Huffpost Politics

The Lime Green Monster: McCain's Speech Widely Panned

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It may be a superficial quip with Senator McCain's speech tonight, but as Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic noted, in presidential politics, "theatrics matter."

The choice of a lime green backdrop was, to put it kindly, not wise. Beyond representing a jarring visual for even the most colorblind political viewer, the set up was clearly a distraction from the speech itself. Take a look at some of the reviews:

Ambinder: "I wish I had a screen grab... but the green background is very weird and very jarring. On this stage, theatrics matter."

Matt Yglesias notes: "...it's interesting that he's shifted his aesthetic from his old black and white 'fascist' aesthetic to a new green and white Islamofascist aesthetic."

Andrew Sullivan: "From the re-branded green background to the silly attempt to capitalize on Democratic divisions to the Clintonian cooptation of an Obama meme - "a leader we can believe in" - McCain's opening gambit in the general election was, in my judgment, underwhelming."

Atrios: "It'll make you look like the cottage cheese in a lime jello salad. Always a good look for an older gentlemen... The aesthetics of McCain's speech, just mercifully completed before a slightly energized crowd of literally dozens, was awesome in how dreadful it was. No matter what Harold Ford thinks, who was somehow thoroughly moved by lime-jello McCain.

From TPM:

This is not to distract from McCain's address; that too was poorly reviewed. The most biting of the criticisms came from CNN's Jeffrey Toobin, who intoned, moments after its conclusion: "That was awful! That was pathetic!"

Josh Marshall, over at TPM, noted: "Here's how bad it is. All the Fox commentators are giving competing explanation for why McCain's speech sucked."

But if you think this was strictly a liberal prerogative, here is a sampling of the Republican response to McCain's general election launch.

Here's Mark Levin over at National Review's The Corner: "Not to offend those who might be offended, but this speech is a mash and tough to digest. You have to get through the self-congratulatory praise of independence and commander-in-chief pose from the Senate, then you have to try to follow the inconsistency of some of his big-government ideas vs. his anti-big-government rhetoric, and his inconsistency even on his supposed strength -- the surge in Iraq vs. closing GITMO and conferring additional rights on the detainees."

Summing up GOP sentiment was prominent Republican media consultant, Alex Castellanos, speaking on CNN: "Last I checked this was not a speech-making contest, thank God."