OffTheBus asked me to report on people's reactions to the McCain speech. So I cut out of work early to watch it, which meant I had to look for a place close to where I work in the downtown Financial District of San Francisco. I went to eight different bars/restaurants in the blocks surrounding my office building. Every single one was showing the Washington Redskins/New York Giants football game. I was perplexed and confused until I realized that McCain's speech would come on after the game was over.
So, I settled on an Irish pub with two televisions called Harrington's Bar & Grill, located at 245 Front Street. The pub is split into two sections, and the side I was on had about 40-50 people. The other side had many more than that. Pint ordered, I waited and watched. Advertisements came on for the speech, but no one was paying any attention, and no one was talking about the RNC at all. The game ended, and then another football game came on the TV. This time, it was a college game. It turned out that the bar had switched the station away from NBC to ESPN. No McCain. So I left.
I walked by a bar next door that had four televisions. Three had the same college football game on, and the fourth was showing a tennis match.
I then walked by a pizza parlour with three televisions, all with the same college football game on.
Another bar -- two televisions, college football on both.
Finally, I went to Tony Roma's at 2 Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level - "Famous For Ribs." It was the only spot I found near my work that was showing McCain's speech. Two televisions. Both with McCain. The restaurant has outdoor seating (with no televisions) which had about 20 people eating and drinking (and not watching the speech). Inside the bar area where the televisions were, there were four other people, the bartender making it five.
The bartender, a white male in his late 20s, did not watch the speech at any time. One patron was a white male in his 50s, and was reading a book. He left before the speech was over. Another patron was a Pacific Islander woman in her 30s, and spent most of her time sipping her wine and text messaging on her phone. She was not watching the speech. The last two patrons were Latino males in their early 40s, who did watch the speech. They did not speak to each other, or say anything at all throughout the speech. When it was over, they did not discuss it, but instead talked about what kind of beer they were going to order for the next round.
OffTheBus wants to know: Did people think McCain made a good choice in picking Palin?
Well, since only two people were watching the speech, neither making any comments, and who then started discussing the beer selection for their next round when the speech ended, I did not ask this question. They did not appear to be engaged in the speech on any significant level other than the fact that it was what was on the television.
Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most. Learn more