b The Longhorn Mafia <$BlogRSDURL$>

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Politics: RNC Night Three 

Time to shake off a softball loss and watch the real action unfold.

Zell Miller speaks

-I'm watching the Fox News "pregame" right now. Mort Kondracke: "He approaches the line and almost goes over it." This should be good.

-Not too sure about the intro music. The Devil Went Down to Georgia? Does this strike anyone else as odd?

-Is this a sermon or a speech? Miller is on fire with the oratory. And he's zipping the fastballs like Nolan Ryan gunning for a no-hitter. "My family is more important than my party!" "Where is the bipartisanship when we need it most?" "In their [the Democrats] warped way of thinking..."I bolded the text, but the emphasis is no doubt Miller's.

-Blistering Rhetoric. I cannot believe that I'm seeing this. Conservative Democrat or not, Miller is pulling no punches. He's angry. He's frustrated. He's on a mission.

- "He [Kerry] doesn't like outsourcing, but he wants to outsource out national security." Call it the line of the night so far. Amazingly, it doesn't get a huge reaction. Maybe the crowd was trying to catch its collective breath. They've punctuated Miller's words with thunderous applause on multiple occasions.

- "Right now the world cannot afford an indecisive America." Miller sums it all up with that conclusion. It harkens back to a reference Michael Reagan made earlier to one of his father's most famous quotes. "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

- Sixteen minutes, thirty-two interruptions. Move aside Arnie, Rudy and John. We might have a new convention champ.

- Command Post has a transcript of Sen. Miller's speech. They're also noting that the crown "never took their seats."

Vice President Cheney

- "I'm sure glad that Zell Miller's on our side." You, me, and a few million other red-staters, Mr. Cheney.

- Put the "Cheney off of the ticket" speculation to bed. His acceptance of the nomination should settle that, right? He did say that he'll do whatever it takes to ensure that President Bush remains president for four more years. At this point, however, I don't think that stepping aside would prove advantageous.

- "Boundless opportunity is a gift that we must pass on." This has been another running theme this week. I've seen Andy Card on several programs, each time pledging that President Bush isn't just concerned with right now. He wants to create an environment that allows today's children to succeed twenty or thirty years from now. Optimism has always been a part of the Republican vision -- made most famous by "The Great Communicator," Ronald Reagan -- and the Bush camp is taking a page from the Reagan playbook everytime they stress this theme.

- "As in other times we are involved in a war we did not start, but have no choice but to win." Strong line.

- VP Cheney directly addresses Iraq. Two nights ago the Fox crew noted that the speakers distanced Iraq from the War on Terror, but it doesn't seem that Cheney feels the need to make that distinction.

- "George W. Bush will never seek a permission slip to defend the American people." It was my favorite line from President Bush's 2004 State of the Union, and I like the VP Cheney reiterates that tonight.

- Tonight's Crowd chants include: "Four More Years!" "USA! USA! USA!" and most recently, "Flip-Flop, Flip Flop!"

- I was busy typing and missed the protester, but Command Post is on top of it.

- "Sen. Kerry says he sees two Americas. It makes the whole thing mutual. America sees two John Kerry's." Nice new spin on a point that's actually starting to get played out. I would think that all of these speeches get a look-over from the Bush camp, so I'm surprised to see some of the overlap that has been present. Guiliani made a similar "two Americas" crack on Monday, so when I saw this one coming, I winced slightly. I think that Cheney tweaked it just enough, though, to keep it fresh.

- Thirty-three minutes, fifty-seven interruptions.

- Brit Hume: Miller, "rip-roaring." Cheney, "Matter-of-fact." Again, Command Post has the transcript.

Immediate Aftermath

Mort Kondracke feels that Sen. Miller went over the line with his "demagogary" because of the way he portrayed the Democratic Party's as criticizing our "occupation" of Iraq. Fred Barnes counters that 90% of Kerry delegates opposed the war and do feel that we were occupiers, not liberators.

I think that Miller's words were strong. He attacked John Kerry, but not in the typical political way. He wasn't attacking trivialities, as so many campaign ads do. He has serious issues with Kerry's views and Kerry's record. The things that drove him to support George W. Bush are the things that Sen. Miller espoused tonight. It was strong and it was harsh. But was it "over the line?" I don't think so.


MSNBC's panel of seventeen viewers, split among Republicans and Democrats/Independents, showed differing opinions on tonight's speeches. A few moments resulted in major spikes, and of the seventeen, eleven said that tonight made them more likely to vote GOP in November. That included more than a few from the Dem/Ind side. I'm not sure if that's completely due to tonight, or whether the previous two nights might have contributed as well, but no matter, I get the feeling that President Bush will show a sizeable bounce come this weekend.

Polls might be misleading

Here's an angle I hadn't thought of before. Ron Silver, who's sitting in with Joe Scarborough and Ron Reagan's late-night MSNBC crew, thinks that many voters will pull the lever for President Bush, despite publicly stating their intent to vote Democrat.

Silver cites an analogy of "progressive" voters that proclaim support for Black candidates, yet vote against them when the moment of truth comes. He believes that many "staunch" Dems will enter the voting booth and say, "I'm gonna vote for that sonofabitch [Bush] because I feel safer with him."

Sound far-fetched? Joe Scarborough added that several high-profile pollsters have mentioned that kind of scenario unfolding come election day.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?