Republican Convention Diary: Blue and just a little deflated on all the hot air
No one would accuse these friendly folk of Nazi tendencies, but there was something Nurembergish about the last moments of their convention. The podium, a million-dollar extravaganza, was definitely of the Albert Speer school of architecture with its monumental proportions, square arch and fake-granite facing. Just before the appearance of the leader, the arena was plunged into darkness for a film tribute to past presidents, much of it in flickering monochrome with a menacing, drum-rolling soundtrack. Happily or unhappily, Mr Bush did not quite match up to the metaphor. Disappointed with the acceptance speech, one journalist muttered: 'Ein Volk, ein Reich, aber kein Fuhrer.'
The Democrats do not have a monopoly on dressing up and looking stupid. Spotted among the suits and ties on the convention floor were two Abraham Lincolns and at least three Uncle Sams. And there was lots of silly headwear, especially variations on the elephant theme, as the official Party mascot, some with ears and trunks so large that those wearing them were having difficulty hearing or seeing the proceedings. And there were some cute hats, too, in honour of the Vice-President, with life-sized stuffed quails nesting in plastic leaves. Oh, and look over there - an Olly North look-alike. Oops, I'm so sorry, that is Mr North, a guest of delegates from Virginia where he is considering a run for the Senate.
Some were taking the unusually cool weather in Houston as proof that God is indeed a Republican. The city normally gasps through August with temperatures and humidity in the high 90s. But this week, the mercury has generally been about 10 degrees below normal. Few resorted, therefore, to the natty little 'cool bag' given to each of us by the St Luke's Episcopal Hospital for use in case of heat stroke. Squeeze the bag firmly, the instructions said, and the contents would miraculously turn to ice. It still came in handy though for those struck with migraine after hearing the 1,000th exhortation about family values.
Republican sentiment about family values had some hostile competition on the front pages this week. First it was the Woody Allen revelations - the Democrats could hardly have arranged a better news distraction if they had tried - and then word filtering across the Atlantic of the Duchess of York and her suntanned toes. 'Fergie Puts Family Values To Shame', ran the headline on yesterday's Houston Post.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
Men arrested after RAF jet is scrambled to escort Pakistan Airlines passenger plane to Stansted
- 1 Liam Gallagher slams Daft Punk: 'I could have written Get Lucky in an hour'
- 2 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.