September 3rd, 2008
12:35 PM ET

Showtime at the RNC

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/03/art.rncday2.jpg]

Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer

I awake in Minneapolis with two realizations: My hotel pillow smells like dog food and Regis Philbin now refers to himself in the third person. I have no reason to believe there is a connection but am open to any conspiracy theories. As I flip through the channels I see that Sarah Palin has done a walk-through of the Xcel Center in advance of her highly anticipated speech tonight.

(By the way, if Tina Fey doesn’t make a cameo as Palin on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live it will be a crime against sketch comedy.) She looks poised, if a little apprehensive, though no one can fault her for that. Republicans want her to establish herself as the Alaskan Margaret Thatcher. Democrats are hoping she comes across as a woman whose biggest accomplishment as governor has been to dodge moose as she tracked her ex-brother-in-law by snowmobile across the frozen tundra.

I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to get a good look at the stage here at the RNC. Apparently there’s a cabaret portion of the convention of which I was unaware. I mean, the black laminate floor is simply glistening. I’m now of the opinion that John McCain is going to accept the nomination while doing some soft-shoe and singing “Baby it’s Cold Outside” with Nancy Reagan.

And finally, a word about political gatherings such as this. Don’t be fooled by what you see on T.V. Republicans, Democrats, it doesn’t matter. These things are Star Trek conventions, except not as cool. And without William Shatner. OK, I have to go. Anderson is calling. And he’s referring to himself in the third person.

UPDATE: No joke, I just got a voicemail from my hotel's front desk: "Hi Mr. Gray, we read on your blog post that your pillow smells like dog food. We're really sorry and would like to give you some new pillows..." Awesome! Thanks!

Filed under: Jack Gray • Raw Politics
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. EJ

    I am trying to be objective and observant while watching the RNC this week, so it will make it easier for me to write about. However, since reading this, every time I look at the screen I drift off and see John McCain with a top hat and cane, dancing his own rendition of various Fosse numbers from Chicago on that shiny black stage. It's really becoming a nuisance, Jack. I shouldn't be bursting out laughing at politics so much!

    September 3, 2008 at 11:49 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    Great post Jack. Glad you got new pillows – hope they don't smell like dog food also. I think I'd rather go to a Star Trek convention than listen anymore to this boring convention. I'm surprised that people can tell the difference between being asleep and awake there. I know it keeps putting me to sleep.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 3, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  3. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    For those of you who are interested in actually learning more about Gov. Sarah Palin, I suggest you read the interview Maria Bartiromo did with her in the August 29, 2008 issue of BusinessWeek.

    And Jack, you would have enjoyed covering the Ron Paul Revolution Convention going on in Minneapolis. There you would enjoy listening to Jesse Ventura speak, but it would have cost you $17.76 to get in. No free passes for the media.

    September 3, 2008 at 7:20 pm |
  4. nate

    Bravo, I am glad that I am not the only one who thinks Palin has a strong similarity in appearance to Tina Fey. Perhaps, Palin should do a cameo on SNL.

    September 3, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  5. nellie

    I'm dissapointed in your coverage of the RNC.......I dont know why
    though CNN has always appeared to be slanted toward the Dems.

    September 3, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  6. Edgard

    Is it me or was there no young people at the RNC? It looks like Mc Cain has a major generation gap when all the people attending the "snooze" show last night where older white men and women and a whole lot of Vets. Where are the youngin's? They are the ones that are going to inherit Americass' politics and offices in the next 15-20 years. I also highly doubt most of the people attending last night watch SNL, let alone know who Tina Fey is ...

    September 3, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  7. John

    ack, I don't understand. John McCain was under investigation for his dealings and relationship with Charles Keeting (S&L) scandal in the 80's.
    Cyndie McCain was a drug addict and admittedly stole money from her foundation to supply her addiction
    John McCain was married to Cyndie McCain before he divorced his first wife
    John McCain graduated 5th from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy

    Jack, where is the New Yorker when you need it. republicans talk about fairness. Where is the backlash. I haven't mentioned Gov. Palin. LOL. This is the backdrop of a Saturday Night Live comedic program

    September 3, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  8. Caitlin, San Diego

    And that is how it's done (setting yourself apart from a billion political blogs). Funny and irrelevant, yet relevant-bravo! Well done, I hope there is more from you to come! Tina Fey, I hope you are listening.

    September 3, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  9. Anthony Genovese

    Why waste time and space on typing something so meaningless.

    September 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  10. ML

    So much anger here in the comment section! I think some folks missed the "Republicans, Democrats, it doesn't matter" part. That doesn't sound left wing liberal to me. It sounds pretty fair and balanced.

    Also, regarding Campbell Brown's interview, I thought it was perfect. Fifteen of McCain's campaign talking heads have lobbied for big oil, which means they're REALLY good at their jobs... and THEY can't even defend McCain's choice.

    Don't be upset with Campbell for asking the question... Be upset with McCain's troop for not being able to answer.

    September 3, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  11. Dee

    WOW Jack Gray loved your point of view.

    Dog food smelling pillow case...hmm...that is just strange, what did you snack on last night ? 🙂 and Regis has been refering to himself in the third person for a while now.

    Thanks for adding a little fun to the political spin.

    September 3, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  12. Carlos, New Jersey

    I wish Sarah Palin and her family all the best. She's human just like you and me. However, nominating her vp for the Republican party was huge mistake, and something McCain and his campaign are regretting on a hourly basis. NO McCain, NO Palin. What we need is change and a fresh start, and McCain's inability to lead is crystal clear with his inability to properly pick a vp who can step in and lead in case something were to happen to him.

    September 3, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  13. Patrick

    I'm sure John McCain thought he was casting Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington. I think, however that he got something else instead:

    Don't Miss

    John McCain and Sarah Palin
    The Hysterical New Republican Production of


    All Singing! All Dancing!

    featuring special guest star
    George W. Bush as Colonel Pickering

    Premiering November 4 Nationwide
    Opening on the International Stage January 2009

    "Wouldn't it be...loverly"

    September 3, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  14. John

    I remember how the manstream media avoided reporting the John Edward's affair, pregnancy, and cover-up for a year because they couldn't corroborate on their own the well documented story put together by the National Enquirer. Now, anything that pops up on any blog anywhere regarding Sarah Palin is rushed to print. You most definitely have a horse in the race.

    September 3, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  15. JPB

    I've watched CNN's political coverage of both the Democratic Convention and thus far of the Republican Convention. I have two questions and two comments. Why are the political analysts on your panel mostly Democratic supporters and only one Republican strategist/supporter. Amy Holmes is about the only person that provides facts and is credible to Americans that can think for themselves.

    I was also considering what was more parthetic…Campbell Brown’s unprofessional interview with that Republican strategist? or How Wolf Blitzer and his team of political pundits defended her after the McCain camp cancelled their scheduled interview. No one is to blaim except for Campbell Brown. I have never seen such venom and clear bias against Conservatism and Republicans.

    September 3, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  16. Caren in Los Angeles/soon-to-be Boston

    Speaking of SNL, Jack, have you ever thought about writing for them? Can't remember laughing at any other blog on this site like I just did while reading your post. I have to agree with you about the floor- it's a little nauseating when all the lights reflect off it. Looks like a dirty lake or something from far away. Anyhow, as a Democrat, it was painful to watch the RNC last night, but I'm forcing myself to, because of course, should they win in Nov, I need to hear what they have to say. At least I have your political team's commentaries to keep me distracted/entertained from getting too annoyed. Thanks for putting up with dog food smells and third person speakers for us!

    September 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  17. Mel Autgen

    Watching George Bush hail John McCain's military distinction last night took me back to 2000 during Republican primaries leading up to their convention. Bush's handlers, with "dubbya" looking on from beyond the camera, absolutely trashed McCain's war record...and of course, they prevailed. Bush, he of 'sterling' military career, was a willing partner and direct benefactor. How smugly he looked still last night...oh, sorry... I meant, 'how sincere he looked'....

    September 3, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  18. Marcy

    and singing “Baby it’s Cold Outside” with Nancy Reagan

    i'd vote for him if he does that! That would make my month!

    Mobile, AL

    September 3, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  19. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    I know that 360 and CNN are biased in favor of Obama, but even I can't believe the level that you have sunk to with these ridiculous blog posts. Funny, I don't remember 360 or CNN for that matter, being as cynical or sarcastic about the DNC when they were there. No remarks about the obvious excessive pomp and circumstance or the overblown speech, just ridiculous and undeserved compliments from everyone covering it at CNN. If anything deserves coverage by SNL it is that hyped up DNC spectacle.

    Obama's speech was as much the "speech of a lifetime" as Gustav was "the mother of all storms."

    September 3, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  20. Mike

    A couple comments as a common man: first, I did not notice, nor did I care, what room Bush gave his talk from at the White House. Maybe I am wrong, but I am not sure how many commoners (sp?) made that correlation. But I can tell you, we did note that not only was he not there in person, but that his speech was taped as well. Did anyone else know notice that... he was totally out of synch with his "laugh track" the whole time. That might be more embarrassing then anything to the Republicans.

    And yes, I know he was dealing with the after affects of Gustav, but you know what, AC was there. He was on Bourbon Street at 8am, yet on site in Minneapolis, showered up and in a clean suit later that same day. And he doesn't even have his own plane (well, maybe he does :-). The most powerful man on the planet could not make it but AC could? Nice job Anderson!!!

    September 3, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  21. Julie

    LOL, loved your post..."Star Trek conventions except not as cool"... actually when I was watching some of the videos last night I thought the commentator's pattern of speach was somewhat like William Shatner's. Totally agree with you on the black laminate floor too although the thought McCain and Nancy Regan doing some soft-shoe definatley paints an odd mental image.

    September 3, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  22. Stacy

    I’m now of the opinion that John McCain is going to accept the nomination while doing some soft-shoe and singing “Baby it’s Cold Outside” with Nancy Reagan.

    Now that might be watchable. I'm completely with you on the crime against sketch comedy. You know Lorne Michaels had her on the phone within minutes of the Palin announcement.

    September 3, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  23. Presley

    Ok, between Ted Fine and Jack Gray, I am enjoying the lightened blogs today.
    This whole post made laugh...Tina Fey! hahahahaha....
    Oh and Ms. Palin is gracing 4 magazine covers this week, the Obama's, one so far. Cover Wars and Mommy Wars!!! I love this country.
    This was an awesome read, thank you Jack Gray.

    September 3, 2008 at 1:08 pm |
  24. David W, Florida

    If the DNC could "spin it" as the RNC does, this election would be a slam dunk. If I didn't have most of my marbles in tact, I could see me cheering for McCain-Palin also.

    September 3, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  25. Lucy

    Maybe Tina Fey will answer the question that all of the Republican surrogates have so far completely blocked...Every time a journalist asks one of them to give an actual example of her experience, or why she would bring her teenage daughter into this public arena, they recite a mantra "We're behind her 100%. She's showing her family values, her daughter is getting married...We're behind her 100%. She's showing her family values, her daughter is getting married...We're behind her 100%. She's showing her family values, her daughter is getting married...We're behind her 100%. She's showing her family values, her daughter is getting married..." I'm getting the impression that they're so mortified by the daughter's situation that they're trying to talk themselves out of their own embaressment and in to Sarah Palin by repeating the mantra.

    But what we want to know is what her experience is...more about her–in other words, we want answers to the real questions.

    September 3, 2008 at 12:49 pm |
  26. Francois

    Hi Anderson,

    Didn't Mrs. Sarah Palin increase taxes on the oil industry last year? Can you research that me? And if this is true, what does that make her? A reformer? A liberal democrat who is after our wallet? A politician like all of them?

    September 3, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  27. Grant

    I think John McCain picked Palin while corraborating with Saturday Night Live producers on which option of VP they could do the best impression of. They came across Sarah Palin, thought of Tina Fey, and screamed "Jackpot!" It's the only sensible way to explain why in the world John McCain picked her.

    September 3, 2008 at 12:40 pm |