Good morning, and welcome to an abbreviated Hotline Sort. We're headed from the bubble in Tampa to the bubble in Charlotte, but we aim to bring you the outside-the-bubble look at what's driving the political conversation today.
5) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sat down for an interview with Hotline yesterday, in which he discussed his appearance in a Ron Paul tribute video, his comparison between 1980 and 2012, and his new obsession: The Washington Nationals. Speaking of the Nats, McConnell describes Sen. Scott Brown as "the Bryce Harper of American politics. I think he's a uniquely gifted political figure, and his kind of every-man image with the pickup truck -- that's not an act. That's really who he is. ... I'd be really, really surprised if he doesn't win. I think he's going to. It's a really hard state, but he's a uniquely gifted politician."
4) So, about that empty chair. Clint Eastwood's appearance at the GOP convention last night forced Mitt Romney's acceptance speech to extend well beyond 11 p.m., and his debate with an absent President Obama had some wondering whether inviting the former mayor of Carmel was a smart idea. The "rather rambling speech," as NBC's Mark Murray puts it (generously), forced Mitt Romney's campaign to acknowledge Eastwood's "ad libbing" in an official statement.
3) The convention's first night was about on par
with the first night of the 2008 convention, but Paul Ryan
is clearly no Sarah Palin
. About 37 million Americans watched Palin's acceptance speech, while just 20 million Americans watched
Ryan take the veep nod. We chalk that up to disaffection with politics, and we'll still wait to see how many people watched Romney's speech before declaring the modern political convention dead, but losing half your audience usually gets a show cancelled.
2) The Secretary of State usually stays far away from domestic politics. But how far away? Hillary Clinton
will be in the Cook Islands when Democrats meet in Charlotte next week. It's very hard for one human being to be farther away
from another. If you flew from one to the other, you'd be traveling for 40 hours and make two pit stops, according to Orbitz. But it's not that bad -- fly one way tomorrow and you'll only pay $864.79, according to an early-morning search.
1) Advice to students: Don't cheat in school, especially when you're taking classes on government. At least half of a Harvard class on Congress is under investigation for alleged academic fraud, the Crimson reports
. If they're suspicious about which Republican congressman was seen leaving the convention at ten to midnight on Wednesday night, we apologize for outing Rep. Ralph Hall
We'll catch you in Charlotte. Happy Friday.