McCain’s speech

On the recent Republican party behavior:

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.
We’re going to change that. We’re going to recover the people’s trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics.

On education:

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 I’m President, they will.

On energy:

My fellow Americans, when I’m President, we’re going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don’t 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 we’ll 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. It’s an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It’s 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.

On war:

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.

His conclusion:

I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. 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 wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.
I’m not running for president because I think I’m 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 you’re 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.
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.

Not a great public speaker, McCain delivered a generally effective speech which conveyed the depth of his life experiences in a self-effacing manner and a willingness to battle for the common man and woman. The contrast with the soaring rhetoric of an empty suit was striking and also done in a completely different and less dynamic way than last night.
However, whether McCain’s speech defined a sufficiently clear contrast with Obama for an effective and focused Fall campaign was less clear.

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Will
12 years ago

Everything you said and more is right on. Fortunately, Sen. McCain greatly benefited from low expectations, and as we know, these kinds of speeches are often a matter of expectations. He clearly exceeded expectations, so the speech came off very well. He stood up and was clearly out there as his own man. Regardless of what one might think of McCain, he came off as a man of substance. He’s not flashy, or a flash in the pan (like the other guy).
I also appreciated that he took the high road in his speech, and I think others will, too. He looked and acted presidential. I also think he overcame some of the preconceptions that some may have of him.
PS I think he’ll be letting the new VP do most of the “pit bull” work — and stay above the fray himself. I can’t wait.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

The simple dignity of the lectern and walkway were in stark contrast to the “reality show” setup of Greek columns for Obama’s speech-McCain didn’t need frills nor catchphrases-he delivered a clear,straightforward message-he does not need nor use showmanship to deliver his message-BTW the Code Pink wackos looked like the insignificant pissants they are.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

I thought McCain did well. He outlined his life’s experience and strong record that has prepared him to become President.
To Will’s point, McCain isn’t flashy and he’s not an entertainer, but he came away looking very “Presidential”.
He also did a great job explaining the “Country First” theme describing his transition from a self-centered “flyboy hotshot” to someone who understands the importance of the United States both on a personal level and what the US means to the world.
Ironically, Obama got upset earlier this year because he thought the “Country First” slogan was questioning HIS patriotism. In retrospect, Obama’s belief that the slogan was about him made me think of Carly Simon’s song (“You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you”). One can’t help but come away with the opinion that Obama may still be in his own self-centered “flyboy hotshot” stage. Maybe we can read all read more about it in Memoir #3.
By the way, the teleprompter apparently malfunctioned during Palin’s speech, making her address all that more amazing.

Richard
Richard
12 years ago

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ John McCain set a new tone for the Republican National Convention Thursday, with speakers abandoning many of the tough words aimed at Barack Obama that had characterized the previous night. But the picture they painted blurred some facts. _____ Some examples: MCCAIN: “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.” THE FACTS: Yes, Obama voted for a 2005 energy bill backed by Bush that included billions in subsidies for oil and natural gas production. McCain opposed the bill on grounds it included unnecessary tax breaks for the oil industry. But Obama has said he supported the legislation because it provided money for renewable energy. Obama did vote for an effort to strip the legislation of the oil and gas industry tax breaks. When that failed, he voted for the overall measure. MCCAIN: “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.” THE FACTS: Despite his goal of giving parents choice in the schools their children attend, he is not proposing a federal voucher program that would provide public money for private school tuition. McCain is proposing only to expand the District of Columbia’s voucher program. During his 2000 run for the presidency, he did propose a more than $5 billion school voucher plan, but he is not proposing one now.… Read more »

JP
JP
12 years ago

Before his May vote, Obama had voted for every bill that financed the troops since he joined the Senate.
How can it be inconsistant to speak out against pork barrel funding while accepting federal funds for your constituents, but consistant to be against the war while approving funding for it?

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

When Hillary was passed over by Obama and Obama texted his VP announcement at 3AM to jab Hillary about her “who would you trust to pick up the phone at 3AM” commercial”, some Clinton supporters said that Obama would eventually regret not asking Hillary to join the ticket.
So my Question for the Day:
In light of the popularity of Sarah Palin and John McCain’s comeback, do you think Barack Obama now regrets his decision to dismiss Hillary Clinton as a VP candidate?
I’m just interested in hearing people’s opinions.

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

The Palin selection has certainly shaken his campaign, at least in the short term, and, at a minimum, has them scrambling to adjust tactics. Yesterday, we learned that they have recruited female Dem politicians, Senator Clinton among them, to attack Gov Palin in battleground states. Link.
And if he loses, it is a question that will presumably haunt him. “Could I have won with Hillary?”

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

He could win with Hillary easily-but then he would have the specter of Medvedev/Putin haunting him.Oh,I guess it already did.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

No way Obama wins with Hillary. Bill’s hubris would’ve dragged that ticket down regardless of the opposition.

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

Interesting range of opinions.
I think Obama could have won with Hillary on the ticket, but he would have had a difficult time governing after the election given the Clinton camp’s prior experience that would be looming over the White House.
I suppose it be like the Green Bay Packers taking back Brett Favre. You know Favre has more experience and can win games, but if you bring him back, the young guy (Aaron Rodgers) never gets to make the team his own.
With Obama trailing McCain by 10 points among likely voters, I’m sure alot of Democrats are wondering whether jetisioning Hillary was the right move, just as Packers fan must be asking themselves whether letting Farve go was the right move.

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