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Friday, September 05, 2008

Thoughts on McCain's Speech

I watched the speech (link has both a link to the transcript and the video) last night with a group of conesrvative Republicans (or, at least, I'm pretty sure they were all Republicans)- a good group to observe to get a glimpse at what the base thinks. The response? Mostly positive. There was a lot of applause, and a few silent moments when they just bit their tongues instead of saying "uh, no". It was interesting to watch the speech with a group of people (instead of with just family)- it's an entirely different dynamic.

My thoughts? I still don't agree with a bunch of the junk Senator McCain has done (McCain/Feingold... McCain/Kennedy... the gang of 14... need I go on?). He and I have different definitions of "comprehensive immigration reform" (mine involves shipping them all out of the country and sealing the borders to all except legal immigrants... I'm kooky that way).

All that being said, it wasn't bad. I'm not usually a fan of his speaking style (when using teleprompters- he's awesome at extemp speech, which is why Obama is in trouble during the debates), and he delivered better than I expected. I cringed when I heard him going into the story of his time in Vietnam (I fear that the campaign is relying on his POW/hero creds and not on what he's done since then), but, hearing it in his words for the first time was very moving. He was gracious to his opponent (which is more than we can say for his opponent), and we was more passionate than I expected. He didn't hit the sensitive topics, which was for the best in his acceptance speech- that's why they hit the campaign trail.

I'm still not a huge McCain fan, and I can't forget my objections to him, but I'm more willing to listen now. I'd prefer a more conservative candidate... Fred! comes to mind... but, after looking at the 3rd party candidates, there isn't one out there that isn't a kook. So I'm listening... sell me on your campaign, Senator... you now have an audience.

The speech was interrupted by a Code Pink "lady" and some anti-war types. I hate to admit it (well, I do find it humorously ironic, but I don't like giving them any credit at all), but the Code Pinkos and the IVAW morons helped the speech, and the campaign in general. They showed what kind of freaks are supporting the opposition, and it gave Senator McCain a chance to give a good one liner about how we should not be distracted by the static and ground noise. Thanks for that, gang.

I did like the ending of the speech. It was powerful and motivating. Here it is:
I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m 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 what’s right for our country.

Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children’s 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. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God Bless you.
Did the speech motivate the base? Probably, but not as much as the selection of Governor Palin as his VP. Did the speech attract independents and maybe a few Democrats? Possibly, and definitely more so than Governor Palin's speech (which was great for the base, but many independents found it harsh... oh, well... reality is harsh sometimes).

Here is a round-up of what other people are saying about Senator McCain's speech (language alert on some of them):
As a wrap up, here are some general campaign links that caught my eye this morning:
UPDATE: John Hawkins has his top 20 quotes from the election, plus a few honorable mentions.

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