks, he reprised the stories of Condoleezza Rice and Susana Martinez when he remembered his father, a bartender.

"A few years ago during a speech, I noticed a bartender behind a portable bar at the back of the ballroom. I remembered my father who had worked for many years as a banquet bartender.

"He was grateful for the work he had, but that's not the life he wanted for us.

"He stood behind a bar in the back of the room all those years, so one day I could stand behind a podium in the front of a room."

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at