Blogs > HNN > Republican National Convention Day 3: September 3, 2008

Sep 4, 2008 3:07 am

Republican National Convention Day 3: September 3, 2008



Day 2 Schedule


    The 2008 Republican National Convention today announced the full program of events for Wednesday, Sept. 3. The evening's program will feature remarks by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican Party's nominee for vice president. Among the other speakers participating in this evening's program are former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The speakers remarks will reflect the convention's overall theme,"Country First," and the theme for Wednesday's events, which is"reform."


    U.S. Sen. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Speaker: U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.), Meg Whitman, former President and CEO of EBay, Carly Fiorina, former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, GOPAC Chairman Michael Steel, Speaker: Former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.), Speaker: Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.), Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (N.Y.), Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin - GOP Convention 2008



  • September 3, 2008: Palin takes slap at Obama, casts herself as Washington outsider in convention speech ... McCain shares hugs with Palin family upon his arrival in Twin Cities ... GOP also-rans speak at national convention .... Obama claims McCain trying to run from Republican Party's bad economic record ... Democratic 'war room' finds its stride after tentative start. AP, 9-3-08 ...

    Palin prepares to speak to delegates, other Americans amid political and personal revelations ... Giuliani says Sarah Palin is ready to handle Sept. 11 crisis ... Late-night TV hosts tread lightly with Palin pregnancy; use it to go after John Edwards. - AP, 9-3-08

Stats & In the News...

  • Poll gives Obama edge in two of three key states - CNN 9-3-08
  • September 3, 2008: Gallop Poll: Democrat Barack Obama has a 6-percentage-point lead over Republican John McCain — he has 49 percent to McCain's 43 percent — among registered voters in the presidential race. - AP, 9-3-08
  • UPDATE 2-FACTBOX-Quotes from the U.S. Republican convention - Reuters, 9-3-08
  • Palin Defies Critics and Electrifies Party - NYT, 9-4-08
  • Palin touts small-town roots, rips Obama - Reuters, 9-4-08
  • Palin Introduces Herself and Takes On Obama in Convention Speech With her address to the GOP faithful she has become the unexpected star of the Republican Party - US News, 9-3-08
  • Sarah Palin Owns the Hall, But What About the Country? - The Nation, 9-3-08
  • Palin mocks Obama; McCain claims nomination - AP, 9-3-08
  • Palin casts herself as Washington outsider - AP, 9-3-08
  • McCain takes spotlight - with Palin family - AP, 9-3-08

Historians' Comments

  • RICHARD NORTON SMITH, George Mason University on"Historians Mull Strengths of Sarah Palin's Speech": Well, this was a beat-up-on-Barack night, which is exactly what you expect from a keynoter. I thought Mayor Giuliani performed his role to the delight of everyone in the crowd. And it turned out he only warmed them up. There's no doubt movements conservatives have themselves a new heroine, as of this evening. This will be a huge hit among Rush Limbaugh Republicans. It will be fascinating -- I'd be interested to hear from Andy -- it'd be fascinating to know if this plays as well among particularly independent voters out there who are watching this convention to find out not only what this party is against -- and we heard a lot about that tonight -- but what they're for, particularly in the realm of the economy. And one final thing, I do wonder whether"drill, baby, drill" will take its place in the lexicon alongside"I like Ike." - PBS Newhour, 9-3-08Download
  • MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, Presidential Historian on"Historians Mull Strengths of Sarah Palin's Speech": Well, I think it happened, Richard. One note on political theater. You'll note that, when John McCain came on stage -- this is a first in history -- a presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate hugged in public. 1984, when Walter Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro, they and their handlers decided that the American people couldn't take the sight of these candidates hugging. So all through the campaign, they very carefully sort of held hands, held hands in the air, nothing more than that until after they lost. And Geraldine Ferraro said,"Can I finally hug you?" She did, indeed. I think the one thing as far as the speech -- speech was fine, well-delivered, loved in the hall. But this is a woman that Americans know extremely little about, especially for a national nominee. And this speech didn't tell us really very much beyond what we knew already, and that's going to make it even more important in the future when she gives speeches that are more impromptu and when she submits to interrogations by reporters and average American citizens. - PBS Newhour, 9-3-08Download
  • PENIEL JOSEPH, Brandeis University on"Historians Mull Strengths of Sarah Palin's Speech": Well, a really strong speech designed to appeal to white women voters. When we control for race and we think about the gender gap, in 2000, Al Gore received 48 percent of white female votes. In 2004, it was down to 44 percent. So, really, the overwhelming number of African-American women voters and Hispanic voters that provides Democrats with that edge. And this speech was designed to really appeal to those voters. She called herself a hockey mom. And that really translates to the Midwest when we think about suburban soccer moms....

    Well, she exceeded expectations. People really -- building on what Michael said -- didn't know what to expect, a lot of rumors, a lot of controversy about the surprise pick. She exceeded expectations. She's poised. She's calm. She's cool and collected. She looked ready for primetime tonight. - PBS Newhour, 9-3-08Download
  • Gil Troy"Palin: The Kindest, Gentlest Cultural Warrior Since Reagan": ...Palin drew a line between those who serve in the army – and those who don’t, between those who live in the bicoastal bubble – and those who live in what she made clear was the real America. To appreciate her performance at its best, remember the angry harsh attacks Marilyn Quayle and Pat Buchanan launched in 1992. Palin was equally sharp but far less shrill. Lines about a candidate who has authored two memoirs about his life but authored no major law, about a small town mayor being like a community organizer – but with responsibility were zingers aimed directly at Barack Obama, delivered with a smile. In her ability to plunge the stiletto so deftly, and so delightfully, Sarah Palin channeled the great hero of depressed Republicans, Ronald Reagan.... - HNN, 9-3-08
  • Alan Brinkley:"Does McCain Need Independent and Moderate Voters?": I guess the Democrats can't count on Sarah Palin to torpedo McCain's candidacy. If there is a danger, it is that her speech will overshadow his. After the really dreary and depressing session of yesterday, tonight was very successful, with two good speeches--the other by Giuliani. And I think they made the case that the Republican faithful wanted to hear, and they beat up on Obama in ways that will resonate with the GOP.
    But what I think this convention is really trying to do is to change the subject. Most Americans, it's clear, think this election is about the economy. In all the many speeches of this week in St. Paul, virtually none of them have had much to say about the really serious economic problems that are affecting the very Americans that the GOP has tried to enlist--middle class and lower middle class families. Instead, they are falling back on old favorites--the mess in Washington (and who has made that over the last eight years?), the political establishment (likewise), and of course the reliable whipping boy--the liberal media. This convention did not, I think, set up McCain to reach out to the independents and moderates he will need to get elected. Instead, he seems on course to try to turn out the right-wing evangelical vote in the way Bush did in 2004. But he will have a much harder time bringing out the vast number of evangelicals that Bush attracted. It will be very interesting tomorrow night to see whether McCain's speech veers away at all from the reliably conservative message of the first few days of the convention and returns to the more centrist image he was trying to project over the summer. - The New Republic, 9-3-08
  • Richard Norton Smith, Michael Beschloss: For McCain, 6 keys to victory in November - USA Today, 9-4-08
  • John Baick on"'Small-town' Palin stands tall":"Far more attention is being paid to the vice presidential nominee than to McCain," said John Baick, associate professor of history at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass. To appeal to independent voters, but still keep conservatives happy, McCain likely will use"key words" that resonate with both groups in different ways, Baick said."Like 'character,'" Baick said."When they hear 'character' from her, that means someone who will support pro-life causes and creationism. When he says 'character,' that means he will take the fight to the enemy and never stop. They'll use some of the same talking points." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 9-3-08
  • Stephen Haycox on"The Unusual Challenges of Governing Alaska":"Alaska really is a colonial place," said Stephen Haycox, a professor of history at the University of Alaska, Anchorage."One third of the economic base is oil; another third is federal spending. The economy is extremely narrow and highly dependent. It's not to say that Alaska is a beggar state, but it certainly is true that Alaska is dependent on decisions made outside it, and over which Alaskans don’t have great control." - NYT, 9-4-08
  • Peniel Joseph, Richard Norton Smith: Forty Years Later, Nixon Convention Speech Remains Watershed Event - PBS Newshour, 9-3-08
  • Richard Norton Smith on"Forty Years Later, Nixon Convention Speech Remains Watershed Event": For Norton Smith, the speech outlines a bold new foreign policy of engagement and a noticeably conservative domestic agenda.
    "He wanted to bring about a political realignment, a post-New Deal, broadly conservative party," Norton Smith told the Online NewsHour."Nixon appeals to old blue-collar workers, social conservatives who had been part of the New Deal coalition and people who are open to changing their votes, if not necessarily their party registration because they're not necessary happy with the social upheavals going on around them." - PBS Newshour, 9-3-08
  • Peniel Joseph on"Forty Years Later, Nixon Convention Speech Remains Watershed Event": Joseph, on the other hand, sees the Nixon speech as a successful effort to rally the"silent majority" around conservative values through carefully chosen, but still loaded," code words."
    "What Nixon's doing, he’s really providing language, and eloquent articulation of the way in which suburban whites are feeling as early as the early 1960s… Nixon is trying to appeal to suburban warriors who feel that blacks are encroaching in on their dream." - PBS Newshour, 9-3-08
  • Beverly Gage on"Sarah Palin" Interview with NPR's On the Point with Tom Ashbrook - NPR, 9-3-08
  • Julian Zelizer: Palin McCain's Dan Quayle?: ...In the past few days, Democrats have been focusing on one aspect of the 1988 campaign—Quayle's many problems — while forgetting the overall story: Bush and Quayle won.
    Democrats could certainly point to the weaknesses and dangers in the Palin selection, but they should be cautious. If they allow Palin to distract them from their main target — McCain and his support for the unpopular economic and military policies of President George W. Bush — they might just find themselves like Dukakis and Bensten in 1988, on the losing end. - Washington Independent, 9-3-08
  • Steve Russell on"Republican convention off to slow start": For Northern Essex Community College assistant professor of history Steve Russell, the choice was a risk at best."I think McCain is doing pretty well considering Bush is not popular. He conveys he knows what he is doing and can take the reins," Russell said."But I think Palin is an incredibe risk. I don't see how it could possibly help him." - Newbury Port News, 9-3-08
  • Historians Offer Insight on RNC's Day Two: historians Michael Beschloss and Richard Norton Smith and Peniel Joseph examine the strengths of the night's speeches and the rally for the GOP party in St. Paul. - PBS Newshour, 9-2-08
  • RICHARD NORTON SMITH, George Mason University: Well, it's interesting. I think Judy's right. This crowd goes out tonight feeling probably a lot better than they did even coming in this evening. I was struck by the extent to which this night was about John McCain's personal story. And as we all know, it is a very powerful story. But it's interesting. Here we are, two months before the campaign, and you have -- before the election, and you have the feeling this is still a candidacy driven very much by biography. And I suspect what a lot of people are eager to hear over the next two nights is a lot more about what a McCain presidency would actually mean, whether it's the economy, or health care, or a host of other issues. One other thing I would just add as an asterisk, knowing some Republicans and having been around Republicans, I don't think you can overestimate the emotional surge in this hall that arises from the sense as a result of the Sarah Palin feeding frenzy that the"media," quote, unquote, is out to get them. - PBS Newshour, 9-2-08
  • PENIEL JOSEPH, Brandeis University: Certainly. I think that tonight, it was an extraordinary night. I think Joe Lieberman's speech quoting George Washington, who was against parties, at least partisanship, and calling for a bipartisan participation in this next election, Democrats, independents to vote for McCain, really building on what Richard said, based on biography rather than specific public policy proposals. And I think the controversy over the Palin choice is energizing their base. And they really feel they're trying to rally around Palin in a way that -- when we think of 1972, George McGovern didn't, and when we think of 1988, George Bush, in fact, did. - PBS Newshour, 9-2-08
  • MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, Presidential Historian: Maybe not a lot. And as a matter of fact, you know, you were talking a moment ago, Jim, about going after the media, which never hurts to do for a speaker at any convention, maybe particularly a Republican one. And, in 1964, probably the most powerful applause line at that convention, the Republicans in San Francisco, aside from the one given by -- the speech given by Barry Goldwater, Dwight Eisenhower, of all people, who people thought of as rather mild-mannered, said,"Let us particularly scorn the sensation-seeking columnists because, my friends, I can assure you these are people who couldn't care less about the good of our party." And there was almost an animal roar. One lady started screaming,"Down with Walter Lippman!" It really brought down the house. The other thing you were saying, Jim, about, you know, reaching across the aisle. You know, Joe Lieberman's speech tonight, I think it probably can be fairly said, if he had been nominated for vice president this week, we probably would have heard maybe three-quarters of the words that we heard tonight. That was probably large chunks of an acceptance speech that he never got to give. The reason he never got to give it, we are told, is that John McCain wanted to choose him, but his party said you can't reach across the aisle, you can't nominate a Democrat who has very differing views from many of us and from John McCain. And so there was a great irony that here he is saying,"Let's all reach across the aisle," to a group that essentially prevented John McCain from choosing a Democrat, Lieberman, as vice president. - PBS Newshour, 9-2-08
  • Kenya Davis-Hayes on"Black political observers look to November":"I thought the speech was charismatic and well-crafted," said Kenya Davis-Hayes, a 28-year-old assistant professor of history at California Baptist University who is also executive treasurer of the state’s Young Republican Federation. She watched the speech on tape the weekend after it was delivered, and acknowledged that Obama's message appeals to a large portion of the electorate that is"stressed out and clinging to the hope that things are going to get better" in these troubled times of war and recession."His speech covered huge ground," she added."If he does win the next election, people will be expecting a radical shift in energy policy and job opportunities. Even with two terms, which isn't such a long time, that would be a huge expectation to fulfill." - LA Wave, 9-4-08

The Speeches....

  • Gov. Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican National ConventionDownload

    Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens, I will be honored to accept your nomination for vice president of the United States.

    I accept the call to help our nominee for president to serve and defend America. And I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election against confident opponents at a crucial hour for our country.

    And I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions, and met far graver challenges, and knows how tough fights are won, the next president of the United States, John S. McCain.

    It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves.

    With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost, there was no hope for this candidate, who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war. But the pollsters...

    The pollsters and the pundits, they overlooked just one thing when they wrote him off. They overlooked the caliber of the man himself, the determination, and resolve, and the sheer guts of Senator John McCain.

    The voters knew better, and maybe that's because they realized there's a time for politics and a time for leadership, a time to campaign and a time to put our country first.

    Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by. He's a man who wore the uniform of his country for 22 years and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who now have brought victory within sight.

    And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander-in-chief....

    You know, from the inside, no family ever seems typical, and that's how it is with us. Our family has the same ups and downs as any other, the same challenges and the same joys.

    Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge. And children with special needs inspire a very, very special love. To the families of special-needs...

    To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message for you: For years, you've sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. And I pledge to you that, if we're elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House....

    My mom and dad both worked at the elementary school in our small town. And among the many things I owe them is a simple lesson that I've learned, that this is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity.

    And my parents are here tonight....

    Long ago, a young farmer and a haberdasher from Missouri, he followed an unlikely path -- he followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency. And a writer observed,"We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity," and I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman.

    I grew up with those people. They're the ones who do some of the hardest work in America, who grow our food, and run our factories, and fight our wars. They love their country in good times and bad, and they're always proud of America.

    I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom and signed up for the PTA.

    I love those hockey moms. You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick....

    Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska...

    ... I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involved.

    I guess -- I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.

    I might add that, in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they're listening and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

    No, we tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

    As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes and whoever is listening John McCain is the same man.

    Well, I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment. And...

    ... I've learned quickly these last few days that, if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

    But -- now, here's a little newsflash. Here's a little newsflash for those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this great country....

    No one expects us all to agree on everything, but we are expected to govern with integrity, and goodwill, and clear convictions, and a servant's heart.

    And I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States.

    This was the spirit that brought me to the governor's office when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau, when I stood up to the special interests, and the lobbyists, and the Big Oil companies, and the good-old boys....

    I came to office promising major ethics reform to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is a law.

    While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for. That luxury jet was over-the-top.

    I put it on eBay.

    I love to drive myself to work. And I thought we could muddle through without the governor's personal chef, although I got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her.

    I came to office promising to control spending, by request if possible, but by veto, if necessary.

    Senator McCain also -- he promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest. And as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.

    Our state budget is under control. We have a surplus. And I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending, nearly $500 million in vetoes.

    We suspended the state fuel tax and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress,"Thanks, but no thanks," on that Bridge to Nowhere.

    If our state wanted to build a bridge, we were going to build it ourselves.

    When oil and gas prices went up dramatically and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged: directly to the people of Alaska.

    And despite fierce opposition from oil company lobbyists, who kind of liked things the way that they were, we broke their monopoly on power and resources. As governor, I insisted on competition and basic fairness to end their control of our state and return it to the people.

    I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history. And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.

    That pipeline, when the last section is laid and its valves are open, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart....

    To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of the world's energy supplies, or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia, or that Venezuela might shut off its oil discoveries and its deliveries of that source, Americans, we need to produce more of our own oil and gas. And...

    And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: We've got lots of both.

    Our opponents say again and again that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems, as if we didn't know that already.

    But the fact that drilling, though, won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.

    Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines, and build more nuclear plants, and create jobs with clean coal, and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources. We need...

    We need American sources of resources. We need American energy brought to you by American ingenuity and produced by American workers.

    And now, I've noticed a pattern with our opponent, and maybe you have, too. We've all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers, and there is much to like and admire about our opponent.

    But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or even a reform, not even in the State Senate.

    This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting and never use the word"victory," except when he's talking about his own campaign.

    But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away, when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot...

    ... when that happens, what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?

    The answer -- the answer is to make government bigger, and take more of your money, and give you more orders from Washington, and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.

    America needs more energy; our opponent is against producing it. Victory in Iraq is finally in sight, and he wants to forfeit. Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay; he wants to meet them without preconditions.

    Al Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and he's worried that someone won't read them their rights.

    Government is too big; he wants to grow it. Congress spends too much money; he promises more. Taxes are too high, and he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan.

    And let me be specific: The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, and raise payroll taxes, and raise investment income taxes, and raise the death tax, and raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.

    My sister, Heather, and her husband, they just built a service station that's now open for business, like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they...

    How are they going to be better off if taxes go up? Or maybe you are trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or in Ohio...

    ... or you're trying -- you're trying to create jobs from clean coal, from Pennsylvania or West Virginia.

    You're trying to keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota.

    How are you -- how are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy?

    Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election: In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers, and then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

    They are the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners or on self-designed presidential seals.

    Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speech- making, in which crowds are stirringly summoned to support great things, and then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things.

    They're the ones who are good for more than talk, the ones that we've always been able to count on to serve and to defend America....

    Our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd. He's a man who's there to serve his country and not just his party, a leader who's not looking for a fight, but sure isn't afraid of one, either.

    Harry Reid, the majority of the current do-nothing Senate...

    ... he not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee. He said, quote,"I can't stand John McCain."

    Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we've chosen the right man.

    Clearly, what the majority leader was driving at is that he can't stand up to John McCain and that is only...

    ... that's only one more reason to take the maverick out of the Senate, put him in the White House.

    My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery.

    This world of threats and dangers, it's not just a community and it doesn't just need an organizer. And though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they're always, quote,"fighting for you," let us face the matter squarely: There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you.

    There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you in places where winning means survival and defeat means death. And that man is John McCain.

    You know, in our day, politicians have readily shared much lesser tales of adversity than the nightmare world, the nightmare world in which this man and others equally brave served and suffered for their country.

    And it's a long way from the fear, and pain, and squalor of a six-by-four cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office.

    But if Senator McCain is elected president, that is the journey he will have made. It's the journey of an upright and honorable man, the kind of fellow whose name you will find on war memorials in small towns across this great country, only he was among those who came home.

    To the most powerful office on Earth, he would bring the compassion that comes from having once been powerless, the wisdom that comes even to the captives by the grace of God, the special confidence of those who have seen evil and have seen how evil is overcome. A fellow...

    A fellow prisoner of war, a man named Tom Moe of Lancaster, Ohio...

    ... Tom Moe recalls looking through a pinhole in his cell door as Lieutenant Commander John McCain was led down the hallway by the guards, day after day.

    And the story is told, when McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn towards Moe's door, and he'd flash a grin and a thumbs up, as if to say,"We're going to pull through this."

    My fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through the next four years.

    For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words. But for a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.

    If character is the measure in this election, and hope the theme, and change the goal we share, then I ask you to join our cause. Join our cause and help America elect a great man as the next president of the United States.

    Thank you, and God bless America. Thank you.
  • Giuliani's Speech at the Republican National Convention Download

    Almost exactly one year ago today, during a presidential debate in Durham, New Hampshire, I said that, if I weren't running for president, I'd be supporting John McCain.

    Well, I'm not running for president, and I do support John McCain.

    Every -- every four years, we're told that this presidential election is the most important in our lifetime. This year, with what's at stake, 2008 is the most important election in our lifetime. And we'd better get it right.

    This already has been the longest presidential campaign in history, and sometimes to me it felt even longer.

    The American people realize this election represents a turning point. It's the decision to follow one path or the other. We, the people, the citizens of the United States, get to decide our next president, not the left-wing media, not Hollywood celebrities, not anyone else but the people of America.

    To those Americans who still feel torn in this election, I'd like to suggest one way to think about this to help make a choice in 2008.

    Think about it this way. You're hiring someone to do a job, an important job, a job that relates to the safety of yourself and your family. Imagine that you have two job applications in your hand with the name and the party affiliations blocked out.

    They're both good and patriotic men with very different life experiences that have led them to this moment of shared history. You've got to make this decision, and you've got to make it right. And you have to desire -- you've got to decide, who am I going to hire?

    On the one hand, you've got a man who's dedicated his life to the service of the United States. He's been tested time and again by crisis. He has passed every test.

    Even his adversaries acknowledge -- Democrats, Republicans, everyone acknowledges that John McCain is a true American hero.

    GIULIANI: He -- he loves America, as we all do, but he has sacrificed for it as few do....

    He has proved his commitment with his blood. He came home a national hero. He had earned a life of peace and quiet, but he was called to public service again, running for Congress, and then the United States Senate, as a proud foot soldier in the Reagan revolution.

    His principled independence never wavered. He stood up to special interests. He fought for fiscal discipline and ethics reform and a strong national defense.

    That's the one choice. That's the one man.

    On the other hand, you have a resume from a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer. What? He worked -- I said -- I said, OK, OK, maybe this is the first problem on the resume.

    He worked as a community organizer. He immersed himself in Chicago machine politics.

    Then he ran for -- then he ran for the state legislature and he got elected. And nearly 130 times, he couldn't make a decision. He couldn't figure out whether to vote"yes" or"no." It was too tough.

    He voted -- he voted"present."

    I didn't know about this vote"present" when I was mayor of New York City. Sarah Palin didn't have this vote"present" when she was mayor or governor. You don't get"present." It doesn't work in an executive job. For president of the United States, it's not good enough to be present.

    You have to make a decision.

    A few years later -- a few years later, he ran for the U.S. Senate. He spent most of his time as a celebrity senator: no leadership, no legislation to really speak of.

    His rise is remarkable in its own right. It's the kind of thing that can happen only in America.

    But he's never -- he's never run a city. He's never run a state. He's never run a business. He's never run a military unit. He's never had to lead people in crisis.

    He is the least experienced candidate for president of the United States in at least the last 100 years.

    Not a personal attack, a statement of fact. Barack Obama has never led anything, nothing, nada.

    Nada, nothing.

    The choice -- the choice in this election comes down to substance over style. John McCain has been tested; Barack Obama has not.

    Tough times require strong leadership, and this is no time for on-the-job training.

    We agree. We agree with Joe Biden...

    ... one time, one time, when he said that, until he flip-flopped and changed his position. And, yes, being president means being able to answer that call at 3:00 in the morning. And that's the one time we agree with Hillary.

    But I bet you never thought Hillary would get applause at this convention. She can be right. Well, no one can look at John McCain and say that he's not ready to be commander-in-chief. He is. He's ready.

    And we can trust him to deal with anything, anything that nature throws our way, anything that terrorists do to us. This man has been tested over and over again, and we will be safe in his hands, and our children will be safe in his hands, and our country will be safe in the hands of John McCain. No doubt.

    I learned as a trial lawyer a long time ago, if you don't have the facts, you've got to change them. So our opponents want to re- frame the debate.

    They would have you believe that this election is about change versus more of the same, but that's really a false choice, because there's good change and bad change.

    Because change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.

    John McCain -- John McCain will bring about the change that will create jobs and prosperity. Let's talk briefly about specifics....

    And -- and he'll do it with an all-of-the-above approach, including nuclear power, and, yes, off-shore oil drilling.

    Drill, baby, drill?

    Drill, baby, drill.

    GIULIANI: This -- this -- this is the kind of change -- now, you guys are ready to break out. Whoa.

    This -- this -- this and a lot more is the kind of change that will create growth, jobs, and prosperity, not what they want to do, tax us more, increase the size of government, increase tariffs, hurt jobs, send jobs elsewhere.

    We need John McCain to save our economy and make sure it grows, but we need it for a more important purpose. There's one purpose that John McCain understands, Republicans understand, that overrides everything else: John McCain will keep us on offense against terrorism at home and abroad.

    For -- for four days in Denver, the Democrats were afraid to use the words"Islamic terrorism."

    I imagine they believe it is politically incorrect to say it. I think they believe it will insult someone. Please tell me, who are they insulting if they say"Islamic terrorism"? They are insulting terrorists.

    Of great concern to me, during those same four days in Denver, they rarely mentioned the attacks of September 11, 2001. They are in a state of denial about the biggest threat that faces this country. And if you deny it and you don't deal with it, you can't face it.

    John McCain can face the enemy. He can win, and he can bring victory for this country....

    The Democratic leader -- the Democratic leader of the Senate said, and I quote,"This war is lost."

    Well, well, if America lost, who won, Al Qaida, bin Laden?

    In the single biggest policy decision of this election, John McCain got it right, and Barack Obama got it wrong.

    Senator McCain -- Senator -- Senator McCain was the candidate most associated with the surge, and it was unpopular. What do you think most other politicians would have done in a situation like this?

    They would have acted in their self-interest, and they would have changed their position in order to win an election. How many times have we seen Barack Obama do this?

    Obama -- Obama promised to take public financing for his campaign, until he broke his promise.

    Obama -- Obama was against wiretapping before he voted for it.

    When speaking to a pro-Israeli group, Obama favored an undivided Jerusalem, like I favor and like John McCain favored. Well, he favored an undivided Jerusalem -- don't get too excited -- for one day, until he changed his mind.

    Well, I'll tell you, if I were Joe Biden, I'd want to get that V.P. thing in writing.

    Our hero, our candidate, John McCain said,"I'd rather lose an election than a war." Why? Because that's John McCain.

    When Russia rolled over Georgia, John McCain immediately established a very strong, informed position that let the world know how he'll respond as president at exactly the right time. Remember his words? Remember what John McCain said?"We are all Georgians."

    Obama's -- talk about judgment. Let's look at what Obama did. Obama's first instinct was to create a moral equivalency, suggesting that both sides were equally responsible, the same moral equivalency that he's displayed in discussing the Palestinian Authority and the state of Israel.

    Later -- later, after discussing this with his 300 foreign policy advisers, he changed his position, and he suggested the United Nations Security Council could find a solution.

    Apparently, none of his 300 foreign policy security advisers told him that Russia has a veto power in the United Nations Security Council.

    By the way, this was about three days later. So -- so he changed his position again, and he put out a statement exactly like the statement of John McCain's three days earlier.

    I have some advice for Senator Obama: Next time, call John McCain.

    He -- he knows something about foreign -- he knows something about foreign policy. Like Ronald Reagan, John McCain will enlarge our party, open it up to lots of new people.

    In choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has chosen for the future.

    The other guy looked back. John looked forward.

    Governor Palin represents a new generation. She's already one of the most successful governors in America and the most popular.

    And she's already had more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket combined.

    She's been a mayor. I love that (ph).

    I'm sorry -- I'm sorry that Barack Obama feels that her hometown isn't cosmopolitan enough.

    I'm sorry, Barack, that it's not flashy enough. Maybe they cling to religion there.

    Well -- well, the first day -- as far as I'm concerned, the first day she was mayor, she had more experience as an executive than -- than Obama and Biden combined....

    She's been one of the most active governors -- she's been one of the most active governors in the country, and Alaska can be proud of having one of the best governors in the country.

    She's got an 80 percent approval rating. You never get that in New York City, wow.

    As U.S. attorney, a former U.S. attorney, I'm very impressed the way she took on corruption in Alaska, including corruption in the Republican Party. This is a woman who has no fear. This is a woman who stands up for what's right.

    She -- she -- she is shaking up Alaska in a way that hasn't happened in maybe ever. And with John McCain, with his independent spirit, with his being a maverick, with him and Sarah Palin, can you imagine how they're going to shake up Washington?

    Whew, look out. Look out.

    One final point. And how -- how dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be vice president. How dare they do that.

    When do they ever ask a man that question? When?

    Well, we're at our best when we are expanding freedom. We're the party that has expanded freedom from the very beginning, from ending slavery to making certain that people have freedom here and abroad.

    We're the party that believes in giving workers the right to work. We're the party that believes that parents -- parents should choose where their children go to school.

    And we're the party -- and we're the party that unapologetically believes in America's success, a shining city on a hill, a beacon of freedom that inspires the world. That's what our party is dedicated to.

    So, my fellow Americans, we get a chance to elect one of our great heroes and a great American. He will be an exceptional president. He will have with him an exceptional woman who has already proven that she can reform and that she can govern.

    And now the job is up to us. Let's get John McCain and Sarah Palin elected, and let's shake up Washington and move this country forward.

    God bless America. Thank you.
  • Mitt Romney's Speech at the Republican National ConventionDownload

    ...You know, for decades now, the Washington sun has been rising in the east. You see, Washington has been looking to the eastern elites, to the editorial pages of the Times and the Post, and to the broadcasters from the -- from the coast. Yes.

    If America really wants to change, it's time to look for the sun in the west, because it's about to rise and shine from Arizona and Alaska.

    Last week, the Democratic convention talked about change. But what do you think? Is Washington now, liberal or conservative? Let me ask you some questions.

    Is a Supreme Court decision liberal or conservative that awards Guantanamo terrorists with constitutional rights? It's liberal.

    Is a government liberal or conservative that puts the interests of the teachers union ahead of the needs of our children? It's liberal.

    Is a Congress liberal or conservative that stops nuclear power plants and off-shore drilling, making us more and more dependent on Middle Eastern tyrants? It's liberal.

    Is government spending, putting aside inflation, liberal or conservative if it doubles since 1980? It's liberal.

    We need change all right: change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington.

    We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington: Throw out the big-government liberals and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin.

    It's the same prescription for a stronger economy. I spent 25 years in the private sector. I've done business in many foreign countries. I know why jobs come and why they go away. And I know that liberals don't have a clue.

    They think that we have the biggest and strongest economy in the world because of our government. They're wrong. America is strong because of the ingenuity, and entrepreneurship, and hard work of the American people....

    America -- America cannot long lead the family of nations if we fail the family here at home....

    Dependency is death to initiative, to risk-taking and opportunity. It's time to stop the spread of government dependency and fight it like the poison it is.

    You know, it's time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother.

    Our economy is under attack. China is acting like Adam Smith on steroids, buying oil from the world's worst and selling nuclear technology. Russia and the oil states are siphoning more than $500 billion a year from us in what could become the greatest transfer of economic wealth in the history of the world.

    This is no time for timid, liberal, empty gestures.

    Our economy has slowed down this year, and a lot of people are hurting. What happened? Mortgage money was handed out like candy, and speculators bought homes for free. And when this mortgage mania finally broke, it slammed the economy. And stratospheric gas prices made things even worse.

    Democrats want to use the slowdown as an excuse to do what their special interests are always begging for: higher taxes, bigger government, and less trade with other nations....

    The right course is the one championed by Ronald Reagan 30 years ago and by John McCain and Sarah Palin today.

    The right course is to rein in government spending, lower taxes, take a Weedwacker to excessive regulation and mandates, put a stop to tort windfalls, and to stand up to the Tyrannosaurus appetite of government unions.

    The right course -- the right course is to pursue every source of energy security, from new efficiencies to renewables, from coal to non-CO2 producing nuclear, and for the immediate drilling for more oil off our shores.

    And I have -- I have one more recommendation for energy conservation: Let's keep Al Gore's private jet on the ground.

    Last week, last week, did you hear any Democrats talk about the threat from radical, violent jihad? No. You see, Republicans believe that there is good and evil in the world. Ronald Reagan called out the evil empire. George Bush labeled the terror-sponsor states exactly what they are: The axis of evil.

    And at Saddleback, after Barack Obama dodged and ducked every direct question, John McCain hit the nail on the head: Radical, violent Islam is evil, and he will defeat it.

    This party...

    You're hearing it here. You're hearing it here, and they're hearing it across the country. You see, in this party, in this room tonight, and all over America, people in our party prefer straight talk to politically correct talk.

    Republicans, led by John McCain and Sarah Palin, will fight to preserve the values that have preserved the nation. We'll strengthen our economy and keep us from being held hostage by Putin, Chavez, and Ahmadinejad.

    And we will never allow America to retreat in the face of evil extremism.

    Just like you, just like you, there's never been a day when I was not proud to be an American.

    We -- we Americans inherited the greatest nation in the history of the Earth. It's our burden and our privilege to preserve it, to renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future.

    To this we're all dedicated. And I firmly believe, by the providence of the almighty, that we will succeed.

    President McCain and Vice President Palin will keep America as it has always been: The hope of the Earth.

    Thank you, and God bless America.
  • Gov. Mike Huckabe's Speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention

    As much as I appreciate the opportunity to speak tonight, I really was originally hoping for the slot on Thursday called the acceptance speech. But I am delighted to speak on behalf of my 2nd choice for the Republican nomination for president, John McCain. John McCain is a man with the character and stubborn kind of integrity that I want in a president.

    But I want to begin by doing something a little unusual. I'd like to thank the elite media for doing something that, quite frankly, I wasn't sure could be done, and that's unifying the Republican Party and all of America in support of Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin.

    The reporting of the past few days have proven tackier than a costume change at a Madonna concert.

    I grew up at a time and in a place where the civil rights movement was fought. I witnessed first-hand the shameful evil of racism. I saw how ignorance and prejudice caused people to do the unthinkable to people of color not so many years ago.

    So, I say with sincerity that I have great respect for Sen. Obama's historic achievement to become his party's nominee -- not because of his color, but with indifference to it. Party or politics aside, we celebrate this milestone because it elevates our country.

    But the presidency is not a symbolic job, and I don't believe his preparation or his plans will lift America up.

    Obama was right when he said this election is not about him, it's about you.

    When gasoline costs $4 a gallon, it makes it tough if you're a single mom to get to work each day in the used car you drive. You want something to change.

    If you're a flight attendant or baggage handler and you're asked to take a pay cut to keep your job, you want something to change.

    If you're a young couple losing your house, your credit rating, and your American dream, you want something to change.

    John McCain offers specific ideas to respond to this need for change. But let me say there are some things we never want to change -- freedom, security, and the opportunity to prosper.

    Barack Obama's excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don't even vote or pay taxes here.

    Let me hasten to say it's not what he took there that concerns me. It's what he brought back. Lots of ideas from Europe he'd like to see imported here.

    Centralized governments may care for you from cradle to grave, but they also control you. Most Americans don't want more government, they want a lot less government.

    It was in fact the founder of our party Abraham Lincoln reminded us that a government that can do everything for us can also take everything from us.

    I get a little tired of hearing how the Democrats care about the working guy as if all Republicans grew up with silk stockings and silver spoons. In my little hometown of Hope, Arkansas, the three sacred heroes were Jesus, Elvis, and FDR, not necessarily in that order.

    My own father held down two jobs, barely affording the little rented house I grew up in. My dad worked hard, lifted heavy things, and got his hands dirty. In fact, the only soap we had at my house was Lava.

    Heck, I was in college before I found out it wasn't supposed to hurt to take a shower.

    Let me make something clear tonight: I'm not a Republican because I grew up rich, but because I didn't want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me.

    John McCain doesn't want the kind of change that allows the government to reach deeper into your paycheck and pick your doctor, your child's school, or even the kind of car you drive or how much you inflate the tires.

    And he doesn't want to change the definition of marriage. And unlike the Democratic ticket, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin believe that every human life has intrinsic worth and value from the moment of conception.

    And speaking of Gov. Palin, I am so tired of hearing about her lack of experience. I want to tell you folks something. She got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States.

    John McCain is by far the most prepared, experienced, and tested Presidential candidate. Thoroughly tested.

    When John McCain received his country's call to service, he didn't hesitate, and he didn't choose the easy path....

    Most of us can lift our arms high in the air to signify that we want something. His arms can't even lift to shoulder level, a constant reminder that his life is marked not by what he wants to receive, but by what he's already given....

    Allow me to tell you about someone who understands this type of sacrifice better than anyone.

    On the first day of school in 2005, Martha Cothren, a teacher at Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock, was determined that her students would not take their education or their privilege as Americans for granted. With the principal's permission, she removed all the desks from her classroom on that first day of school in 2005. The students entered the empty room and asked,"Mrs. Cothren, where are our desks?""You get a desk when you tell me how you earn it," she replied....

    By lunch, the buzz was all over campus -- Mrs. Cothren had flipped out; wouldn't let her students have a desk. Kids had used their cell phones and called their parents.

    By early afternoon, all four of the local network TV affiliates had camera crews at the school to report on the teacher who wouldn't let her students have a desk unless they could tell her how they earned it. By the final period, no one had guessed correctly.

    As the students filed in, Martha Cothren said,"Well, I didn't think you would figure it out, so I'll have to tell you."

    Martha opened the door of her classroom. In walked over 20 veterans, some wearing uniforms from years gone by, but each one carrying a school desk.

    As they carefully and quietly arranged the desks in neat rows, Martha said,"You don't have to earn your desks 'cause these guys -- they already did."

    These brave veterans went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have.

    No one charged you for your desk. But it wasn't really free. These guys bought it for you. And I hope you never forget it."

    I wish we all would remember that being American is not just about the freedom we have. It's about those who gave it to us.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, John McCain is one of those people who helped buy the freedom that we enjoy and the school desks we had.

    It's my honor to do what I can to help him have a desk that he has earned one in the Oval Office.

On the Campaign Trail....

  • John McCain cites Palin's energy, mayoral experience:

    "This is what Americans want. They don't want somebody who has, who is, frankly, necessarily gone to Harvard or an Ivy League school. She probably hasn't been to a Georgetown cocktail party. But you know what, she represents everything we want to see in government and America _ change and reform and ethics and taking on the special interests."

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