If you don't watch C-Span, you might not know that there is a massive, intricately choreographed political convention going on behind the nonsense being spouted by the talking heads in the foreground of your screen.
National party conventions are always a pretty interesting spectactle, as state-level politicians in effect audition for the next career step.
Here are some Leno-worthy money quotes from the past two days:
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey:
John McCain calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush more than 90% of the time. That's not a maverick, that's a sidekick.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland:
You know, it was once said of the first George Bush that he was born on third base and thought he'd hit a triple. Well, with the 22 million new jobs and the budget surplus Bill Clinton left behind, George W. Bush came into office on third base -- and then he stole second. And John McCain cheered him every step of the way.
New York Gov. David Paterson:
If the answer, then the question must be ridiculous.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell:
The only thing green in John McCain's energy plan is the billions of dollars he's promising in tax cuts for oil companies. And the only thing he'll recycle is the same failed Bush approach to energy policy.
A couple pols took cheap shots at McCain's expensive real estate portfolio:
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer:
Even leaders in the oil industry know that Senator McCain has it wrong. We simply can't drill our way to energy independence, even if you drilled in all of John McCain's backyards -- including the ones he can't remember!
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sibelius:
I'm sure you remember a girl from Kansas who said there's no place like home. Well, in John McCain's version, there's no place like home. Or a home. Or a home. Or a home. Or a home.
And finally, the best line of the night:
Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel:
You know, President Bush inherited an economy that created 23 million new jobs. I'm a little surprised. You would think the one thing President Bush was good at was inheriting things. Instead he turned a $236 billion surplus into a record deficit and added nearly $4 trillion in new debt. That's the one thing we can say about George Bush: Mr. President, we will be forever in your debt.