Roger L. Simon

Off Night at the Garden

The Bush Twins say that they “are not very political.” No kidding. The less said about them the better, except that I hope they did their own writing, because it’s hard to believe anyone got paid for that adolescent patter that sounded like outtakes from a bad awards ceremony. Jokes are fine, indeed needed, but these are serious times and these are young college graduates, not teenyboppers. Next time a little more gravitas, please. Their mother was much better

But first a note of surrealism. I watched Arnold on a television set next to Pat Buchanan. This happened because I was getting agoraphobia/claustrophobia on the convention floor. A few of us bloggers had been escorted down into that terra interdita by the nice volunteer who is helping us. I visited with a friend in the California delegation. I had intended to watch the Governator from there, but I didn’t have a seat and the crush was getting too much for me. I retreated to a media area when, earlier than I had expected, Arnold began speaking. I headed for the nearest TV to watch. Suddenly I realized someone was standing behind me. It was Pat. He had a scowl on his face. As we know, Schwarzenegger does not represent Buchanan’s Republican Party. Nothing seems to make Pat happy these days. As Arnold began to lead the chant of “four more years,” Buchanan spun on his heels as if repelled and stalked off, heading for the nearest microphone.

Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger, the first Republican I ever voted for, was not as inspiring as I had hoped. Maybe my own expectation game was too high. He hit the notes but that was about it. And the girlie men joke, even delivered in self-mockery, is getting a little tiresome. Still, I think Arnold’s doing a good job as governor — and that’s more important than how great a speech he delivers at a convention. And I’m sure others reacted differently. I’m still thinking about McCain and, even more, Giuliani. He gave the speech of the year so far.