He's terrible at delivery. He can't read from a teleprompter to save his life. And convention organizers badly managed the aesthetics and failed early on to control the outbursts of protesters.
But with this speech, and with Palin's last night, the McCain campaign has finally moved away from trying to consolidate the base and is making a powerful play for independents and Democrats on the basis of economics and strong foreign policy. This may be the first GOP acceptance speech since 1992, for example, in which the nominee didn't take a swipe at gay marriage.
McCain was refreshingly candid about Republican failures over the past few years, especially on spending. He was respectful of Obama and the Democrats, emphasizing the commonalities and noting the differences without sarcasm. It was the most genuine, generous, and classy speech of the RNC. I got the sense he finally felt free to be himself. For all his shortcomings, it's good to have him back.