'The Contest Begins Tonight.'

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: Mar 04, 2008 10:15 PM

I liked that line. He's at his best when he's a little devilish.

Of course, he's still got some work to do, to say the least, among conservatives.

McCain has the same problem President Bush does with public speaking, though not to the same extent. He's much, much, much better in a town hall setting than delivering a speech. He's a little sing-songy when reading a teleprompter, losing some of his edge and making him less attractive behind the dais than on the stump. His weaknesses will be thrown into sharp relief by Obama's speaking prowess, if Obama's the nominee.

I look forward to McCain running a general election campaign in his signature, verbose, town-hall style. I think it's the best way to maximize his talent and magnify Obama's weaknesses by comparison.

Can you imagine Obama holding up at a string of exhaustive press conferences and town halls? No? Neither can Obama:
He paused only to say, "Come on guys; I answered like eight questions. We're running late.”
McCain's speech had the basics, and was gracious and eloquent. I enjoyed it, but wasn't wowed. I thought it was a little odd that both McCain and Huckabee seemed to be still taking oblique shots at Mitt Romney: Huckabee proclaiming that only the classiest of the campaigns had made it to the end and McCain referring to candidates driven by ambition, an obvious rehashing of the old-saw complaints about Romney that carved out the chips evidently still sitting on both their shoulders.