September 4th, 2008
07:51 PM ET

Evening Buzz: McCain’s Moment

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight Sen. John McCain takes the stage and the microphone at the Republican National Convention. Traditionally, the nominee’s speech is the main act and apex of a presidential nominating convention. But McCain’s moment in the spotlight comes on the heels of a speech that – no exaggeration – rocked the house. In her rousing remarks last night, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s vice presidential pick, pulled no punches and landed them with a high-wattage smile. (Cue up her well-received joke about pitbulls, hockey moms and lipstick.)

If the yardstick is energy and sheer mojo, McCain has a tough act to follow. Whether or not you were impressed with the substance of Palin’s speech, her delivery was widely praised. Formal speeches have never been McCain’s strong suit, and it’s not a stretch to say teleprompters aren’t always his best friend. McCain prefers informal forums. Remember how his staff challenged the Obama campaign to a series of 10 joint town hall meetings back in June? To be sure, tonight’s audience is as safe and friendly as they come if you’re the Republican presidential nominee. And after Palin’s performance, the delegates certainly seem revved up. The momentum is McCain’s to lose - or ride to new heights.

When McCain takes the stage around 10:30 ET, he’ll formally accept his party’s nomination. But more than that, his speech is a high-stakes exercise in which he’ll lay out his vision for the country’s future and try to convince voters that he’s the best candidate. Here are some numbers to think about as you watch: There are just 60 days until election day; 37 million viewers watched Sarah Palin’s speech last night; the latest CNN poll of polls shows Obama leading McCain by just four points.

We’d love to hear what you’ll be listening for tonight in McCain’s speech. We’re also wondering what you think about the reaction Palin’s speech is getting. Stay with CNN for live coverage of the RNC all evening. Here’s tonight’s lineup:



Video: Hispanic Video


Music & Entertainment

Al Williams


Entertainment Monologue

James McEachin, Author, Actor, Korean War Vet


Introduction of Presiding Officer


Call to Order

Chairman Mike Duncan


Introduction of Colors

Chairman Duncan


Presentation of Colors

Fort Snelling Joint Services Color Guards


Pledge of Allegiance

U.S. Olympians: Ryan Berube, Mitch Gaylord, Brittany Hayes, Barbra Higgins, Larsen Jensen, Elle Logan, Marcus McElhenney, John Naber.


National Anthem

Trace Adkins, Musician



Archbishop Demetrios, New York, NY


Posting of Colors


Speaker: National

Rep. Tom Cole (OK)

Chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee


Speaker: Remarks

Candidate Erik Paulsen (MN)


Speaker: Remarks

Candidate Jay Love (AL)


Speaker: Remarks

Charlie Summers (ME)


Speaker: Remarks

Candidate Aaron Shock (IL)


Speaker: Remarks

Candidate David Cappiello (CT)



Sen. John Ensign (NV)

Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee


Musical Interlude


Video: “Country First: Peace”

(Robert Duvall voice-over)


Introduction of Presiding Officer


Statement of Rules re: Requirements for Nomination of V.P. Candidate

Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY)


Speech: Remarks re: V.P. Nomination

Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. (UT)


Recognition of Delegate for Purpose of Making a Motion

Sen. McConnell


Motion to Nominate V.P. by Acclamation

Floor: Alaska Delegation


Request for Second

Sen. McConnell


Adoption & Announcement of Nominee

Sen. McConnell


Appointment of Committee to Notify & Escort V.P. Candidate

Sen. McConnell


Floor Demonstration


Musical Interlude


Speech: “Spending – Differences in McCain vs. Obama Approach”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, (TN)


Speech: “Taxes/Special Needs Children”

Rosario Marin, Fmr. Treasurer of the U.S.

(Note: Marin has a Down syndrome child; her speech will concentrate on assistance to special needs children.)


Speech: Ask for Hurricane Relief

Joe Watkins, Philadelphia, PA


Speech: “American Leadership Key”

Sen. Mel Martinez (FL)


Speech: “It Takes John McCain/Putting Country First”

Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN)


Musical Interlude


Speech with video: “Doing the Right Thing in the World”

Fmr. U.S. Sen. Bill Frist


Speech: “They are Counting on Us: Iraq”

Lt. Gen. Carol Mutter, USMC (Ret.) Brownsburg, TX



Sen. Sam Brownback (KS)


Musical Interlude


Speech: Remarks and Introduction of Video

Rep. Mary Fallin (OK)


Video: “World Stood Still” (re: 9-11)



Brian Clay, U.S. Olympic Athlete (Beijing Decathlon)



Joe Gibbs, Fmr. Head Coach, Washington Redskins


Musical Interlude


Speech: “We are Winning”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC)


Video: V.P. Nominee – Gov. Sarah Palin


Speech: “Proven Leader”

Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania and first Secretary of Department of Homeland Security


Video: “America’s Place in the World” (Cindy McCain)



Mrs. Cindy McCain


Video: Sen. John McCain


Speech: Nomination Acceptance Speech

Sen. John McCain (AZ)


Floor Demonstration, Balloon Drop, Familes on Stage

McCain and V.P. Candidate Families


Introduction of Presiding Officer John Boehner


Introduction of Benediction

Leader Boehner



Pastor Dan Yeary, Phoenix (AZ)


Introduction of Delegate for Motion

Leader Boehner


Motion to Adjourn Sine Die

Floor – Virginia Delegation


Adoption and Adjournment

Leader Boehner

Filed under: T1 • The Buzz
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Greg

    Why isn't anyone talking about the Road to Nowhere that is being built, that leads to the bridge to know where that is not being built?

    Why isn't anyone mentioning the fact that Alaska received the most earmarks per Capita?

    Just some questions to think about....

    September 4, 2008 at 8:10 pm |