Friday, September 5, 2008

Breath of Fresh Patriotic Air: Over 83 Million Watched Two Big Political Speeches

In the past week I've blogged about Mad Men, 90210 and Grey's Anatomy.

But what topic has given me the greatest satisfaction? That honor goes to the Associated Press story I read today that said more than 83 million people tuned in to watch Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's acceptance speech last week (approximately 42.4 million) and GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin's acceptance speech this week (about 41.1 million). (No numbers for John McCain's speech yet. Joe Biden's speech pulled in an estimated 24 million.)

In an age when it wouldn't surprise me if more people voted for an American Idol contestant than a leader of the free world, the fact that tens of millions of people took the time away from watching baseball, football and entertainment programming to watch the two political conventions and, in particular, two historic speeches, warms the cockles of my Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-idealistic heart.

"The audiences for the Obama and Palin speeches were bigger than the ones this year for the Academy Awards, the finale of American Idol or the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing," the AP reported.

And if that many people tune in to watch the four debates (three presidential, one VP) -- I, sad political addict I am, watch all the debates (or DVR them) and have the small people in my house watch until it's time for them to go bed -- I will be simply over the moon.
UPDATE: The McCain speech numbers are now in. McCain's GOP acceptance speech drew 41.6 million viewers. That means, if you throw that in with the number of people who watched Obama, Biden and Palin (all on separate nights), 149 million people tuned in to watch four political speeches. How fantastic is that?

Image credit: Think

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