Six in the evening and we have re-established the national affairs desk in the peerless Wyld Tymes bar across the way from the Convention Compound proper.

We’re all waiting for Palin, who will be appearing at 9.15 pm here about half past one Oz time and whom I will liveblog.

We were earlier established in the 5th Ave Starbucks, which has become the de facto blogger central — I have stopped bothering to say “I am not a blogger” — not least for what has become the Jon Stewart perp walk, the diminutive genius strolling through at about nineish each morning for a big coffee, and about half a dozen fan fotos.

Starbucks is not going to get us thru an entire evening of Republicans. This is going to have to be done from a bar.

Six cars pulled up a minute ago. Twenty riot cops piled out like clowns from a jalopy, and cleared the whole mall. Then they surrounded a building and about six cops on mountain bikes rode inside. Yes, in. No I don’t know why either. Anarchists have occupied the indoor velodrome. Say it in Norwegian and it makes sense.

The Convention started again at about 6pm tonight, the rest of the day being taken up by luncheons and bruncheons for goddsake. No shame about lobbyists here, the buffet is rolled out wide as hell. The hot ticket was the AstraZenica lunch, which had caviar, lobster etc piled up on groaning tables, a pure celebration of excess.

More movement in the mall outside. Cops lined up at both ends, Republicans sitting in the outdoor gardens getting nervous. Are they in the line of fire?

The McCain abortion truck crawls past. A three-ton job covered with pictures of aborted foetuses, and signs saying “McCain shame”. God knows what one stray vote McCain cast for abortion — if the mother is raped and dying perhaps — but this bloke remembers it.

Meg Whiteman, the founder of eBay, is speaking to the convention now. The standard platitudes and salespitch — John’s a different breed, tempered in the fire etc etc, he’ll achieve energy independence, this is our moonshot. This is not interesting. This is boilerplate.

Earlier we had a woman who was some sort of pretzl entrepreneur. That is not a Steely Dan song. She was Amish and had started some pretzel company after her family lost their crops. Then she lost her 19-month-old daughter, and spoke compellingly of despair etc, and how she had then given her life to giving…

I don’t mean to make fun of that, because she was one of the rare people at either convention who sounded real … But what was the nature of that reality — she spoke of giving, of only being alive when you give to others, only being real — which, let’s face it, is hardly a Republican motif. Isn’t it about the individual and making your own way in the world?

The giving thing — is, you know, others.

But even better she then quotes Alexis De Tocqueville — “America is great because it is good”.

Huge applause cheering from people who fell asleep at page 12 of The Da Vinci Code.

The boobies. The whole point of the quote in Tocqueville’s Democracy in America is ironic — or let’s be more precise — sardonic. De T had gone to the US to study its prison system. He observed a society building a new order and he worried about their belief that association alone, rather than deep organic roots, could sustain a society. Democracy in America was not a celebration, it was a warning about hubris.

You tools.

But still the woman’s compelling. She knows what she knows.

8pm. Mitt Romney’s up.

Mitt Romney speaks, the sign says.

Romney is the awfulness test. If he just makes you want to vomit up your own spleen you’re a human being. Nevertheless he’s giving a good speech, hammering on the liberals.

“Is supporting rights for Guantanamo Bay liberal or conservative? It’s liberal!”

Cheers.

“People are stronger if raised in the family homes with a mom and a dad.”

You listening Bristol?

Romney going for the hard yards — trying to sell the mortgage crisis etc as a democratic thing.

Energy security again.

The woman next to me at the bar is a hooker.

This is too good.

I’m watching Mitt Romney at the RNC and the woman next to me is negotiating an hourly rate and an appointment time.

For yeah I sayeth to God, send me a metaphor, and lo there is Jessica, with a white top reading Royal Beauty.

God the GOP are kicking hard tonight. And dancing to Life is a Highway. Forget load shifting. These are loads of marbled meat fat sliding around the back of a truck as it goes over a cliff.

Waiting for Palin … the roll of the dice … Win or lose on this.

Huckabee on now, telling some goddam anecdote I can’t hear cos I’m eavesdropping on the hookers, which is ironic again. There’s two of them but I think one is a sort of girl pimp. Like Romney. Or Bolt.

Huckabee should have been the VP pick. He’s got substance he gave credit to Obama, and then rounded on the Democrats, would have got the evangelicals, no problem of cred. A foolish bypass.

What is Huckabee saying?

Giuliani slamming down the attack on Obama in old NY style. Pretty good.

“He worked as a community organiser. (scornful laughter) A what?”

Huge laughter. Good get.

“Obama is the least experienced leader in a hundred years…on this we agree with Joe Biden.” Laughter. Good get.

These guys are too good. They may well upstage Palin. Amateurs mistake. Don’t overload the front end of the ticket.

“Drill baby drill!” – Rudy Giuliani, 2008 – Bristol Palin, earlier 2008.

Into the John McCain spiel. Boy this must hurt the back of Giuliani’s throat

“The Democrats couldn’t mention 911.”

It’s a cracking speech though. Real piledriver. This guy will be their lead attack dog.

Obama was x…..Obama was y….too much Obama…too much Obama focused…

“If i were Joe Biden I’d get the VP thing in writing”

Gotta send. Palin coverage continues as liveblog.

Peter Fray

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