Part of the reason he talks back so much (nearly doubling the initial length of his speech, in this case) is that he likes the sound of his own voice. But there is something else: Clinton is such a master of rhetorical strategy—he commands such innate and reflexive mastery of what makes the spoken word resonate—that he cannot help but improve his speech as he gives it. He doesn’t ad lib in the sense that extras in a movie have a restaurant conversation. He improvises, in the sense that Miles Davis or Beethoven would come up with an enduring work of art on the spot.

And from there it goes into a nice play-by-play showing exactly how Clinton played off the teleprompter during different parts of the speech. Great piece about a great speech, and a truly gifted public speaker. If you haven’t seen it yet, do.

Bonus: Hendrik Hertzberg agrees.

Speaking of really good blog headers, did you know that…  (a) the State Department has a blog (b) it looks all hip and has a Twitter feed in the sidebar (c) it’s called Dipnote, which is awesomely close to Dipset, which the State Department may or may not know is another name for the “Harlem-based hip hop group” The Diplomats (hey, that works on so many levels!!) (d) this blog has a really nice looking blog header?  Yes, all of these things are true.  What’s more, Hillary is setting up some kind of cyber-program in which “American students will partner with our embassies abroad to conduct digital diplomacy that reflects the realities of our networked world”?  What does that even mean?!  But hey, we’re living in the future!  2009!

Speaking of really good blog headers, did you know that… (a) the State Department has a blog (b) it looks all hip and has a Twitter feed in the sidebar (c) it’s called Dipnote, which is awesomely close to Dipset, which the State Department may or may not know is another name for the “Harlem-based hip hop group” The Diplomats (hey, that works on so many levels!!) (d) this blog has a really nice looking blog header? Yes, all of these things are true. What’s more, Hillary is setting up some kind of cyber-program in which “American students will partner with our embassies abroad to conduct digital diplomacy that reflects the realities of our networked world”? What does that even mean?! But hey, we’re living in the future! 2009!

McCain is playing with fire. If he really wants to put country first, he will attack Obama on his policies - not on these inflammatory, personal, creepy grounds.

Thank you, Andrew Sullivan.  And might I add that the McCain campaign’s twisting of what was clearly a speech in support of regulation into a push for “deregulation” is dishonest in the extreme.  Country first, my ass.

Barracuda

Did anyone else notice the Republicans played Heart’s “Barracuda” like 3 songs after McCain finished his speech at the convention last night? WTF? I’d really like to have been there for the decision making process behind that one: “This song is just BAD ASS — John McCain is a bad ass! YEAH ADDING TO PLAYLIST!!” And it looks like Heart is confused, and rightfully pissed, too.