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Get ready to hear that title often because I just can’t say it any plainer than that. Thursday night, the country was introduced to someone that bared no resemblance whatsoever to the “unpatriotic, angry Muslim” that the Right has falsely tried to paint Barack “Hussein” Obama.

They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so let’s start with several thousand:

Mile-High celebration
(click to enlarge)

Best line of the night:

“John McCain may pay $500 for his shoes, but we’re the ones who’d pay for his flip-flops.” – Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM)

Regular readers of “Mugsy’s Rap Sheet” know that I’m a fan of Gov. Bill Richardson. As one of the keynote speakers, he was introduced as “a man with one of the longest resume’s in Washington”. Richardson delivered the first speech to really hit on just about every bullet point. He used McCain’s own attack ads against him (the “Celebrity” ad suggesting voters aren’t thinking for themselves while McCain votes with Bush 95% of the time.) Too bad more people won’t see/hear his wonderful speech, but I’m grateful he was at least given a coveted Primetime slot.

Of course, former Vice President Al Gore was his usual brilliant self. His speech was, as expected, heavy on the environment and being green, but he also talked about how important it is for everyone to get out and vote. And unlike his former boss Bill Clinton, he didn’t have to shy away from direct criticism of George Bush.

In another portion of the event, a series of “ordinary people” told the crowd about how bad the Bush economy has been for them. By no coincidence I’m sure, at least half of them were “former Republicans”. One of the best lines came from the final speaker, one “Barney Smith“, who talked about how his job of the past 30 years was sent overseas, ending his speech with the line: “We need a president who puts Barney Smith before Smith Barney.

Obama’s historic speech (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) was exactly as you’d expect. He acknowledged the historic event for what it was, noting how he was accepting the nomination for President of the United States on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, given at the height of desegregation. He talked about how the other side has relied heavily on “personal attacks”, how John McCain was “more of the same”, and how a voting record that agrees with Bush 90% of the time is a “10% gamble on change”.

While watching this incredible historic event, I found myself thinking the same thing I was thinking after the opening Olympic Ceremonies in China earlier this month: “How are the next guys going to top this?” Forget, you can’t. While the DNC was forced to “turn people away” from the Thursday event after packing 84,000 people into the 70,000 seat stadium, the McCain campaign is having trouble finding enough people to fill the stadium where he will be announcing his VP pick.

Because of the historic significance of Obama’s speech, the ratings will be MUCH higher for his big night than it will be for McCain, which means (obviously) more people will have viewed Obama’s speech than will view McCain’s, which should translate into a bigger post-convention bounce for Obama than McCain. What does McCain have to offer this country? A “too old” Republican following on the heels of the most unpopular President in history, with a similar voting record, who has (documented) flip-flopped on more issues than they ever (falsely) accused John Kerry of. And if he selects Mitt Romney to be his VP as many expect, not only is Romney disliked by a majority of the Republican’s Evangelical base, but would only highlight the fact the GOP is “the rich old white-guy” Party. I just don’t see that ticket winning in today’s climate.

A few more photos for you:

A huge crowd
The crowd

The Generals endorsing Obama
The Generals

How does the McCain camp top this? Simple answer: they can’t.