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St. Paul: Wednesday Night Liveblog

8:04 CDT: [Sean] Michael Steele: “Drill, baby, drill, and drill now!”

8:03 CDT: [Nate] Chuck Todd says that Palin’s speech is going to be “longer than anyone expected”. They’re definitely not following my less-is-more philosophy; I think she can accomplish what she needs to in about 15-20 minutes, and that if the speech is 30 minutes long instead, she’s more likely to run herself into some trouble.

7:57 CDT: [Sean] Michael Steele: “Are you ready to party in this house tonight?”

7:55 CDT: [Nate] A friend says: “from watching this convention, you almost wouldn’t realize that the Republicans had been in power for the past eight years”.

7:45 CDT: [Sean] Joe Klein wrote today about the McCain campaign’s war against the press. Steve Schmidt’s war has picked up in the Xcel Center press filing area among furious Republican bloggers as well. Nate noted during last week’s liveblog that he found the cheering in the Big Tent off-putting, but this is equally bad. Citing the RedState and Townhall pushback against the media and the terrible reign of “liberal bloggers,” Sean Hackbarth, the Online Specialist for the Senate Republican Conference, told a sympathetic fellow Republican friend from Wisconsin in the seat next to me, “The Democratic talking points are the DailyKos talking points,” and “I realized today that these liberal bloggers have no soul.”

7:25 PM. [Nate] Whitman’s not bad. Not a dynamic speaker, but she comes across as earnest and credible.

7:15 CDT: [Sean] Coincidentally, moments after Peggy Noonan left the MSNBC set, we found ourselves in line together waiting at the River Center press entrance. Nice, smart, gracious woman. She was unaware her private comments had just been aired (as was I, though it was clear something unintended had gotten on air). Noonan told me that if going for a woman was the decision they wanted, Kay Bailey Hutchinson would have been the wiser pick. We also discussed eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who will address the convention this hour and is a likely candidate for California governor in 2010. Noonan was very impressed (by Whitman, and yes, I am using the tongs tonight).

7:10 CDT: [Sean] Welcome back to St. Paul for Ladies’ Night. Former HP exec Carly Fiorina and current eBay CEO Meg Whitman (a strong candidate for California’s governor seat in 2010) speak early, and with Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and VP nominee Sarah Palin speaking late. It’s also a night for the runner-ups, with Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani sandwiched in between. In fact, there is an excellent chance that Giuliani will be speaking at 9:11 local time. Christy Swanson just finished speaking… not to be confused with the erstwhile movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer.