RNC Day 1 thoughts

Senator John McCain: I imagine it read better than it sounded. Not the best job of oration. It had some good lines, but until the last couple sentences he never really seemed to give it much oomph.
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Everything McCain’s speech wasn’t. A very strong delivery. On paper McCain’s probably looked better but Giuliani had an energy about him that really made him the star of the night.
You know, it’s going to be awfully hard for the Dems to work the “They’re only in New York to exploit 9/11!” angle when you’ve got Mayor Giuliani there talking about how 9/11 is such a big part of why President Bush should be reelected. If Rudy thinks it’s ok, who is Terry McAuliffe to argue?
Between McCain and Giuliani they did a pretty good job of laying out the Republicans’ perspective on 9/11, the war in Iraq, and the War in Terror. A few selections from their speeches…

Our choice wasn’t between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
(APPLAUSE)
MCCAIN: Not our political opponents. And certainly… not a disingenuous film maker…
(APPLAUSE)
MCCAIN: … who would have us believe, my friends, who would have us believe that Saddam’s Iraq was an oasis of peace, when in fact — when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children inside their walls.
(APPLAUSE)
Whether or not Saddam possessed the terrible weapons he once had and used, freed from international pressure and the threat of military action, he would have acquired them again.
MCCAIN: My friends, the central security concern of our time is to keep such devastating weapons beyond the reach of terrorists who can’t be dissuaded from using them by the threat of mutual destruction.
We couldn’t afford the risk posed by an unconstrained Saddam in these dangerous times. By destroying his regime, we gave hope to people long oppressed, that if they have the courage to fight for it, they may live in peace and freedom.
Washington Post

At the time, we believed that we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Without really thinking, based on just emotion, spontaneous, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and I said to him, “Bernie, thank God George Bush is our president.”
(APPLAUSE)
GIULIANI: I say it again tonight. I say it again tonight: Thank God that George Bush is our president, and thank God…
(APPLAUSE)
And thank God that Dick Cheney, a man with his experience and his knowledge and his strength and his background is our vice president.

And since September 11th President Bush has remained rock solid.
(APPLAUSE)
It doesn’t matter to him how he is demonized. It doesn’t matter what the media does to ridicule him or misinterpret him or defeat him.
(APPLAUSE)
They ridiculed Winston Churchill. They belittled Ronald Reagan. But like President Bush, they were optimists. Leaders need to be optimists. Their vision is beyond the present, and it’s set on a future of real peace and security.
(APPLAUSE)
GIULIANI: Some call it stubbornness. I call it principled leadership.
(APPLAUSE)
President Bush has the courage of his convictions.
In choosing a president, we really don’t choose just a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or a liberal. We choose a leader.
(APPLAUSE)
And in times of war and danger, as we’re now in, Americans should put leadership at the core of their decision.
There are many qualities that make a great leader. But having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader.
(APPLAUSE)
One of my heroes, Winston Churchill, saw the dangers of Hitler while his opponents characterized him as a war-mongering gadfly.
GIULIANI: Another one of my heroes, Ronald Reagan, saw and described the Soviet Union as “the evil empire,” while world opinion accepted it as inevitable and even belittled Ronald Reagan’s intelligence.
President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is.
(APPLAUSE)
John Kerry has no such clear, precise and consistent vision. This is not a personal criticism of John Kerry. I respect him for his service to our nation.
(APPLAUSE)
But it is important and critical to see the contrast in approach between the two men: President Bush, a leader who is willing to stick with difficult decisions even as public opinion shifts and goes back and forth; and John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position often, even on important issues.

Frankly, I believed then and I believe now that Saddam Hussein, who supported global terrorism, slaughtered thousands and thousands of his own people, permitted horrific atrocities against women, and used weapons of mass destruction; he was himself a weapon of mass destruction.
(APPLAUSE)
GIULIANI: But the reasons for removing Saddam Hussein were based on issues even broader than just the presence of weapons of mass destruction.
To liberate people, give them a chance for accountable, decent government and to rid the world of a pillar of support for global terrorism is nothing to be defensive about. It’s something for which all those involved, from President Bush to the brave men of our armed services, should be proud. They did something wonderful. They did something that history will give them great credit for.
Washington Post

It’s just a shame Rudy couldn’t have spoken on a night when the networks were carrying the convention.
A quick ad suggestion for the Bush team: Just stick people like Rudy, and McCain, and Koch and maybe Ron Silver in front of the camera. Have them talk about how important the fight against Terror is. Have them talk about President Bush’s leadership. Compare that leadership to Kerry’s. Those are the commercials I want to see.

One comment

  1. RNC Roundup

    Since Mark (Adam Dunn’s number one fan…as of last night!) and I were watching our beloved Reds get hammered by the Astros, I’ll take Rob’s word on it…

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