The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

RNC Hangover: You Gotta Believe

Posted on | August 31, 2012 | 21 Comments

Last guy in the Press Filing Center, 1 a.m., Friday, Aug. 31, 2012

“There was never enough time. Every deadline was a crisis. All around me were experienced professional journalists meeting deadlines far more frequent than mine, but I was never able to learn from their example.”
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72

TAMPA, Florida
Garrett Quinn of the Boston Globe walked over to the empty row where I was still working on my column and said, “I knew that was you, banging away. I’d recognize that sound anywhere.”

Ask anyone who’s ever shared a workspace with me — and this now includes hundreds of reporters who came to Tampa for the Republican National Convention — I hammer the hell out of a keyboard. That’s why I always carry an external keyboard, because otherwise I’d destroy the laptop keyboard in a matter of months, and the thing would be useless in those emergencies when I actually need it.

People ask me if I learned to type on a manual typewriter, which of course I did, but there are other old guys who’ve learned to tap lightly on the keys, while I continue my brutal keyboard-destroying methods and go through the $9.99 things at the pace of one or two a year.

Hard-hitting journalism. Literally.

So Quinn took the picture of me as the last holdout in the Press Filing Center, struggling to complete today’s column for The American Spectator, which was kind of emotional:

The polls showed a dead heat as Mitt Romney took the stage Thursday night to accept the Republican Party nomination, but the polls could not begin to capture the wild chances of improbability in what is sure to be a hard-fought campaign this fall. And the man who introduced the GOP presidential nominee Thursday night was the surest testament to how miracles happen in America.
Marco Rubio wasn’t supposed to be there. In May 2009, more than 15 months before the 2010 Republican primary in Florida, the GOP establishment endorsed Rubio’s opponent, then-Gov. Charlie Crist, believing him to be the “safe” choice as their party’s Senate nominee. Crist had statewide name recognition and a strong fundraising base, and so he was endorsed not only by the state party chairman, but also by the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. One poll showed Crist leading Rubio by 37 points.
Crist had every tangible advantage, but what he did not have was the support of the conservative grassroots, which were just then coalescing into the Tea Party. Crist had embraced President Obama’s $800 billion “stimulus” plan, and his endorsements from the GOP Establishment proved to be the kiss of death, rallying a nationwide movement behind Rubio. And so the young senator who introduced Mitt Romney on the closing night of the Republican National Convention was a living embodiment of the miraculous power of the American dream.
Rubio spoke of that dream, describing how as a nine-year-old boy in 1980 he watched the GOP convention with his grandfather, a refugee from Cuba’s communist dictatorship. “As a boy, I would sit on our porch and listen to his stories about history, politics and baseball while he puffed on one of his three daily Padron cigars,” Rubio told the thousands of Republican delegates gathered inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum. “I don’t recall everything we talked about, but the one thing I remember, is the one thing he wanted me to never forget. The dreams he had when he was young became impossible to achieve, but there was no limit to how far I could go, because I was an American.”
The crowd went positively wild with cheers and applause, and when they calmed down, Rubio continued: “For those of us who were born and raised in this country, it’s easy to forget how special America is. But my grandfather understood how different America is from the rest of the world, because he knew what life was like outside America.”
What Rubio was describing was a doctrine known to political philosophers as “American exceptionalism,” and the 41-year-old senator went on to describe its foundation in religious belief, that America is “special because we’ve been united not by a common race or ethnicity. We’re bound together by common values. That family is the most important institution in society. That almighty God is the source of all we have.… Our national motto is ‘In God we Trust,’ reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.”
Words can scarcely describe the enthusiasm that swept through the auditorium at that moment. In a skybox suite five floors above the stage, where I was a guest of the Republican State Leadership Committee, I found myself wiping tears from my eyes. They were neutral, objective tears, because I remembered when Marco Rubio was 37 points down in the polls, and here in Tampa I was watching an honest-to-God miracle. If it had been up to the party leadership, Charlie Crist would have been up there on stage. Instead, Crist is now disgraced and discredited, an unpopular loser who will speak at next week’s Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. . . .

Please read the whole thing. Man, I need to go back to bed.






21 Responses to “RNC Hangover: You Gotta Believe”

  1. Red
    August 31st, 2012 @ 11:56 am

    I’m still clapping. Thank you Stacy!

  2. CPAguy
    August 31st, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    Great writing, as always.

    Given his support for some form of amnesty, I’m not a fan of Rubio.

    However, the Conservative movement is building up a strong bench within the GOP….so whether it is within the GOP or even in another party, Conservatism has a bright future and things don’t appear as disheartening as they did when Mittens somehow prevailed against voting trends which went 60% for whichever candidates were not him.

  3. Zilla of the Resistance
    August 31st, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

    Wow, Stacy with no fedora! Now that is a rare site!
    I kill keyboards too, Stacy, I don’t have an external at the moment, but the letters are all worn off the keys on my laptop and only one of the two shift buttons works anymore. My husband cannot stand to be in the same room with me when i am typing because it is super loud! I had an old manual typewriter from when my grandmother was a secretary that I first used to write reports for school on, long after they started demanding that things be done on word processors. I actually had to fight to get ‘exceptions’ so they’d accept my work, insisting that my brain was MY word processor.
    Congratulations on your outstanding coverage this week, Stacy, happy trails & safe trip home. Get some sleep.

  4. rosalie
    August 31st, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

    My son, who lives in Portland, Or, is a Republican but pretty much apolitical. So I was very surprised when he called to tell me how impressed he was with Romney and Rubio’s speeches. As he speaks fluent Spanish, he gave Romney’s son a lot of credit for speaking Spanish in front of millions of people even though it was just for a few minutes. Thanks for your posts, Stacy. As always, you’ve done a great job.

  5. Exceptional « Jackie Wellfonder – Raging Against the Rhetoric
    August 31st, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

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  6. MM
    August 31st, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    Great piece, Stacy. You brought a tear to my eye.

  7. Stogie Chomper
    August 31st, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    Outstanding article Stacy. Your writing skills are always polished and professional, and I am almost always impressed. I was certainly so this time. Rubio’s speech was fantastic. As for those “objective” tears, I had a few myself, proving that the convention was very effective, reaching its audience on an emotional level. Clint Eastwood’s funny presentation was a humorous counter balance.

  8. Wombat_socho
    August 31st, 2012 @ 1:21 pm
  9. Fear and Loathing in Tampa: The Hangover | hogewash
    August 31st, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

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  10. Zilla of the Resistance
    August 31st, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    I remember that post, that thing is awesome, but expensive. Even the DYI version which I lack the skillz to install is a pretty penny. I’m used to the little laptop keyboard, the poor thing is just not tough enough to get used to me.

  11. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 31st, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    I am now wiping the tears from my eyes. Bravo.

    I got a couple of lefty friend inquiries on who the guy was who introduced Romney. I said he will be president some day.

  12. Quick Hits | The Lonely Conservative
    August 31st, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

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  13. Bob Belvedere
    August 31st, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

    I was wiping tears from my eyes as Willard spoke, especially when he said: The President hasn’t disappointed you because he wanted to.

    The American people who foolishly bought into his BS are disappointed, but for what Mark Levin calls the Puppet Masters of the Left, the Obama Mal-Administration has been a rousing success.

    Once again, Willard is wimping out by all his pablum that ‘Obama is a nice guy, a great father, blah, blah, blah’ – like he always does. Obama is not a nice guy or just an inexperienced President – he is a man determined to destroy everything America stands for. Romney still doesn’t get it.

  14. Bob Belvedere
    August 31st, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

    Electing Romney is merely a holding action to give us more time to overthrow the Right Wing Establishment.
    This we will have to do while making sure Romney doesn’t go wobbly. Busy and tough times ahead. This is our LAST chance.

  15. Blogger in Crisis 900 Miles From Home – Robert Stacy McCain Needs Help! #TCOT | Zilla of the Resistance at
    August 31st, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

    […] Exceptional article at The American Spectator, which is awesome, and his latest blog posts, on the RNC Convention and Clint Eastwood’s magnificent speech, which are also totally awesome at The Other McCain, […]

  16. K-Bob
    August 31st, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

    Heh. Reminds me of the Steampunk Keyboard mod of an old IBM Model M keyboard.

    Speaking of which, these folks are manufacturing brand new model M’s. I gotta get me one.

    I’m certain I don’t type as hard or fast as Stacy, but being a rock keyboard player, I do hit ’em pretty hard. However an old IBM KB9910 keyboard I got for $5 in a bin full of them (all willy nilly, no boxes) still works after ten years. And it doesn’t make that annoying buckling spring click, but it does have springs, so you get most of the feel, if not the full effect.

  17. Special Report With Stacy McCain « American Glob
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  18. Becca Lower
    September 1st, 2012 @ 1:13 am

    While filling up the car today, I chatted with a guy who was doing the same with his motorcycle. Late 20s-early 30s, with a brave attempt at a mustache, sorta heavy-set and Hispanic. I asked him if he’d seen any of the RNC the night before. He told me no, that he’d had to work. I said, well, check on YouTube for a speech there by Marco Rubio. He repeated it, just to be sure, and said that he would. I couldn’t help but feel like it was the most important thing I did all day.

  19. Quartermaster
    September 2nd, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

    The “Right Wing Establishment” is just as left wing as the left wing establishment.. They are both working for essentially the same thing. That’s why you see the Dems do something and the GOP consolidates it.

    Frankly, I think the last chance came as as late as the 70s. Historically, the last chances was long before the fall, and the lost last chance made the fall inevitable. If Mittens does the right thing we just might be able to pull things back around. But it will take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to do so. Frankly, I think the left has been looking to start a civil war even though it would be one that would see most of those idiots killed. They rarely understand what they are getting themelves into.

  20. Wombat_socho
    September 2nd, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    Who are you, and what have you done with CPAguy?

  21. Wombat_socho
    September 2nd, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

    It took us eighty years to get to this point; it’s going to take a lot more than eight years to roll it back.