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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Politics: RNC Night Four 

So here we are at the end of a long week.

We've seen John McCain work the crowd -- and himself -- to the verge of tears. Rudy Guiliani stumped like he was chatting up the gang at the local watering hole. The Governator made us laugh and let us know why we're all Republicans, while Laura Bush let us know that grace and class from the First Lady didn't end with her mother-in-law. Then came a fiery sermon from Zell Miller, which starkly contrasted the more subdued remarks from Vice President Cheney.

Tonight we get to see what President Bush has in store. What vision will he lay out for the next four years? Apparently the Kerry campaign intends to ignite a midnight rally to respond to the GOP. It should all make for an interesting evening.

The Main Event

- Nice speech from George Pataki... nothing spectacular, but I hardly think they want to risk showing up President Bush, who, even a staunch supporter like myself will admit, isn't the greatest speaker. I like seeing Fred Thompson re-emerge in the GOP as well.

- My favorite line so far:

[We're going to provide] the path to greater freedom and more control over your own life.
Isn't that what Conservatism is all about? Government exists to help people achieve on their own, not to do it for them. I realize that his critics on the Right believe that President Bush spends too much. I agree. But he believes, as I do, that the world's greatest power does have an obligation to take care of the least fortunate among us. Unlike the Left, though, President Bush's spending encompasses more than merely throwing millions of dollars into failed programs. Compassionate Conservatism isn't Pat Buchanan Conservatism. But it's not Hillary Clinton Liberalism either.

- Lots of plans that I can get behind: reforming/simplifying the tax code, increaded funding for community colleges (i.e, investing in the economy through more skilled workers), discounted health care rates through partnerships between small businesses, medical liability reform, protecting small business owners from frivolous lawsuits.

- Looks like a protester found his way toward the front. Like VP Cheney last night, President Bus maintained composure.

- Strong sequence detailing a rundown of progress in the Middle East.

- Am I the only one that gets uneasy everytime a protester disrupts things? There are a lot of kooks out there, and if someone is crazy enough to eschew insanely tight security and make a scene, then they're certainly crazy enough to do something rash. Karol Sheinen has addressed this several times this week.

- It's hard to go wrong when you throw around phrases like "in the cause of liberty," "the power of liberty," "rise of democracy," or "cause of freedom." I haven't kept count of the number of times the President has used the word "liberty," but it's been a bushelload. That's the difference in a Republican speech and a Democrat one. You don't hear John Kerry tossing around phrases like "in the cause of liberty," when he speaks to American foreign policy. He did fight in Vietnam, though, in case you hadn't heard.

- "Freedom is not America's gift to the world. It's the Almighty's gift to every person in this world." That's a phrase he's used before. Laura Ingraham includes it in her radio show's opener.

- Great use of subtle barbs at Kerry (e.g., "People may not always agree with me, but they know where I stand") and self-deprecating humor (e.g., "Sometimes I have a problem with English...")

- Oh my God... my favorite line of the night: "Some people look at me and see a certain swagger. In Texas it's called 'walking.'"

Day-um. I'm gonna throw out a yee-haw on that one! Oh, and the emphasis is mine.

- Good speech... simple, straightforward, didn't try to do too much. Let John Kerry go on the defensive in a few hours. Bush is in control and he knows it. He did what he needed to do tonight.

Later

So John Kerry wants to get nasty? Well it's a month late, but fine, go ahead. He's going to look silly, I think, following up President Bush's remarks by sicking the attack dogs. Besides, Kerry is to blame for everything that has transpired the past few weeks.

The Democrats allowed their 527 groups to bash Bush time and again with the most absurd vitriol imagineable. Then they put the Senator's Vietnam service front and center as his key campaign issue, inviting Bush to "bring it on." He didn't have to. The Swift Boaters did, though, and Kerry complained. Over what? A few hundred former sailors -- Kerry's fellow sailors -- didn't like the way John Kerry conducted himself in Vietnam. Well God forbid. Maybe they should have compared him to Hitler. Perhaps the Democratic machine would have cheered at that kind of rhetoric.

I about ninety minutes, John Kerry is going to play the role of the kid that got picked last for kickball. He can say whatever he wants. I'm not watching. Kerry had his chance to speak and he didn't do anything with it.

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