McCain Didn’t Go to the Bench for RNC Speech
A reader over at TPM speculates:
Whatever you think of the [Alaska Gov. Sarah] Palin speech, whether it was cynical or alienating to anyone outside the base, it was solidly written. I’d even say well written. [Sen. John] McCain’s wasn’t. It was decidedly second rate, not just badly delivered but clumsily written (except for the part about his POW experience, which I assume he has on file: that worked). How did that happen? Everyone knows McCain is a bad public speaker, so one would assume his campaign would it least give him a rock solid text to work from. But I suspect the campaign only has so many first-rate people on hand, and all of those people in the McCain campaign were tasked with taking care of Palin, leaving the top of the ticket to the second-stringers.
I can speak to this a little bit.
Palin’s speech was written by Matthew Scully, a former speech-writer for President George W. Bush.
Meanwhile, Mark Salter — McCain’s personal speech-writer, adviser, friend and biographer — has been working on the GOP presidential nominee’s speech for weeks. I’ve heard him say so. I don’t think anyone would refer to Salter as a “second-string” anything in the campaign. I can’t say why the finished product seemed so “second-rate,” but McCain definitely had his No. 1 guy working on it for a very long time. I guess they can’t all be home runs, or “hat tricks” to use Palin’s preferred analogy.