Sarah Palin's delivery at the convention was impressive and all the Republicans dutifully executed their orders.
But what was most interesting is that the public was exposed to John McCain's new strategy to win the war for the White House. He has opened up a number of new fronts and unleashed a number of diversionary tactics, including his good-looking VP running mate. These diversions are designed to confuse and mislead the enemy.
What McCain's done changed the presidential race from McCain versus Obama or Team Democrat against Team Republican to battling against big media, big government, big elites, big cities, big bureaucracies, big banks, big labor unions, big corporations, big oil and big shots period.
This results in a re-framing of the language involved. Instead of being simply another political pair seeking power, McCain and Co. are engaged in good versus evil and victory versus forfeiture in Iraq. They will try and cast themselves as heroic, populist leaders not ambitious, fawning power brokers.
Frankly, if the American public buys that story -- given McCain's total involvement in all the problems the Bush regime has caused -- then I have a bridge-to-nowhere in Alaska I'd like them to buy.
This new war plan has worked in the past few days. For instance, he went out of his way uncharacteristically to pick fights with media. outlets he used to court heavily. He engaged in surly and nasty answers with two reporters from Time Magazine on the record. Then he stated he was outraged against CNN over a routine interview so much that he canceled his appearance on the most high-profile slot in television which is CNN's Larry King Show).
The beauty of this, from McCain's viewpoint, is that the next day "story" on TV, radio and print becomes the media fight and not George Bush's record, the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, the $30-billion-a-month cost, the failure to provide decent healthcare like other developed nations do, the Wall Street bailouts or McCain's voting record which is 90% in sync with Bush's.
In McCain's new multi-front war, his attractive new running mate -- warts and all -- becomes a target, real or imagined, as well as an offensive weapon. Sarah Palin attacked all of the straw men that the two of them have concocted to do battle against: the lobbyists, Congress, the Senate, Georgetown cocktail parties, those who look down on small towns, the unpatriotic, the "sexists" who rejected Hillary and those awful, evil, liberals who vote Democrat.
The "enemies" she cited included Republicans, to distance themselves further from the political party that finances their election bid. Palin took aim at the fact that government spending has doubled since 1980 in Washington and Republicans were Presidents for all but eight of those years.
McCain's new battle lines also attack Obama's biggest vulnerabilities which are his failure to have made a deal with Hillary and his failure to promise to drill everywhere to optimize America's energy resources.
Sarah Palin did her duty, but it will take 62 more days to figure out whether it's enough to overcome the Republican baggage that, like it or not, McCain must share responsibility for creating.
Follow Diane Francis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@dianefrancis1