Alright, here's the other side of the coin. I did the Kerry nomination here, and now it's time for Bush.
I start watching right before the Bush daughter piece. Seems like basically fluff, giving a little more insight into the Bush family, making him seem a little more human. Do we really need that, though? I mean, I think most criticisms that are leveled against Bush as a person are that he's too much of an Average Joe, and not presidential enough, whatever that means.
Now it's Michael Williams, Assistant Convention Secretary. He's talking, but it's hard to understand what he's saying, because they're showing the Bush cavalcade coming in and they're also airing external audio.
Williams, an African-American is stressing how his success story is based on the fact that Bush believed in him.
Hmm . . . Looking at the schedule, Nicole Mullen already sang and Michael W Smith is up ahead. I already posted on Third Day playing yesterday. I don't know if anyone else has been in a position to notice this, but there's a demographic that is definitely being courted this week, and I haven't seen anyone else mention this. Jaci Velasquez, Third Day, Nicole Mullen, and Michael W Smith are all Contemporary Christian Musicians. Giving all of them a national stage such as this is a huge step for the bands, and also helps to reach to the evangelical Christian community. It's a very subtle and smart move, IMO -- bringing in modern evangelicals, especially younger segments, who might usually feel no need to vote. Add in some of the benedictions I'm seeing right now -- some of the huge heavyweights in the Christian speaking circuit, such as Joni Eareckson Tada and Max Lucado. I've never heard of Donnie McClurkin before, but it sounds like he fits the bill also. And this won't hurt much, since those outside of this segment probably don't recognize these names.
In between, CSPAN gets in a shot of one of Comedy Central's The Daily Show reporters.
BTW -- sorry to Third Day for calling them CCM here. They're only CCM in the broad sense of the word, and I don't mean to disrespect them, just trying to generalize a little to make a point. Third Day, you guys are rock to me. ;)
Mel Martinez now, Republican Senate candidate from Florida and former HUD Secretary. He's been hyped up very recently on Red State (post here) as possibly the candidate that can bring Florida to Bush again. Focusing on Bush as a good friend, as a compassionate conservative, as an enabler.
He seems to be reading from the teleprompter a bit much. Staring at one place too much, uncomfortable with the words.
Looks like Michael W Smith is coming up next. Still looks pretty young, although I think he's in his forties now. Singing "There She Stands", which he claims was written at the request of President Bush.
And now, George E. Pataki (Georgie Pataki? ;). Sounds like his focus will be on national unity, starting with an anecdote about some Oregoners (Oregonians? Oreganos?), some Iowans, some Pennsylvanians, other states helping out New York. Sounds a little too scripted or acted or something, though. Was he a stroke victim or something at some time in the past? He's only smiling with half of his mouth, and his voice seems to be a little slurred. I haven't really seen him speack in public before.
Now the emphasis is on Bush doing what he say he does. "He said he'd do it - AND HE DID!" About Kerry: "This is a candidate who has to Google his own name to find out where he stands!"
And someone had to do it. "This fall, we're going to win one for the Gipper!" But he finishes nicely -- "Our opponents will lose one for the Flipper!" Not the best humor, but a lot better than just leaving the Reagan reference standing by itself.
Next he's making the case for preemptive strikes. He's quoting Kerry's nomination speech and throwing it back in his face, emphasizing Kerry's defensive stance on terrorism.
AND NOW, PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH. But first, a montage of Bush's life. People will be complaining that the RNC is exploiting September 11th for political gain -- looking at people that Bush met in New York immediately after the WTC attacks.
Bush comes out like a rock star.
Call me paranoid, but for some reason, as the President stands out there all by himself, I remember the urban legends about the '0 presidents . . . Hopefully, security is really good at Madison Square Garden.
"I accept your nomination for President of the United States." My roommate says something like, "Phew. Didn't know whether that was going to happen."
Haha. He say "We will build a safer world and a more hopeful America, and nothing will hold us back." CSPAN switches cameras, to one where two delegate-held signs are visible in the crowd: "A Safer World" and "A More Hopeful America". I think we see what the mottos are going to be for the rest of the campaign.
"America's schools are getting better and nothing will hold us back." I sense another theme in the works. Yep -- ". . . beter prescription coverage, and nothing will hold us back."
People have been complaining that the RNC has not been addressing the economy. Looks like they left it all to the President, because that has been his greatest focus so far.
He's promising to "reform and simplify the tax code." He's going to expand the job training program and funding for community colleges. Creation of "Economic Opportunity Zones" -- areas of high unemployment and a faltering economy will be helped by tax breaks and other assistance to encourage businesses to move. Tax credit to encourage small businesses to set up health savings accounts. Moving into healtcare now.
Promising that every small community and town will have a rural health center. Emphasizing the need for medical liability reform now. "Our laws should never stand in the way of a more family-friendly workplace." So he's moving to family issues -- home ownership.
He's now talking about the personal account, nest egg idea re: Social Security, which IIRC he also talked about in the Bush-Gore debates.
"Tonight I remind every parent and every teacher, I say to every child, no matter what your circumstance, no matter where you live, your school will be a path to promise in America." Hitting on education again, quite a bit. "The soft bigotry of low expectations" -- a favorite educational talking-phrase.
AAARRRGHGHGHGH! Lost my internet connection. I'll keep liveblogging, but it won't be live for you guys for now. As if anyone is reading this.
Now he's pointing us to his website -- GeorgeWBush.com.
Now he's getting into Kerry. Not for long, though. He gets back to what he supports -- "Welfare reform that strengthens family and requires work." And now, he is emphasizing pro-life: "We must make a place for the unborn child." That's what I want to hear!
Going through the planks of the platform -- Sanctity of marriage. Federal judges who "understand the difference between personal opinion and strict interpretation of the law."
Back to Kerry. Is the quote about Reagan true -- "eight years of moral darkness"? That could hurt with Reagan Dems.
Ah - we're back.
Bush has been all over domestic policy, in response to those who have criticized his campaign as having a lack of focus on such things. Now he's getting into national security -- his strength, IMO.
A protestor tries to make a disturbance -- I could tell because "Four More Years!" started up while the Pres was still talking, in order to drown out the protests. Boy, she looks angry.
A checklist of successes -- Libya, Saudi Arabia, al Qaeda, Iraq.
"In Saddam Hussein we saw a threat. Members of both political parties, including . . ." "FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!" Must have been another protestor, not wanting to hear Bush make the case for the Iraq invasion. He continues his argument, spelling out, once again, why Operatioin Iraqi Freedom was necessary, and why it will be a success. Now he's explaining how free democratic countries in the Mid-East will destabilize the terrorists' power structure.
"Our men and women in uniform are doing a superb job for America."
So far, he seems to be doing well. Very rational and clear, not yelling or screaming, not mangling words. Hopefully, that's what he needs to be doing -- not taking any chances on being overly charismatic; he'll leave that for the more informal campaign trail stump speeches. Now, he needs to be 'presidential'.
Hitting on Kerry's worst quotes -- "I voted for the $87 million before I voted against it." "The coalition of the coerced and bribed."
Moving to freedom on the march. "As freedom advances, heart by heart and nation by nation, America will be more secure and the world more peaceful."
He mentions Nicaragua in passing. People will be hitting on that tomorrow, I'll bet. "BUSH DEFENDS IRAN-CONTRA!"
He's bringing it home now, closing it out with self-deprecating humor about his English, his Texas swagger, his stubbornness.
On to patriotism, looking to the future. Great quote: "Here buildings fell; here a nation rose."
Speech is finished. He walks around the stage waving to the crowd. His wife comes out and they share a quick kiss. They continue to wave as the Cheneys come out. The balloons drop on time.
Let's switch from CSPAN to CNN and see what the talking heads say . . . Nah, I'll leave that to others. I'm checking out The Daily Show.
See you guys later!