September 6, 2008
RNC2008: The Final Post
I should finally get around to the final RNC2008 post.
The curving gridded layout leads to some epic sights on the horizon, especially the view up towards the State Capital and the St Paul Cathedral.
"Minnesota Nice" is absolutely 100% true. The people of Minnesota were hyper nice and always willing to help out with questions.
Without a doubt, the Texas and Alaska delegations were the friendliest... and always willing to BS. Hard to explain... but it seems like everyone I had long conversations with were from those two states. Odd.
The protesters really disappointed me. Not because I didn't get to see their antics... I saw some... but I resented riding a bus from the hotel with a police officer on board and then driving into a double-gated convention compound. Quite seriously, the 10 block area around the Xcel Energy Center was a fortress, with limited access in or out. Because of the hippie gates.
Conservatives protests and protestors are always a lot classier and, with all seriousness, are non threatening. Leftists always want to cause trouble.
Big red marks to the RNC for the way the bloggers were treated. The bloggers I talked to were, for the most part, self funded travelling on their own and reporting on their own.
Blogging from the center was not easy.
Unless you were one of the elite top shelf bloggers, you got to sit in "behind" the stage. Not great. Seating was totally within their control... there were allegedly 200 of us there. That's a couple rows ... in the center... hell, up high is fine. No matter where we sat, there was still the question of power. You can't run a laptop for the four to six hours from your seat, so you need to plug in somewhere.
There was no wi-fi at the center, so you were on your own for internet access... (crucial to a blogger)
I ended up camping out at a concession stand's cafe area, hogging a table (though sharing with other bloggers / journalists) and it's two plug outlet. It was about 10 yards from my blogging area over to the top of the section, so I could snap pictures and watch speeches and run back to my computer. There were some TVs in the cafe showing the networks, as well as the live feed and the audio was pretty decent.
Oh... and the biggest complaint? Where's the master list of bloggers blogging the convention? I still don't know who was there? I met some bloggers at some of the events around town... but was that all of them? Were all 200 there?
But meeting a bunch of bloggers I've been reading for a long time was definitely a big highlight for me.
Despite those complaints, I still had a good time. But it was awful lot of work... my heels are still recovering from the blisters that I broke on the first day walking around and looking for protesters in the city.
St. Paul is a great place and I look forward to visiting again.
Will I go back in four years? That's an eternity in the blogosphere (though I have been blogging since 2002, I think).... maybe as a delegate. ;)
Thank you all for reading and kind words of encouragement.
September 5, 2008
Quote of the Day
A corporate look at the VP pick, from Don Luskin:
Seems like, for Mick, Palin far outshines McCain. But doesn't it take a real man to pick a subordinate who outshines you? Who was it who said, "A-players pick A-players. B-players pick C-players"?
But Will Everybody Watch it Twice?
Last night, I was very disappointed with Senator McCain's speech. I thought that it was too long and the delivery deficit between he and Senator Obama frightens me. The spotlight entrance seemed like Saturday Night Live. The speech started and ended strong but it was a little flat in the middle, was it not?
I watched again this morning and must admit I liked it better. My original opinions hold, but not to the extremes I imagined when I clicked it off last night (I trust all of America TiVoed it and watched it again this morning -- I'm not unusual or anything, just a regular guy).
Maybe the moderates will enjoy the chewy-Kumbaya center. I did not expect a red meat speech and admit that the salute to Obama and his supporters was classy and well done. His harsh medicine for Republicans "We went to change Washington and it changed us" supports his maverick image, though I fear an out of context attack ad. All fair enough.
But I agree with the WSJ Ed Page (can I have a mirabile dictu?) that he should run Truman-style against the 110th Congress. The 111th will be more lopsided Democratic, and I don't want to hear how he is going to meet them halfway and not worry about who gets credit -- that's a nice homage to Reagan, but the President didn't use it buck up Speaker Jim Wright.
The fact is, the 111th Congress will be staffed by collectivists, funded by and pushing a radical Union agenda, back-to-the-caves environmentalism, and a huge expansion of government scope and regulation. Perhaps "Gridlock and Lipstick!" is only a winning message around ThreeSources, but he could have positioned himself as someone who would oppose the excesses. I'm the guy who agrees with him on immigration and even I winced when he celebrated the "American-ness" of the child born to migrant workers. Sure enough, the applause seemed a little thin.
I am glad to see the other reviews are better than mine. I hope to be wrong -- even this morning's view cheered me up. Maybe I should watch it again. Third time a charm?
Barack Obama apparently isn't the only "rock star" in presidential politics this year.
Thank you, MSM, for screwing up the coverage of Sarah Palin for an entire week, driving the interest level to bigger than Obama.
My video from the upper deck:
... and you'll never hear it again.
September 4, 2008
RNC2008: Day 4- The Final Live Blog
Opening Benediction by his Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Church....
Robert Duvall narrated video. I sure hope these things get on the internet.... they are fantastic.
Governor Huntsman of Utah, recovering from a cold, discusses Sarah Palin, and the crowd start chanting "Sarah! Sarah!".... and officially nominates her.
After a brief seconding by the Alaska delegations, a huge seconding, "the ayes have it," and more chanting.
Minnesota Gov Tim Pawlenty warms up the crowd with...
He will force government to live within its means, just like families do.
Overall, the crowd here seems to be a lot more sedate... there's no mountain of anticipation for Palin.... though there is a Palin video on the agenda tonight that was skipped due to time last night. It's good... look for it.
Here's to hoping Cindy McCain is a great speaker.
Brownback gets the biggest applause of the evening. Did he run for President in 2008?
Poingant video called "World Stood Still" which Democrats will trash because of 9/11 references, etc..... ended with chants of "USA USA USA"
Big applause for Gold Medal Decathlete Brian Clay.
Huge applause for NFL Coach and NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs
A happy mother and son from New Jersey.
The Palin video was, as you can imagine, well received.
... and Tom Ridge gets a nice round of applause as recalls pal-ing around with John McCain.
Who for his country, has worked to preserve, honor and protect the great land of the free.
The crowd starts chanting "That's John McCain!"
Anheiseur-Busch gets applause and cheers during the Cindy McCain biopic.
A very measured dignified speech from Mrs McCain.
But I have also seen the resilience of the American people. I've heard stirring stories of neighbor helping neighbor, of cities on one end of the country offering help to fellow citizens on the other.
Gets big applause.
The crowd is still enraptured by Sarah Palin. Every mention of her gets a massive reaction. It's amazing.
McCain biopic is great...I'll say it again, the RNC needs to put these on the web somewhere.
McCain enters to huge applause.
I don't know about the green grass background.
It must gall the left to no end, when the chants are "USA USA USA" not "O-Ba-Ma"... and the protestors, are really classy.
But McCain handles them well...
WOW! Great speech... I have never heard McCain's POW treatment from him personally... it's always been from someone else. Incredibly powerful.... love of country.
They'll be dropping balloons here for a half an hour.
McCain's full text is given after the jump, I'll have more later..
U.S. Sen. John McCain
Thank you all very much. Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans -- the privilege of accepting our partyís nomination for President of the United States. And I accept it with gratitude, humility and confidence.
In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasnít any different. Thatís a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. Theyíre leaders of great ability, who love our country, and wished to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor I wonít forget.
Iím grateful to the President for leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable; and to the First Lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private. And Iím grateful to the 41st President and his bride of 63 years, and for their outstanding example of honorable service to our country.
As always, Iím indebted to my wife, Cindy, and my seven children. The pleasures of family life can seem like a brief holiday from the crowded calendar of our nationís business. But I have treasured them all the more, and canít imagine a life without the happiness you give me. Cindy said a lot of nice things about me tonight. But, in truth, sheís more my inspiration than I am hers. Her concern for those less blessed than we are - victims of land mines, children born in poverty and with birth defects - shows the measure of her humanity. I know she will make a great First Lady.
When I was growing up, my father was often at sea, and the job of raising my brother, sister and me would fall to my mother alone. Roberta McCain gave us her love of life, her deep interest in the world, her strength, and her belief we are all meant to use our opportunities to make ourselves useful to our country. I wouldnít be here tonight but for the strength of her character.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you, who helped me win this nomination, and stood by me when the odds were long. I wonít let you down. To Americans who have yet to decide who to vote for, thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to win your trust. I intend to earn it.
Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. Weíll go at it over the next two months. Thatís the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. Weíre dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldnít be an American worthy of the name if I didnít honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement.
But let there be no doubt, my friends, weíre going to win this election. And after weíve won, weíre going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace.
These are tough times for many of you. Youíre worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and are struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And thatís just what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future.
And Iíve found just the right partner to help me shake up Washington, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She has executive experience and a real record of accomplishment. Sheís tackled tough problems like energy independence and corruption. Sheís balanced a budget, cut taxes, and taken on the special interests. Sheís reached across the aisle and asked Republicans, Democrats and Independents to serve in her administration. Sheís the mother of five children. Sheís helped run a small business, worked with her hands and knows what itís like to worry about mortgage payments and health care and the cost of gasoline and groceries.
She knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for. She stands up for whatís right, and she doesnít let anyone tell her to sit down. Iím very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I canít wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming.
Iím not in the habit of breaking promises to my country and neither is Governor Palin. And when we tell you weíre going to change Washington, and stop leaving our countryís problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it. Weíve got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment and backbone to keep our word to you.
You know, Iíve been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes itís meant as a compliment and sometimes itís not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I donít work for a party. I donít work for a special interest. I donít work for myself. I work for you.
Iíve fought corruption, and it didnít matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and had to be held accountable. Iíve fought big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank and make your mortgage payment. Iíve fought to get million dollar checks out of our elections. Iíve fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.
I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasnít a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said Iíd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.
Thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command, that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans.
I donít mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, Iíve had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.
I fight for Americans. I fight for you. I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market. Bill got a temporary job after he was out of work for seven months. Sue works three jobs to help pay the bills.
I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Jake works on a loading dock; coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. Toni is a schoolteacher, working toward her Masterís Degree. They have two sons, the youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. They matter to me.
I fight for the family of Matthew Stanley of Wolfboro, New Hampshire, who died serving our country in Iraq. I wear his bracelet and think of him every day. I intend to honor their sacrifice by making sure the country their son loved so well and never returned to, remains safe from its enemies.
I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us. We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger. We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles.
Weíre going to change that. Weíre going to recover the peopleís trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics.
We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential from the boy whose descendents arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. Weíre all Godís children and weíre all Americans.
We believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labor.
We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and donít legislate from the bench. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.
We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans. Government that doesnít make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself.
I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them. I will cut government spending. He will increase it.
My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them. My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.
Keeping taxes low helps small businesses grow and create new jobs. Cutting the second highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from moving overseas. Doubling the child tax exemption from $3500 to $7000 will improve the lives of millions of American families. Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit. Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity.
I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems your government hasnít even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. Thatís going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. Weíre going to help workers whoíve lost a job that wonít come back, find a new one that wonít go away.
We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities. For workers in industries that have been hard hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower paid one while they receive retraining that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage.
Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained. But what is the value of access to a failing school? We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice, remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.
When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them. Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have that choice and their children will have that opportunity.
Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when Iím President, they will.
My fellow Americans, when Iím President, weíre going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that donít like us very much. We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and weíll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.
Senator Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power. But Americans know better than that. We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. Itís an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. Itís time for us to show the world again how Americans lead.
This great national cause will create millions of new jobs, many in industries that will be the engine of our future prosperity; jobs that will be there when your children enter the workforce.
Today, the prospect of a better world remains within our reach. But we must see the threats to peace and liberty in our time clearly and face them, as Americans before us did, with confidence, wisdom and resolve.
We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and theyíll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russiaís leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the worldís oil supply, intimidate other neighbors, and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire. And the brave people of Georgia need our solidarity and prayers. As President, I will work to establish good relations with Russia so we need not fear a return of the Cold War. But we canít turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.
We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace.
When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years. My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me. I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination.
Iím running for President to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has. I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal - diplomatic, economic, military and the power of our ideals - to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.
In America, we change things that need to be changed. Each generation makes its contribution to our greatness. The work that is ours to do is plainly before us. We donít need to search for it.
We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.
The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isnít a cause, itís a symptom. Itís what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you.
Again and again, Iíve worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. Thatís how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.
Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didnít think of them first, letís use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, letís try sharing it. This amazing country can do anything we put our minds to. I will ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability.
Weíre going to finally start getting things done for the people who are counting on us, and I wonít care who gets the credit.
Iíve been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And Iíve never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didnít thank God for the privilege.
Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes, and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, compassion and love.
On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin, I prepared for my 23rd mission over North Vietnam. I hadnít any worry I wouldnít come back safe and sound. I thought I was tougher than anyone. I was pretty independent then, too. I liked to bend a few rules, and pick a few fights for the fun of it. But I did it for my own pleasure; my own pride. I didnít think there was a cause more important than me.
Then I found myself falling toward the middle of a small lake in the city of Hanoi, with two broken arms, a broken leg, and an angry crowd waiting to greet me. I was dumped in a dark cell, and left to die. I didnít feel so tough anymore. When they discovered my father was an admiral, they took me to a hospital. They couldnít set my bones properly, so they just slapped a cast on me. When I didnít get better, and was down to about a hundred pounds, they put me in a cell with two other Americans. I couldnít do anything. I couldnít even feed myself. They did it for me. I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence. Those men saved my life.
I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasnít in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.
A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. Iíd been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after Iíd been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.
When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didnít know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.
I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone elseís. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasnít my own man anymore. I was my countryís.
Iím not running for president because I think Iím blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.
If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If youíre disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.
Iím going to fight for my cause every day as your President. Iím going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that Iím an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.
Fight for whatís right for our country.
Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.
Fight for our childrenís future.
Fight for justice and opportunity for all.
Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.
Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.
Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. Weíre Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.
Thank you, and God Bless you.
RNC2008: Around Town
With no need to get up early, and a late night re-watching the Rudy and Sarah speeches, I took my time getting downtown.
I came across this band playing music in Landmark Park in St. Paul.
STOWAWAY, a country-blues-rock cover band.
They covered Harper Valley PTA and a Heart song whose name fails me right now... but the lead singer had a fabulous voice.
I didn't see too many protestor types, but the police were ready. Everyone of them had a dozen or more plastic cuffs waiting for hippies.
With some time to kill, I went to Heimie's Haberdashery for a shave.
While waiting for my shave, I struck up a conversation with a man who was, like I, marveling at this place. It's like something out of the turn of the 20th Century. A classical gentlemen's shop, custom tailoring, hats, kerchiefs, shirts, cigars and a barber.
Anyway, he and wife were still fired up over Governor Sarah Palin's speech and were wondering how McCain could top it... the electricity still had not faded, and the party faithful are still excited. Rudy's speech came up as well..... and I heard again, where was that Rudy last spring?
That was my barber, "Mustache Jim." (really)
Day 4: The Finale
Big day for Senator McCain... how is he going to top Governor Palin?
We'll find out soon enough.
I'm camped out again in Section 201.
Here's the newly reconfigured stage, which will allow McCain to be "closer" to the audience town hall style... No need for Greek columns. Though I understand he will be led out by shoulder-carried sedan and then leave on a chariot.
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Smart Post on Palin
Commenter T. Greer (in whose debt I will forever remain for his calling out one of our youngest authors as old!) has been a fan of the Alaska Governor since before her VP pick and provides a cogent explanation of her appeal.
Those who claim McCain is engaging in an exercise of hypocrisy do not fully understand what McCain and his compatriots mean when they ask if Obama is "ready to lead." These critics are not critical of the amount of time Obama has been in politics; nor are they suggesting that Obama has not gained the knowledge needed to be President of the United States. Rather, it is Obama's sheer lack of achievement that makes the McCain supporter nervous.
I'm collecting anecdotes across the net of those in all corners of the big tent -- plus the hallway -- who have been inspired by Governor Palin and Greer includes two.
P.S. Looks like Terri's in: WOW!!!
I've been watching replays on Fox and CNN and MSNBCCCP of her speech.
She's excited a lot of people, the Republicans who were halfway jazzed for McCain are now at 11 on the jazzed scale.
I thought she delivered her lines well, but occassionally stepped on the applause or didn't wait for it at all. For Democrats waiting to pounce on every mis-step and flub, there were few if any at all.
She carried herself extremely well on stage, and indeed in the national spotlight, gaining comfort in her role as the "the next hope of the GOP."
As with Rudy's speech before her, Palin's speech was peppered with jabs (serious though delivered with levity) directed toward the Obama / Biden pair.
I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities
when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan?
... and then there were the more serious jabs.
I might add that in small towns, we donít quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people arenít listening. We tend to prefer candidates who donít talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.
But here's a little news flash for all 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 country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.
The booing and finger pointing at assembled media was a sight to behold.
The strategy here (and not one I can recall) is to belittle Obama and Biden with humor. Funny to everyone but liberals... funny because, like all comedy, you know it's right.
While we are in serious times, and electing leaders is a serious business, the Democrat team is not serious, but instead drunk on polling and well crafted words from a gifted orator.
The GOP and McCain (to his credit) have found ourselves our next superstar.
... but on Thursday, how in the hell is McCain going to top this?
A Star is Born
On Monday, things looked bleak for the Republican Party. A storm was raging in the Gulf and revelations of a teenage pregnancy served to threaten a nominee that was less than a week old and a campaign that was dead-even in the polls.
Then came Fred Thompson. He delivered a speech like no other, simultaneously highlighting the character and courage of the man on the top of the ticket, the qualifications of the vice presidential nominee, and severe limitations of their opponents. He was thoughtful, articulate, blunt, funny, and most importantly, persuasive.
The subsequent speeches from Rudy Giuliani and Joe Lieberman were similarly effective.
However, each of the speeches given at the convention will forever pale in comparison to that given by Gov. Sarah Palin. Her speech delivered on all levels. She was the attack dog (the "pitbull in lipstick") that went after Obama, highlighting her experience and poking fun at his tenure as a "community organizer." She explicitly highlighted her family, the subject of great controversy in the media and demonstrated pride at their ability to respect life and overcome adversity. Palin stood tall and strong and showed that regardless of the result of this election, she has cemented herself as a star in the Republican Party for years to come.
The Democrats are scared. The media is disillusioned. The Republicans can win by targeting the base. They have done it for the last 28 years. John McCain knew what his ticket was lacking and he found it in Sarah Palin.
Around these parts, I am known as a reluctant Republican. However, this convention actually has me energized (I will pause so that jk can wipe off his computer screen that is undoubtedly covered in some sort of beverage). After all the talk of finding the next Ronald Reagan or the right conservative or the person who can secure all legs of the Republican base, the point is now moot. A strong woman from small town in Alaska who believes in life and in freedom and who fights government corruption has emerged through a crowd of men, of which none truly fit the bill, to become not only the driving force behind the McCain campaign, but potentially the face of the Republican Party for years to come.
Sarah Palin delivered tonight.
September 3, 2008
RNC2008: Day 3 - Live Blog
Brief comments until the big Palin show.
Ruby Brown has a set of pipes on her.... "America the Beautiful" was phenominal.
Robert Duvall is a great American, reminding us again about country first.
Auntie Anne from Lancaster County is speaking.
Life is never about what you can accumulate. It's not about the pocketbook. True prosperity is a richness of heart and spirit.
Senator Norm Coleman's energy part got big applause:
We increase energy supply. The Democrats' energy plan tilts at windmills and ignores the technology and resources at our disposal that would enable us to increase domestic supply.
Montgomery County's & Pa GOP deputy chair Renee Amoore lists the reasons why you are a McCain voter.
If you are sick and tired of all the DC yak-yak-yak... and realize that every day action is delayed, problems just get worse ... If you want action, McCain's your man.
Wow! Her closing got massive applause here....
The crowd is definitely excited in here... a little restless, waiting for the Palin speech.
Cristy Swanson, a Democrat for McCain got the crowd fired up.... and now the Texas Railroad Commissioner gets an ovation from his delegation... and is tossing out red meat.
For energy security, we need to explore more, conserve wisely and aggressively pursue alternatives.
I have to say that Meg Whitman is a little disappointing here... she should be pumping the crowd up... instead it's seems like a slow down.
She was on "a" list for potential vice president.... maybe even my list.... but jeez. Not great.
Let's hope for Fiorina.
Killing time here as we're a bit ahead of schedule.
Fiorina has achieved..... mild applause... speech far too wonky.
I know John McCain. And if we make the right choice, in 2013, American families will keep more of their hard-earned money. Small and large businesses alike will be creating jobs here and spurring robust economic growth, because America will once again be a great place to build a business.
That didn't kill. Sadly she was another one on my VP short list.
Michael Steele! Finally... the crowd wakes up... chants of "MICHAEL STEELE, MICHAEL STEELE".
Let's empower those whose minds are shackled by a poor education with real choices in where they go to school.
So, do you want to put your country first? Then let's make decisions about our security based on what keeps us safe and not on what's politically correct.
Biggest applause of the night.
Mitt Romney is bashing liberals.... "change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington."
The energy is back in the crowd.
It is to pursue every source of energy security, from new efficiencies to renewables, from clean coal to non-CO2 producing nuclear, and the immediate drilling for more oil off of our shores! And I have one more recommendation for energy conservation -- let's keep Al Gore's private jet on the ground!
Chants of USA USA USA!
Just like you, there has never been a day when I was not proud to be an American
USA USA USA!
Huge applause at the end... maybe one day for Governor Romney. It's a shame this wasn't your year.
A happy family from Colorado.
Two Huckabee speeches in one day? I can't take the folksyness. Though he did manage to get applause out of the crowd for the mainstream media.... for collossally cocking-up the Sarah Palin family coverage.
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.
Longest applause of the night:
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.
The governor of Hawaii is nominating Palin and covering her biography... what happened to Rudy's speech? Sarah's grandchild gets applause.
How much does it suck to be former Governor Frank Murkowski? He's only know for being steamrolled by Sarah Palin?
I think being a mayor, whether in Hawaii or Alaska or anywhere else, is outstanding preparation for higher office.
Chants of ZE-RO, ZE-RO, ZE-RO break out.
9PM. The most important hour of Governor Palin's political career is upon us. But first comes Rudy... and a Palin video.
Huge standing ovation for Rudy... the whole place was standing.
Bashing the liberal media is getting a lot of mileage tonight... I can't imagine why.
Community organizing draws howls of laughter and chants of ZE-RO, ZE-RO.
It was too tough!
Obama's balls must hurt from the punching.
Rudy is pumping this crowd up bigger than before.... it's going to go nuts for Sarah.
Holy crap.. it's endless beclowning.
"We are all Georgians...." ... and the Georgia delegation stood up!
update:sorry about that... the Rudy speech got me up and away from the desk.
and Governor Palin was unbelieveable.... three and half minutes of opening applause.... (a 343 mb AVI) .... and a phenominal speech... words can't say enough... this place is electrified.... everyone is buzzing.... and the Dems are weeping. She brought the place down.
I didn't think she could be Giuliani.
And that ending, with the family, and Senator McCain? Unbelieveable. I have to say when she picked up Trig, my eyes got damp. ( Don't worry, I'm not getting all Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Andrea Mitchell on you....)... holy crap.
I'll have more when I get back to the hotel room... thanks for persevering.
Posted by AlexC at 6:11 PM
RNC2008: The View From the Floor
The Xcel Energy Center is pretty free for all when nothing is going on.
So I decided to poke around.
Levi Johnston, future husband of Bristol Palin on arrival in Minneapolis/St Paul.
Give him a lot of credit.
RNC2008: Anarchists Busted
More information on the weekend bust of the "RNC Welcoming Committee"
The self-described anarchist group ó whose main goal was to "crash" the Republican National Convention," according to its Web site ó traveled to or communicated with affinity groups in 67 cities to recruit members and raise money.
National Lawyers Guild??
Click here to read more about them.
RNC2008: Blogger Brunch
Well, Joe Scarborough had to cancel due to some kind of NBC News emergency. Reports that Keith Olbermann choked on his own hate cannot be confirmed.
In his stead, we got three speakers.
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy and pollster Frank Luntz.
Schmidt made very brief introductory remarks then opened it up for Q&A.
Google's position on net neutrality was the first question asked. Google is for net neutrality, arguing that there needs to be some separation of the transport layer of the internet from the content.... as pointed out by Josh Trevino he only made that argument using China as an example. As pointed out by a half dozen bloggers that's not a fair example, as the country is not free. As another example he tried to use the name of a major cable internet provider (name not important, but the Slowsky's are not customers)... The angle taken was that this company to choose to alter the data or add and extened the internet in proprietary ways. His arguments were rejected once again as not realistic as there are a large variety of internet providers to choose from.
Not surprisingly, the group was overwhelming opposed to governmental interference in the internet, and were not too enthusiastic about Google's position.
Speaking of government interference, Google's deal with China was also discussed. To do or not to do was hotly debated within Google. As you know they decided to go ahead and filter their content based on certain keywords... with the provision that their webpages that might return "forbidden" results be marked that it is filtering results. Schmidt added that the Chinese search engine competitors now do their same to their results.
Matt Sheffield of Newsbusters asked about funding of left wing or liberal causes from Google. Schmidt explained that the Google PAC has a roughly 50 / 50 split and he's not legally allowed to talk to employees about political donations. Though he does acknowledge that most of Google's employees are in California and New York, "progressive" states and they find themselves generally socially liberal.
Congressman Kevin McCarthy was chairman of the GOP Platform committee and spoke about the GOP platform program, comparing it with the Democrats' program. Basically GOP = lots of public input via websites & text messages, Dems = handed down from up on high while giving lip service to public input.
He also discussed the GOP's House caucus' Young Guns program. GOPYoungGuns.com... a plan to send a particular group of twenty to Congress. It involves mentoring programs, financial donations and help from members of Congress. All of these seats are potential pick up opportunities, with four of them being in Pennsylvania.
At that point the program was over, so I split. I got down to the lobby before I realized I left my camera on the desk. I ended up walking in on pollster Fred Luntz holding court.
Some video is here at Newsbustersif you're interested.
RNC2008: Pa Delegation Breakfast
Winged my way over to Minnetonka and the Pa delegation's hotel.
Attorney General Tom Corbett gave a speech on the value of retail politics, saying he had been to nearly all county fairs and has seen the business end of a cow more times than he'd like. Corbett challenged everyone in the room to talk to four Democrats or Independants everyday between now and the election.
Congressional Candidate Marina Kats gave brief remarks.... touched on her biography and made mention of winning the 13th district for John McCain and Sarah Palin under the now-united Montgomery County GOP.
Next up was Lord Michael Ashcroft of the United Kingdom.... he's a member of the Conservative Party as well as Treasurer of International Democratic Union, a group of a center-right parties around the world. He touched on his biography, and joked about being a member of the House of Lords. You're in for life, even through prison terms... as a few of it's members have discovered.
National Committeeman Bob Asher also spoke briefly, discussing the McCain campaign in Pennsylvania. Sarah Palin provided a tremendous boost of energy in the state, and phone are ringing off the hook. He promoted the combined McCain/Palin ticket as for one social conservatives.... "a ticket these people can believe in."
The headliner this morning was former Governor of Arkansas and candidate for President Mike Huckabee.
He discussed the Palin nomination, again reitoriating the excitement she brought. (I guess that means McCain on his own was not exciting)...
A fun fact.... Sarah Palin got more votes for Mayor of Wasilla than Joe Biden got running for President. It must be true. Mike Huckabee told me.
He discussed growing up in Hope a town with no Republicans and the southern style of campaigning.. "if you can't win the cemetary vote, you can't win.... like some counties in Pennsylvania."
Hitting Republican themes, he says we got involved in politics not because we want more government in our lives, but because we want less government, and only companies pay taxes, not individuals.
Discussing Sarah Palin again and her daughter's pregnancy he said "People of faith are not people of perfection. That's what makes them people of faith."... to huge applause.
He ended his speech by comparing McCain and Obama.... on one hand you have a man who sees a dangerous world and is prepared to be vigilant. On the other hand a man who's only confrontation with a terrorist was fighting with Bill Ayres on who will pick up the lunch tab.
I can definately understand why people like him.. a great speaker and has that common-folk thing going on.
"Brunch" with Joe Scarborough in 30 minutes.
I'm headed to Minnetonka to have breakfast with the Pa delegation at 8am... and then downtown for 11am breakfast with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.
RNC2008: Summing Up Day Two
September 2, 2008
Newt Fights Back
RNC2008: Day 2 - Live Blog
Opening: Star Spangled Banner and Presentation of Colors.
Short video tribute to deceased GOP leaders ending with a tribute to President Ford.
Congressman John Boehner rah-rah speech... he gets rave applause for mentioning his House colleagues who are challenging Nancy Pelosi over oil drilling in the House.
Official Delegate Picture:
Another video presentation,"Country First" this time narrated by Robert Duvall. Pictures of McCain get big applause.
I'm going to resume live blogging when the Bush's speak... and then Lieberman and Thompson.... too boring. ;)
Norm Coleman gets huge applause, and give a history lesson. St Paul is formerly known as Pig's Eye.... till renamed by a Catholic Priest.
(time goes by)
President Bush 41 and former First Lady Barbara Bush arrived to huge applause and chanting.
I'm sitting next to "Drew" from Hillsdale College during Espinoza's speech... "a lot of God talk here today... different than at the Dem convention. Where 'god' was actually there."
Rousing applause for the Bush 41 retrospective.
First Lady Laura Bush addresses the crowd. It's always amazing to me how much applause she gets from the GOP faithful.
Huge applause for President Bush's "angry left" line.
Red meat served up rare by Fred Thompson.
Speaking of the vice presidential nominee, what a breath of fresh air Governor Sarah Palin is. (cheers & applause)
What a great biopic speech on Senator McCain by Thompson.. it's a shame he couldn't seal the deal last spring.
... and now we are winning!
Chants of USA USA USA!
Sadly the applause for "no McCain earmarks" was scattered and subdued.... but Thompson did pause for it.
The respect he is given around the world is not because of a teleprompter speech designed to appeal to American critics abroad, (interrupted by rousing applause) but because of decades of clearly demonstrated character and statesmanship.
Thompson doesn't stop...
They tell you they are not going to tax your family.
Awesome... awesome... biggest applause of the night.
Speech ended with chants of USA! USA! USA!
How is the next speaker, Joe Lieberman going to top that?
Was it only eight years ago that Senator Joe Lieberman was the Democrat's VP nominee? Here he is talking about Senator McCain?
"Because country matters more than party!"
"Michael Moore is a fat bastard"
I'll have to check the transcripts for that one.
Even Bill Clinton is getting applause here.... I didn't think Lieberman would be this good.
The real ticket for change this year is the McCain/Palin ticket
It's awesome that Joe Lieberman is taking his time with this speech giving a big Independent Democrat middle finger to those that made him an Independent Democrat. Better still, is that he's immune to their actions.
It's not every Republican convention that a Democrat takes the time to speak to Democrats... I bet the angry left is going bezerk.
Huge speech by Lieberman... I'm going to digest for a while on the drive back to the hotel.... should have something up by the AM.
RNC2008: The Environment
I'm camping out in the concourse, but one with a direct view of the proceedings... so long as I'm not standing at my laptop. I'm also tethered to my iPhone, using the now verbotin NetShare to use it's 3G for internet. It's not perfect, as I can't get Firefox to load the blog editing pages... so I'm stuck with Safari.
Tonight's program has been announced and is listed after the jump.
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
10 p.m. to Conclusion
RNC2008: Media Filing Center
Not much to see here.... tons of tables with power and ethernet, bunch of TVs playing C-SPAN, Fox, CNN and MSNBC.
I wish the convention schedule was a little more "certain".... the webpage for today says nothing on it.... well, to be fair "come back soon"
Of note, MSNBC and Al-Jazeera have awful boxes inside the arena. Right next to each other and a fine view of the back of the stage. Fox & CNN are right in front.
Actually, MSNBC's is worse... they're even farther back in the corner.
RNC2008: Capitol Complex Protesters
Following the reggae sounds to the State Capitol Complex, I found a larger collection of protester types.
Click "more" to see the pictures & video.
Not actual leftist protesters. They are part of MSP's Somalian community. They are calling for an end to genocide in Somalia. You would have thought there would be more leftists there. I guess hating BushCo and listening to music is more important than Somalian genocide.
The perp walk. The gentlemen they wave to at the end are Ramsey County Sheriffs.
Yoga for Peace.
Begging for money and donations.
Ready to keep the peace.
Talent wasted. She could be a florist, or work at the grocery store's produce department... I guess that would be selling out though.
I have to say, I'm a little disappointed.
Not a single person gave me a hard time despite my GOP-issued Brooks Brothers outfit, convention credentials and cologne. They seemed a little dispirited.
I attribute that to a) the rain b) unflinching justice delivered yesterday.
RNC2008: Xcel Center Protesters
After the Fred breakfast I headed down to the Xcel Energy Center to look for protesters... as they were marching around there on Monday.
Not much action.
... blogging from the media center, btw.
Click "more" to see the pictures.
I think she's gesturing "hands of my lady parts"...
It was a windy morning, as a storm was looming. Yet I could smell this guy's BO 100 yards upwind. Pity the poor hippie who has to wear that papier m‚chť head next.
In his hand must be the latest Chomsky missive.... so I suppose he can read. Fight the power! Damn the Man!
Sigh... Ron Paul bitter enders.
Straight up call for revolution. Little do they know that the Secret Service has checked the secret watermarks on the paper and already knows who printed it.
Irony is so awesome.
... we would rather abort them.
Not much going on there... just people wandering like mice through the barricades.... but I did hear something being announced... so I had to check it out.
Post from St Paul Capital Complex shortly.
RNC2008: Capitol Complex
Found some at the Minnesota capital... Had to follow the bumpin' Reggae beats.
Got some video of the perp walk... To post when wi-fi located.
Blogged from Phone
And it started raining. Water, to the eternally aggreived leftists, is like acid.
But here is a picture of the barricades.
Blogged from my phone.
RNC2008: Hippie Patrol
The festivities don't kick off for a while, so I'm going to go look for trouble. I'll try to blog from my phone when possible.
Hopefully tear gas is not too nauseating.
RNC2008: Breakfast with Fred
Redstate.com and Google hosted breakfast with Senator and former Presidential Candidate Fred Thompson this morning.
Senator Thompson gave brief remarks deploring the state of the mainstream media (Palin babies on the front page of the New York Times for example) and their coverage of the Palin family as well as the experience question. The Governor Palin experience factor is a perfect lede for Republicans to make comparisons to Senator Obama's Senate experience. As a veteran of the Senate, Mr Thompson did not give rave reviews to foreign policy or domestic security exposure... saying that it was mostly about deal making and bringing back pork to the home state.
Later the floor was opened for questions.
There was some brief discussion regarding the lack of media coverage of the Ayers, as well as Fred Thompson's new PAC, FredPAC. FredPAC is going to be a PAC to further conservative principles, not necessarily Republican ones though we all hope there will be a lot of overlap.
I would post more meat here, but my audio recording was dreadfully inadequate, and I did not take notes. Dammit. While I'm wallowing in self-pity, allow me to kick myself in the ass for not making business cards.
About 30 bloggers and new media types were in attendance, and I know there will be video on Youtube shortly.
I sat at the table with Flip of Suitably Flip, a blog I've been reading for a while, as well as John Ruberry of Marathon Pundit and Anne Leary of BackyardConservative. They were both from the Chicago area and are up on all the Obama info. We discussed Pa's role in the election, both in the Democratic primary as well as the general. There was also some mention at the table that Obama had a job in a Wall Street firm for a year before leaving it, as well as a stunning lack of character witnesses from Obama's past at the Harvard Law Review, Columbia University and Occidental College. Very strange.
Surprisingly, Anne brought up the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin which led into a brief discussion on the sad state of the Philly print media.
I'll take notes for tomorrow's breakfast, which was supposed to be with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. He is quite obviously busy, and won't be available... so there is still some mystery as to tomorrow's guest speaker.
updated: A couple of other breakfast bloggers:
Watch it all live here... it's nerdier than C-SPAN.
September 1, 2008
Stay Classy, Hippies
Nothing says free speech like assaulting old ladies.
The delegation - including official delegates, alternates, and guests - numbering approximately 120 people - got off the buses and began to walk through the security perimeter into the Convention Hall when they encountered a large group of RNC protesters who formed a human chain to block the delegation from continuing and shouting epithets at the Nutmeggers.
As I was winding my way out of the exits, I was struck at the number of barricades around the complex. It's really tragic that law enforcement is forced to put those things up because of the radical protesters.
Gateway Pundit writes about this afternoon's bus attack.
... which he was on!
RNC2008: Dirty Hippies
Remember the band geeks in high school?
Remember the ones that were all into reading books by Kafka and Marx and talked in circles?
Take one of those, add four years of liberal arts education, and you get this:
RNC2008: Day One
The day so far....
Drove down into St Paul to go to the Xcel Center, while navigating the St Paul streets, I managed to find myself, literally, overrun by dirty hippies. Thugs dressed in black were knocking over temporary traffic signs and making a mess of the area. Helpfully, they were being tailed by St Paul PD.
I did manage to snag a video of left-wing Mummers as they played, "We're Not Gonna Take It."
I finally managed to find a spot to park, wade through the smelly masses and get inside the center.
aka. Justice Delivery Platform
I made it up to the special press area in time to watch Mike Duncan officially open the precedings, then came the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Star Spangled Banner and the Invocation.
Some brief business was conducted with State Senator Jane Orie of Pa taking the lead in the process.
Off to recess.
RNC2008: Rocking the Vote
Jon Henke invited me to go with him to the Digg/MySpace/RockTheVote/assorted liberal thing party sunday night in Minneapolis.
So here's a picture of a great cover band whose name I forgot.
Combined with the high quality of the image, that makes this post neigh worthless.
August 31, 2008
RNC2008: Looking Forward to Day 1
Tomorrow's convention activities have been scaled back as a result of the landing of Hurricane Gustav in the Gulf States.
Monday's convention meetings will only be a few hours long as a result. Tuesday through Thursday are being played by ear.
RNC2008: Opening Show
The Minneapolis Convention Center was the scene for a big hob-nob fest today, before the actual convention kicks off.
Here a few pictures...
White House model
RNC2008: Media Credentials
As luck would have it, I ran into a pawatercooler reader who promptly introduced me to KYW1060's Brad Segall, who briefly interviewed me about the blogger program at the RNC, as well as the Sarah Palin VP pick.
Maybe I'll be on.
RNC2008: The Welcome Wagon
August 20, 2008
Tip to Allahpundit who wonders why Jindal speaks AFTER the VP nominee.
August 19, 2008
Pretty sweet setup for bloggers (like yours truly) traveling to the conventions.
Not only will bloggers have Internet access, workspaces and couches for napping in the "Big Tent" headquarters, they will be provided food and beverages, Google-sponsored massages, smoothies and a candy buffet. On the final night of the convention, Google is co-sponsoring a bash with Vanity Fair magazine for convention-goers and journalists that has become one of the hottest party invites.