Wednesday, September 03, 2008
GOP Convention Day 2: Back to McCain
After Hurricane Gustav took the attention away from the politics in Minnesota on Monday, the Republican National Convention returned back to politics. The Bushes had their moment before prime time, but the Republican Party is clearly the party of John McCain now.
That party has a message of reform and change. Fred Thompson's speech did several things. First, it defined that the Washington insiders do not care for someone like Sarah Palin, who increasingly more people can identify with as the media and the left surrogates pick on her family. (As a side note, even I did not believe that the Left would so attack Palin's teenage daughter or dwell on her husband's traffic violations back in the 1980s. Wow. What is next, did Palin's husband forget to dot the i in his name on a document somewhere?) Thompson was right in alluding to how Palin is not a Washington cocktail party regular. That sort of thing matters in both Washington and Columbia. There is a marked disconnect from the arrogant elite in politics and the people who actually do the hiring. Thompson's remarks played into that.
Thompson's remarks also played into the fact that John McCain is a man whose personal courage has allowed him to do what he thought was right, even when doing so got him tortured in a prison camp. It will be hard for a Mayor Daley type from Chicago to rattle John McCain. Those remarks opened the door for the next speaker, former Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joe Lieberman.
Only the courage of a man like John McCain, who can place his country above his party could inspire a former standard bearer of the Democratic Party to attend the Republican Convention and ask Democrats to put their country first and vote for John McCain in November. Standing in stark contrast to some of the remarks coming out of Denver last week, Lieberman did not attack Obama or Biden, he simply stated why a man like John McCain is right for the Presidency.
To me this Lieberman's best line: "My Democratic friends know all about John's record of independence and accomplishment. Maybe that's why some of them are spending so much time and so much money trying to convince voters that John McCain is someone else. I'm here, as a Democrat myself, to tell you: Don't be fooled. God only made one John McCain, and he is his own man."
Overall, it was a good night for the GOP. They presented a coherent message of how the ticket has courage to stand up to the entrenched interests and change Washington. Those howls you hear from the Washington elites is because they can no longer only just offer cliche thoughts on McCain-Palin. McCain-Palin is not the typical Republican ticket. Whether or not the ticket prevails remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, with the emphasis on courage and independence, the message from Denver of "four more years of the same," rings hollow. From what the GOP showed us tonight, either way, change is coming. Now, the debate can be about what type of change.