Video: Stage changes for McCain acceptance speech

posted at 1:25 pm on September 4, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

During the buildout of the Xcel Center convention floor, director Mike Miller insisted that the GOP would not reconstruct the stage for John McCain’s speech, but leave it in its original configuration. Either someone made an eleventh-hour shift, or director Mike Miller likes playing coy. The RNCC announced changes to the floor late last night, and I took some video of the new design this morning:

The podium used for the first three nights of the convention was modified to enable John McCain to deliver his acceptance speech from the center of the Xcel Energy Center. The new podium is a reflection of the town-hall style that has been a hallmark of McCain’s campaign. In the new forum, he will be surrounded by the delegates that nominated him the night before.

The new podium was constructed by removing the front corner sections of the existing platform and extending its midsection by 30 feet. The extension will be eight feet wide. Near the conclusion of tonight’s program, Sen. McCain will address the convention from a lectern positioned near the end of this newly-constructed extension. To accommodate the modified platform, delegates from the state of Ohio will be re-seated on either side.

I suspect that these changes have always been in the works, but it’s possible that they put them in place after the Barackopolis speech a week ago. Rather than having the optics of descending from Mount Olympus to tell us all what we should think, McCain wants to appear one of the people, engaging them on a personal basis. They have lowered the stage some from last night and extended the middle section farther towards the delegations. That will ensure that almost every photo of McCain puts him in close proximity to the delegates, and not on a Greek temple pedestal.

Towards the end, I have a shot of the balloons in the ceiling ready to drop at the conclusion of McCain’s speech. Miller bragged, with tongue firmly in cheek, that Republicans know how to do balloons. We’ll see whether his streak runs to ten later tonight.


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OT: They are going to attack Palin on her church.

I predict it will backfire.

mad saint jack on September 4, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Humility trumps hubris.

Maquis on September 4, 2008 at 1:28 PM

I hope Mac mentions the distinct lack of styrofoam columns behind him, twist the knife that Palin stuck in Obama last night.

Bishop on September 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Does it turn into a Transformer and shoot at Code Pink persons?

Hening on September 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Thank you for not using that blasted RedLasso anymore!

Can’t wait for tonight!

Weebork on September 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Maverick!

FiveWays on September 4, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Country first!

carbon_footprint on September 4, 2008 at 1:30 PM

And it look less scale-able by the crazies. Too bad we have to build a stage expecting a Normandy-type landing of lunatics.

Meric1837 on September 4, 2008 at 1:30 PM

*crosses fingers*

I have said it a several of times and it was suggested by some talking heads…

Will he scrap the traditional speech idea and make history with the first convention town hall meeting?

If he does, it would be genius. Especially in contrast to Mt. Olympus.

Damiano on September 4, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Republicans know how to do balloons.

And they also can make them into little Donkey’s that we can pop at a later time!

upinak on September 4, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Since, like millions of conservatives. I was one you-know-what hair away from not voting in November until McCain (now known as “The Genius”) selected Sarah Palin, I hope he cans the smarmy Senatorial “my friends” and just delivers a policy-driven, free enterprise and freedom-loving speech, without all the biographical clap-trap.
We already know McCain..

TexasJew on September 4, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Neat!

RushBaby on September 4, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Being similar to the Town Hall style setting, I see a great night for John Sydney McCain.

carbon_footprint on September 4, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Does it turn into a Transformer and shoot at Code Pink persons?

Hening on September 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM

LMAO.

One can only hope…

Damiano on September 4, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Republicans know how to do balloons.

And they also can make them into little Donkey’s that we can pop at a later time!

upinak on September 4, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Sarah Palin will tear your heart out, make it into an animal balloon, field it, dress it and all this, before you fall.

carbon_footprint on September 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Phallic symbol.

Dead Hand Control on September 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM

McCain ‘mixing with the common man’ should play better than Obama standing over and speaking down to them. Should. But people still have to watch the speech through the eyes of the media.

Grafted on September 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM

I don’t suppose the secret service would let them do away with the moat?

forest on September 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Some dude called “messiah2008″ is auctioning off some faux columns on eBay.

Cheap.

saint kansas on September 4, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Q: Which party is the party of change?
A: Both. Change for ever more and more bail-outs/socialism.

Automakers seek $50 billion in low-interest loans to convert plants from trucks to fuel efficient cars; presidential election could help their chances.

The $50 billion loan package, first proposed by the auto industry last month, has won the support of presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain as their campaigns eye key votes in Michigan and Ohio.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino signaled the outgoing Bush administration was open to approving the loans.

KentAllard on September 4, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Great have I been banned now. :|

upinak on September 4, 2008 at 1:35 PM

I’d love for them to have a picture of Obama’s Greek coliseum on the screen when McCain walks out and after the cheering finished he could look back at it and say “That’s not really me. Can we get something a little more patriotic up there?” and then replace it with the flag.

but I doubt that’d happen.

jdog on September 4, 2008 at 1:36 PM

OT: They are going to attack Palin on her church.

I predict it will backfire.

mad saint jack on September 4, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Everything they seem to aim for, backfires: lack of experience, and now…. her church!
I do recall something about Reverand Wright’s church.
I guess we’re going to have to revisit that little issue.
That’ll be worth about 20 million dollars of Republican 527 ads over the next 60 days.

TexasJew on September 4, 2008 at 1:36 PM

I would LOVE to find out the diffence between how much electricy was used for the DNC verses the RNC. Even eliminate the monday DNC to make things even. Something tells me the dems used at least twice as much power.

Of course, then you have the HUGE carbon footprint that was made from having The One’s speech at a stadium instead of at the convention center.

I’ll start believing in AGW when the dems act like they believe in it.

DethMetalCookieMonst on September 4, 2008 at 1:37 PM

They should do a townhall format. It would explain his policies, he excels at it, and it would be a great contrast to The Messiah in his Barackopolis

lodge on September 4, 2008 at 1:37 PM

McCain is too sexy for a regular stage.

He needs a catwalk.

forest on September 4, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Fox said this morning that McCain is going to wander around the stage while he speaks, like a town hall setting.

This is a huge mistake. Media will make it look like he’s a dottering old fool with alzheimers. If he does it, that’ll be the spin. Trust me.

lorien1973 on September 4, 2008 at 1:38 PM

OT: They are going to attack Palin on her church.

I predict it will backfire.

mad saint jack on September 4, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Everything they seem to aim for, backfires: lack of experience, and now…. her church!
I do recall something about Reverand Wright’s church.
I guess we’re going to have to revisit that little issue.
That’ll be worth about 20 million dollars of Republican 527 ads over the next 60 days.

TexasJew on September 4, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Great advertisement opportunity for the McCampaign: juxtapose whatever worthless rant about Arctic Fox’s church to the Rev. Wright clip of “Nah nah nah, not G*d bless America…..”

carbon_footprint on September 4, 2008 at 1:39 PM

I will probably not watch but I hope others do.

But I do not need to watch, he had me at “My VP pick is Sarah Palin”

Elizabetty on September 4, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Speaking of Code Pink…During the Palin speech or Rudi’s a blond women with a pink shirt on and what looked like two big beach bags over her shoulder was being escorted out by two or three guys in suits…was this our favorite code pink founder being shown the door? ~B

Brian on September 4, 2008 at 1:41 PM

But people still have to watch the speech through the eyes of the media.

Grafted on September 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Not really, Grafted. Last night, I tuned to CSPAN and watched from 8:00pm on through the floor vote without hearing a single talking head.

It was great actually listening and interpreting what the speakers were saying without someone trying to interpret it for me.

I highly recommend it.

BacaDog on September 4, 2008 at 1:41 PM

You know what would be fun?

If this vid was 2x the speed and had the Benny Hill music in the background.

Now THAT’S comedy.

madmonkphotog on September 4, 2008 at 1:41 PM

I can hear the MSM now…………..

“The stage was turned into a cross!”

Seven Percent Solution on September 4, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Great have I been banned now. :|

upinak on September 4, 2008 at 1:35 PM

:(

Why???

Grue in the Attic on September 4, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Thank you for not using that blasted RedLasso anymore!

Can’t wait for tonight!

Weebork on September 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM

RedLasso= The Obama of video playback.

GoodBoy on September 4, 2008 at 1:45 PM

I can hear the MSM now…………..

“The stage was turned into a cross!”
Seven Percent Solution on September 4, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Actually, it’s the Hebrew vowel “ah”.
Those damn neocons!

TexasJew on September 4, 2008 at 1:46 PM

I can hear the MSM now…………..

“The stage was turned into a cross!”

Seven Percent Solution on September 4, 2008 at 1:42 PM

There’s nothing they could do that would surprise me at this point.

forest on September 4, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Some dude called “messiah2008″ is auctioning off some faux columns on eBay.

saint kansas on September 4, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Maybe Kramer would like them.

fogw on September 4, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Great have I been banned now. :|

upinak on September 4, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Um, if you were banned your post would not be here. If you posted something else and it didn’t show, it may be under review.

BacaDog on September 4, 2008 at 1:46 PM

I’m just wainting for some video/ad starting with the Rev. Wright ranting, “…No! No! Noooo! God…”…

sound of record player needle being ripped off of an LP record, video going straight to Kate Smith singing

“…bless America, land that I love…”

Lockstein13 on September 4, 2008 at 1:47 PM

From Slate:

Republicans are reacting to Palin the way Democrats do to Obama. The only difference is that, in the GOP, enthusiasm is measured in Reagan units.

lol!

Palin scored a perfect 10.0 reagans last night.

Let’s hope McCain can too.

pseudonominus on September 4, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Does it turn into a Transformer and shoot at Code Pink persons?

Hening on September 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM

LMAO

JetBoy on September 4, 2008 at 1:48 PM

The MSM will crow that if McCain can’t give a regular speech, how will he handle the speechmaking duties of the President?

Seriously, I think this may be a mistake. Mac gave an amazing speech in 2004, I don’t know why he can’t do it again.

rockmom on September 4, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Is it me or does the stage look like a middle finger?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on September 4, 2008 at 1:48 PM

BacaDog on September 4, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Probably. Great I am a Sarah infidel.

upinak on September 4, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Republicans are reacting to Palin the way Democrats do to Obama. The only difference is that, in the GOP, enthusiasm is measured in Reagan units.

I take it that the DNC’s enthusiasm is measured in Courics.

DethMetalCookieMonst on September 4, 2008 at 1:49 PM

DethMetalCookieMonst on September 4, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Not anymore – now they’re measured in Baracks.

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on September 4, 2008 at 1:49 PM

McCain is too sexy for a regular stage.
He needs a catwalk.
forest on September 4, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Maybe this is some sort of tie-in with Bravo TV’s “Project Runway.” I can see it now. Heidi and Tim address the cast:

Desig-ners! Gather round! This weeks challenge to to re-make John McCain’s old and stuffy maverick image – and liven it up for his speech. *Gasps from the contestants* I know, I know, it’s quite a challenge. *more gasps and groans* Make it work! Carry on!

wise_man on September 4, 2008 at 1:50 PM

Is it me or does the stage look like a middle finger?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on September 4, 2008 at 1:48 PM

snorts!

upinak on September 4, 2008 at 1:50 PM

I take it that the DNC’s enthusiasm is measured in Courics.

DethMetalCookieMonst on September 4, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Maybe in Jimmah Carter peanuts?

JetBoy on September 4, 2008 at 1:51 PM

Heh the middle finger to the press….no I think MAVERICK!* is gonna go townhall….

*speaking to the people not the media

sven10077 on September 4, 2008 at 1:52 PM

BTW: Where is Obama today? In hiding, seeking spiritual guiduance from Wright and Pfleger, or getting bloodied (though unlikely) in 15 rounds during the O’Reilly interview that he’s taping today?

Seriously, the guy has fallen off the political radar. Why isn’t the media hunting him down?

BuckeyeSam on September 4, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Is it me or does the stage look like a middle finger?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on September 4, 2008 at 1:48 PM

If so, at least the man will be stomping it, not embracing it. ;)

Maquis on September 4, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Why isn’t the media hunting him down?

BuckeyeSam on September 4, 2008 at 1:52 PM

The Messiah needs his time in silence and solace before his Final Trial. He has told his Apostles of the MSM, “tarry here and watch the RNC for me.”

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on September 4, 2008 at 1:54 PM

take it that the DNC’s enthusiasm is measured in Courics.

DethMetalCookieMonst on September 4, 2008 at 1:49 PM

McGoverns

pedestrian on September 4, 2008 at 1:54 PM

No pits, or punji sticks, or trip wires?

I’m disappointed!

Ah well. Still holding out for the “Drop Two Candidates in the Jungle” debate.

apollyonbob on September 4, 2008 at 1:56 PM

Wait: where are the Styrofoam Corinthian columns that speak to the candidate’s humility and grounding in reality?

Akzed on September 4, 2008 at 1:56 PM

No, this stage makes him look like Bono on the last few U2 tours that featured this walkway right into the middle of the crowd. Hardly a brilliant new design. And sorry, it won’t feel anything like a town hall.

But don’t let this detract from this forced MAVERICK RE-TOOL THE STAGE MAVERICK MOVE OF MAVERICKNESS.

Dave Rywall on September 4, 2008 at 1:57 PM

DethMetalCookieMonst on September 4, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Not to mention Algores and celebrity jets

TheSitRep on September 4, 2008 at 1:58 PM

On a related note: theme music? Kenny Loggins’s “Danger Zone” (Topgun).

Maybe a bit much, I guess.

BuckeyeSam on September 4, 2008 at 2:01 PM

McCain just says he doesn’t support torture.
The truth is by picking Governor Sarah Palin he is torturing all liberals to within an inch of their lives

TheSitRep on September 4, 2008 at 2:02 PM

I think they should go further and install a steel cage. Have McCain challenge the Code Pink protesters to a steel cage death match so we can watch him dismember the dissenters.

m064404 on September 4, 2008 at 2:02 PM

I wish they had a live orchestra. I miss the convention music striking up whenever there are a few seconds to do so, fill the long pauses and compliment the cheering when speakers walk in or leave.

Yeah, call me old fashioned.

Dusty on September 4, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Top Gun / Moose gun 08

TheSitRep on September 4, 2008 at 2:02 PM

I’d have a foot high model of BO’s temple just sitting on the corner of the stage….don’t mention it, it just sits there…

hippie_chucker on September 4, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Palin Units are normally measured in barrels of oil.

Couric Units are generally measured in buckets of crap.

Obama Units are currently measured in 3-dimensional cylindrical volumes of fluffy styrofoam (only 100kg/m3 – 20% less than balsa wood).

And Biden Units are measured in an special amalgam of Paco Rabanne, hair plugs and tooth caps. This Unit is rarely used because, frankly, it is so .. disgusting.

TexasJew on September 4, 2008 at 2:03 PM

I’d have a foot high model of BO’s temple just sitting on the corner of the stage….don’t mention it, it just sits there…

hippie_chucker on September 4, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Remember the tiny Stonehenge model in “Spinal Tap”?

TexasJew on September 4, 2008 at 2:04 PM

TexasJew on September 4, 2008 at 2:03 PM

giggles uncontrolably!

upinak on September 4, 2008 at 2:05 PM

I am expecting a fantastic speech by the Maverick. He is going to shine. Palin and Giuliani left their marks deep in conservative hearts. McCain will do the same. I am proud to have this ticket represent our republican party.

jencab on September 4, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Top Gun / Moose gun 08
TheSitRep on September 4, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Lawl,

You’re out of control, Maverick!!!!

wise_man on September 4, 2008 at 2:05 PM

CNN & FOX are starting to play up the protest the goons have planned. Give ‘em hell, St Paul.

Limerick on September 4, 2008 at 2:06 PM

CNN & FOX are starting to play up the protest the goons have planned. Give ‘em hell, St Paul.

Excellent. Warms my heart to see the po-lice smashing these fools.

lodge on September 4, 2008 at 2:10 PM

Ah well. Still holding out for the “Drop Two Candidates in the Jungle” debate.

apollyonbob on September 4, 2008 at 1:56 PM

*snort*
Two men enter, one man leaves!
Two men enter, one man leaves!

BillH on September 4, 2008 at 2:10 PM

I’d have a foot high model of BO’s temple just sitting on the corner of the stage….don’t mention it, it just sits there…

hippie_chucker on September 4, 2008 at 2:02 PM

I was thinking that it would be fun if he came out to one on the lectern so he could look at it askance, say “I don’t think we’ll be needing anything like this.” and toss it into the crowd.

And I told the ever-indulgent wife that I would pay good money (donate to Obama’s campaign) if someone in the rafters had dropped just one balloon during Kerry’s speech.

KCSteve on September 4, 2008 at 2:11 PM

The more pressing question is….

… can I have that video screen when they are done with it. I’ll pledge to vote McCain for the next 100 years if they give it to me.

AverageJoe on September 4, 2008 at 2:12 PM

Dave Rywall on September 4, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Dang, Dave, you’re ascribing an awful lot of popularity to Mc Cain I didn’t think he had. Thanks for the positive comment!

BillH on September 4, 2008 at 2:13 PM

Top Gun / Moose

Brilliant coincidence!
And didn’t the goup Berlin do the love song from that..
I’ll have to dust off my old VHS copy
Like Obama himself .. writing checks that can’t be cashed..

TexasJew on September 4, 2008 at 2:15 PM

I hope McCain ignores Obama in his speech. Let him fight with Palin.

Sackett on September 4, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Yah, TexasJew. It was Berlin- Take My Breath Away.

BillH on September 4, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Does it turn into a Transformer and shoot at Code Pink persons?

Hening on September 4, 2008 at 1:29 PM

For Code Pinkos I was thinking little bolts of electricity would be fun.

Lawrence on September 4, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Phallic symbol.

Dead Hand Control on September 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM

You idiot. It looks like a cross. Jeez.

fossten on September 4, 2008 at 2:23 PM

The cross isn’t a phallic symbol? As for the stage, it’s clearly a subtle reference to the paradox of existential soteriology, the transfixion at the point of the non-existent yet all-encompassing present of the irrevocable “it was” on the way to the ineluctable “must be.” Mav should handle that.

Just hope he doesn’t fall off. That’s my only concern.

CK MacLeod on September 4, 2008 at 2:32 PM

I think they should go further and install a steel cage.

They could hang some of Palin’s trophies mounted on plaques: a moose head, a caribou head, Barry Obama’s a55…

saint kansas on September 4, 2008 at 2:36 PM

CK MacLeod on September 4, 2008 at 2:32 PM

@_@ *HEADEXPLODES*

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on September 4, 2008 at 2:42 PM

John McCain doesn’t need styrofoam greek columns, fireworks, or football stadium. Give him a stage and the flag and he will deliver his campaign message to the people. He doesn’t have to pretend to be JFK or MLK, because he is a genuine war hero that cheated death twice and continues to outlive his political opponents.

eigafan on September 4, 2008 at 2:51 PM

“… can I have that video screen when they are done with it. I’ll pledge to vote McCain for the next 100 years if they give it to me.”

I’d like it to watch the football game tonight but it’s bigger than my entire condo.

NoDonkey on September 4, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Phallic symbol.

Dead Hand Control on September 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Nah, middle finger…definitely middle finger symbolism at work here.

Wyznowski on September 4, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Rather than having the optics of descending from Mount Olympus to tell us all what we should think, McCain wants to appear one of the people…That will ensure that almost every photo of McCain puts him in close proximity to the delegates, and not on a Greek temple pedestal


av, you magnificent bastard!!!

RocketmanBob on September 4, 2008 at 3:20 PM

ooooooooops

av=Mav

RocketmanBob on September 4, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Can I just say that I love the GOP’s stage for this week it just rocks.

tee866 on September 4, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Dave Rywall on September 4, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Ah, gypsum board, you delightful little canuck troll. I’m hoping all this doesn’t make you ill, as it would subject you to the risk of death at the hands of the socialist joke you people call health care in Canada.

ManlyRash on September 4, 2008 at 3:41 PM

… it would subject you to the risk of death at the hands of the socialist joke you people call health care in Canada.

ManlyRash on September 4, 2008 at 3:41 PM

This explains EVERYTHING.

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on September 4, 2008 at 3:47 PM

You know what I think….

I think if John McCain is most comfortable and confident giving a speech in a town-hall setting, then byjimminy and bygosh, he ought to be given a town hall setting for his speech.

It has nothing to do with “media spin” after the fact. It has to do with how comfortable the candidate feels and how he connects with the millions of TV Viewers watching at home.

Its maverick’s way of SHOWING people who he is. Barry Hussein showed people he thinks of himself as a godlike messiah…. Maverick’s setting will show people he thinks of himself as a public servant.

Always Right on September 4, 2008 at 4:01 PM

Grue in the Attic on September 4, 2008 at 3:47 PM

Yup…he is more to be pitied than laughed at.

ManlyRash on September 4, 2008 at 4:27 PM

I’m really hoping there’s ZERO mention of the other guys tonight. Make them a non-issue and focus on what YOU will accomplish. Their plans and schemes mean nothing and aren’t even worth taking the time to speak to them.

Honestly, the “you don’t matter” approach would make MSDNC’s talking heads explode. How could he not mention the messiah during his acceptance speech?

darury on September 4, 2008 at 7:49 PM