Laura Bush says…

  • They jokingly accused their grandmother of "not being very hip." Jenna's taking digs at her grandmother, and the audience threatens to become hostile.

  • Jokes. About Andy Card, Dick Cheney… "some guy named Karl?" Karen Hughes.

  • "And we have a hamster, too."

  • "And if we really bend it for them, they'll 'shake it like a Polaroid picture.'"

  • Giggles.

  • Their dad via satellite from a campaign trail, a baseball game being played behind him…

  • A gracious introduction for his wife. And she takes the stage at 10:33p ET.

  • Appreciation for the sacrifice of those our soldiers.

  • Freedom of women, school for girls, in Afghanistan. The tremendous voter registration in Afghanistan… the woman runner who ran in long pants… "exercising her newfound freedom and respecting the traditions of her country." (And no more burqua sacks.)

  • It took us a century to abolish slavery… "and not 'til 84-years-ago this month did women get the right to vote."

  • "We're braver than we thought, stronger and more generous."

  • "And he's a loving man with a big heart." Inviting the wounded soldiers to the White House, shedding tears… (He's a human being? Go figure. The opposition tells us…)

  • She started "the chant" again.

  • "These are times that require an especially strong and determined leader, and I'm proud that my husband is that kind of leader."

    Well, nifty speech. That served her husband's cause well, and though I know that the comparison is harshly unfair: It was a long break from Mama T.


    It's time for Arnold…

  • Arnold. "Wow, this is like winning an Oscar. As if I'd know. You know, one of my movies was called True Lies, and that's what the Democrats should have called their convention."

  • The signs read: "ARNOLD!"

  • Fear of the Soviet Union. "Today the world no longer fears the Soviet Union, and it is because of the United States of America."

  • And here's the Dem chat from the Republican delegates: "USA, USA, USA, USA, USA!" And it's believable this time around.

  • Finally, a plug for Dick Nixon! It was Nixon's words which convinced him to be a Republican. Lower taxes, stronger defense, less government. (Maria's there, smiling nicely.)

  • "Maybe, just maybe, you don't agree with this party on every issue. I say to you tonight that this is not only okay, it's what's great about America."

  • "If you believe that a government should be accountable to the people, not people to the government, then you are a Republican. If you believe that people should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group, then you are a Republican…." Advice to his fellow immigrants, he says, who are unsure of which party to join.

  • "If you believe that this country, not the United Nations, can best spread democracy, then you are a Republican." BAM!

  • "And to those of you who are pessimistic about the U.S. economy, I say: Don't be economic girly-men!" (Trent Lott loves that one.)

  • He listed faith in a lot of great things as being Republican traits. He did not mention God.

  • "Our men in uniform do not believe there are two Americas. They believe there is one America, and they are fighting for it!"

  • "He's a leader who doesn't flinch, who doesn't waver, and does not back down." (What he admires most about the President.)

  • "Leadership isn't about polls."

  • "That's why America is safer with George W. Bush as President." (The chant: "4 more years!" This is the first I've paid attention to those words since 1988.)

  • "There are those who say, 'Freedom is nothing but a dream.' They are right: It is the American dream."

  • "I'll be back. Well, my friends, America is back… because of the perseverance of our 43rd President. George W. Bush!"

  • The chant: "4 more years." (I'm hearing music from another time.)

  • No wonder they put this man on prime time. It was a wonderful speech!


    Read this reaction from the PoliPundit, an immigrant from a socialist country who shares Arnold's experience.


    Lt. Governor Steele says…

  • Lt. Governor Michael Steele Maryland. "I was prepared to give a stirring speech describing the principles of the Republican Party, but there was one problem: Barack Obama gave it last month at the Democratic National Convention."

  • He's the first Republican lieutenant governor of his State. And the first African American lieutenant governor of his State. "We have come a long way."

  • He was inspired by "individuals like Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, and Maybelle Turner." Four great Americans.

  • Owning restaurants to create "legacy wealth" to leave to their children. "Legacy wealth" is the concept of acquired wealth passed through generations. The descendants of slaves started with nothing.

  • "What government can do is give us the tools we need and get out of the way, and let us put our hopes in action."

  • Kerry's leadership is "I voted for the $87-billion before I voted against it."

  • Kerry did want to use the word "war" to describe our efforts against terrorism. "Well ladies and gentlemen, I don't want to use the words Commander in Chief for John Kerry. (Not gonna happen.)"

  • The chant: "But not John Kerry."

  • Applause line: "But enough about him."

  • The Maybelle Turner mentioned in the list of great Americans… his mother.

  • Bush moves us toward "that Shining City on a Hill."


    More speakers…

  • Elizabeth Hasselbeck of ABC's The View, said the announcer, though the caption says she's on a Style channel show. And that she's a Breast Cancer Research Advocate.

  • Her mother. Her sister, both of her grandmothers. They "found victory in the battle against breast cancer."

  • "Fortunately, we have somebody at the highest level fighting for a cure…" And three-quarters of a billion dollars to assist research.

  • Secretary of Education Rodney Paige, "the President's point-man in seeing that no child gets left behind.

  • Kids who pass through lousy schools "are robbed of their life's potential, and so are we."

  • An anecdote. He thought Brown v. Board would promote equality in education, but it didn't. It opened the doors, but kept things unequal. Until President Bush came along and began to fix things.

  • "Support for education under President Bush has gone up 36%." This, he says, is "more than under President Clinton."

  • And, ironically, the camera panned to a youngster playing a handheld video game.

  • Choice: "To elect a true reformer with proven results, not a Johnny-come-lately with promises."

  • With a vid of a St. Louis school. Talking up "No child left behind"


    More Speakers…

  • Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas). He's talking about the pandemic of AIDS. The Presidents "record levels of support to fight the disease."

  • It's a good move, having one of the most vocal pro-life Senators discussing the important AIDS research.

  • "From the child in the womb to the mother carrying her, this nation and this President will fight for you. Why? Because each one is wonderfully made, and what we do to the least of these, we do to our Creator."

  • Jackie Velasquez is a popular Latin music artist singing a Latin song in Spanish. Nice song. Cultures and compassion. I c.

  • Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. I saw him walk into the hall a few hours ago -- on camera, of course. A woman from his State's delegation made him lean into the chairs and give her a hug.

  • His dad told him to put an MD after his name on his office door to remind him that, elected official or not, he is an MD and must work every day to help people.

  • Just like President Bush. Health care. George Bush has "righted that wrong," putting prescription drugs onto Medicare. And the health care bill, and the "Prescription Drug Discount Card."

  • Democrats "would rather play politics than help patients." He gave the toll free to call to get the card: "Tell 'em Dr. Bill Frist prescribed it."

  • "Our opponents have a way of confusion compassion and dependency."

  • "I'll tell you what Senator Kerry's prescription would be: take a few tax increases and don't call me in the morning."

  • A shot at John Edwards and "personal injury trial lawyers." The high price of "liability insurance" for doctors. It's discouraging doctors from wanting their "children to go into medicine."

  • "Let me be clear: you can never be pro-patient and pro-trial lawyer."

  • "By his votes and by his actions, he [Kerry] is the Dr. No of tort reform."

  • And now adult vrs. embryonic stem cell research. Kerry "makes it sound like the President has put a sweeping ban on stem cell research. I challenge you tonight, Mr. Kerry: What ban? Shame on you."

  • I've been told that this speech sounds like something you'd hear in the well of the Senate. ("Boring," she says.) And that's why the networks are carrying Arnold.

  • But he's getting in some great shots at Kerry (and Edwards) while praising the President mightily.


    More speakers…

  • Here she is… Miss America 1983, Erika Harold. What a smile.

  • Faith-based initiatives. "These initiatives turn faith into power."

  • She went to a hardcore prison to "reaffirm the dignity of prisoners" using a faith-based program.

  • It's a good story, and a pitch for the President's program to spend a lot of money rehabilitating prisoners. Erika, the private sector can do this! We do not need government as a charity.

  • Former NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, paralyzed from the neck down by a criminal's bullet: "Every day, I live to serve. And I serve to live."

  • "I served with honor as a United States Navy corpsman." (Applause line) And a New York city police officer. (applause)

  • "The Federal government is no longer discriminating against charitable groups with a religious mission. In fact, it is welcoming them as partners. I am proud to be an American led by a President who makes sure that the promise of America is not the privilege of a few, but the birthright of all."

  • "And to the Democrats who put principle above politics… I say we need President George Bush to fulfill this promise."


    Speakers say…

    Anne Northrup, the Representative from Kentucky -- "an adopted mother myself" -- talked about the value of adopting children. She introduced a vid about the joys of adoption.

    "People of compassion."

  • Florida Representative John Quinones, the first Puerto Rican elected to the Florida State Legislature, spoke of the President and hispanics.

  • George P. Bush, the President's nephew, talked about education.

  • "In my great State of Florida… was an applause line.

  • Tax cuts and their impact on minorities.

  • Social Security accounts.

  • And there was a former President Bush watching his grandchild speak.

  • Some in Spanish.

  • "Muchas gracias."


    Elizabeth Dole says…

  • The delegates were having fun. I've got to pencil in one of these things. I saw a man with an elephant hat on his head, flaps for ears, a snout out the forehead.

    They spoke to the President's one-millionth volunteer, Becky Brown, who got to meet President Bush. Says he has a human side (see this post from Erick Erickson about the President on Limbaugh this afternoon).

  • And Liddy Dole behind the podium, promising that she's going to stay there. (1996 seems a lot like yesterday.

  • "This party is still guided by a moral compass."

  • She invoked President Reagan, that "liberty is the birthright of every soul."

  • "This is our due-north: we believe in life." That's the compass.

  • "Marriage between a man and a woman isn't something the Republicans invented, but it is something the Republicans would defend."

  • "Protecting life isn't something the Republicans invented, but it is something the Republicans would defend."

  • She invoked Christ: "I have the right to call that man Lord, and I do."

  • "The Constitution guarantees freed of religion, not freedom from religion. The right to worship God isn't something the Republicans invented, but it is something the Republicans will defend."

  • She mentioned helping people when Hurricane Frances strikes… on its way.

  • All in all, it was less a speech than a collection of sayings.

    It's compassion night.


    A '08 Scenario

    This one is not going to happen, but it was suggested to me as a possibility. It is…

    McCain/Giuliani is the GOP ticket in 2008.

    McCain will be 76 in 2012, so he'll step aside and let Rudy carry it that year and in 2016

    All things being equal, the ticket would be formidable; the Republicans would first have to realize, though, that the complexion of their party would be forever changed.

    (Just kicking things around…)


    The RNC, night 2 begins

    Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson gaveled the session to order, followed by the colors presented by a group called Order of the Purple Heart and a Vietnam veterans organization.

    The Gideon and Susan from MTV News introduced the winner of their "Stand up and Holla" competition, a young woman named Princilla Smith, 20.

    She was a tall{ish), African American with a young but serious demeanor. She mentioned that a candidate from another party had used his convention to speak of an Arkansas town, "a place called Hope." She wanted speak of another Arkansas town, where she lived: "A place called Wynne."

    She objected to her generation being called Generation X, as it made them seem as if they had no goals, nothing to offer. She rejected "that label. We are Generation X-ample."

    She challenged all generations to be the greatest generation.

    Then they again began the roll call to nominate the President, to conclude tomorrow night for effect. As CBS anchor Dan Rather told KDKA TV-2 in Pittsburgh this afternoon: "It is a TV dinner which tastes like potatoes and meat." (Something to that effect. You know how he is.)

    Pennsylvania, with 75 votes, put President Bush over the 1255 needed to nominate. The rest of the roll call, to be concluded Wednesday, is just for show. Well, we've got to fulfill the book.


    Convoluted Criticism from Kerry

    Get this one. JF Kerry is a champion of internationalism's causes and organizations. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a key internationalist organization. The WTO applied sanctions on $150-million of U.S. exports, and Kerry has accused President Bush of failing "to stand up for American companies and workers at the WTO."

    Kerry the internationalist has accused the man he termed a unilateralist of failing because he did not unilaterally object to the decision of an internationalist body. When President Bush objected to the U.N. Security Council's refusal to enforce their own internationalist resolution (1441) and grabbed a coalition of the willing and enforced the resolution, Kerry took a different tack.

    This differs from most of his positions while serving in the Senate, but we're not to talk about that.


    Hugh Hewitt interviews Karl Rove

    Radio talker Hugh Hewitt interviewed Karl Rove this morning, on the transcript is on his blog.

    Here's a sample:
    ROVE: "I think it’s [Kerry's attacks on him] sad and demeaning. I also think that it is a sign of something deeper and I hate to be personal about it, but Senator Kerry stood up on a stage in Pittsburgh and attacked me saying that I’d gone to great lengths to avoid service in Vietnam and then on the flight between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia at his next rally, a reporter asked him what do you know about Carl [sic] Rove’s draft status and he said I don’t know anything. So, here he stood up and took my good name as a cheap campaign ploy and knocked me around a little bit and admitted that he didn’t have a bit of evidence or knowledge how old I was or where I was during the Vietnam . . when he was in Vietnam, I was in high school."
    Here's the story from April about the Kerry attack, and here's the quote from that story:
    “I’m tired of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and a bunch of people who went out of their way to avoid their chance to serve when they had the chance. I went (to Vietnam). I’m not going listen to them talk to me about patriotism.”
    Rove was a senior at Olympus High School in Utah in 1968, the year of Kerry's Christmas "near-Cambodia" experience.


    The other side

    I am a decidedly partisan commentator, but I try to be an objective reporter and analyst, though I present the story in my own terms. I have reported that last night looked good for the President from all angles, but it would be foolish to have expected anything different from an event planned and conducted by Republicans for the purpose of reelection with a feeble opposition low on substance. I'm serious: what do they have?

    Let's have the other side. I commend to your attention to a column by the chief political commentator of the SLATE online teen magazine, What does 9/11 tell us about Bush? Nothing. It tells us that Kerry served in Vietnam, Bush did not, thus everything Bush does is cowardly. ("Living the past," trying to use it to soak the present and future.) As the premise for the non-sequitur, we find a few vindictive and a few gullible assumptions.

    The opposition has nothing.


    The President in rare form…

    I noted when he was talking to the American Legion this AM that the President seemed confidant. He gave an interview with Rush Limbaugh this afternoon, and he sounded even more cocksure than he had earlier. He was on a roll, he felt.

    He mentioned to Limbaugh that he had spoken to British Prime Minister Tony Blair this morning, and one wonders if he didn't tell Blair that he was going to campaign using the rationale for the Iraq war.

    He said that he decided, based on the intelligence, that Saddam was a threat. Congress decided, based on the intelligence, that Saddam was a threat. The U.N. Security council decided, based on the intelligence, that Saddam was a threat. And Saddam, he reiterated, was a threat.

    When he told Matt Lauer that "I don't think we can win" the war on terror, he said, he was pointing out that it is not a convention war which will end with a peace treaty. The President faulted his articulation.

    He said that he's getting huge crowds in "the hinterlands, the heartland," and he wonders if "something is happening which will lead to victory in November." He had to have been pumped by Rudy Giuliani's speech last night, and this seems to have carried him into a confidant, upbeat mode of campaigning.

    This tends to be contagious, and Kerry cannot touch it.


    The Prez at the American Legion

    As the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth launch a new ad about JF Kerry tossing out his war medals -- "Symbols, like the heroes they represent, are meant to be respected" -- President Bush addressed the American Legion in Nashville. Two lines in particular caught my attention:

  • "You cannot talk sense to the people [terrorists]. You cannot negotiate with them." This is what France was doing as he spoke, having already secured the backing of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Yasser Arafat, and Moqtada al Sadr (see PRE-FACE below) for the release of two French journalists kidnapped over headscarves.

  • "There's nothing complicated about supporting our troops." A reference to one of Kerry's explanations of his vote on the $87-billion for the US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The line did receive applause, but it was not universal. There were no boos.

    John McCain was also to address the convention, and it will be interesting to see if he mentions Kerry's anti-war record, something he had put on the table Sunday. (Hillary Clinton, on ABC's This Week Sunday, also said it was fair to discuss Kerry's life as an anti-war protestor.)

    After the speech, CNN talked to retired Air Force General Tony McPeak -- why did I want to call him "Marty"? -- about what a disgrace the President is. The opposition. Fair enough.

    MSNBC discussed the little "Purple Heart Bandaids" some Republican delegates wore to lampoon Kerry's 'Nam medals. They read a Kerry '04 statement denouncing these bandages as offensive to all soldiers who received such awards. I don't know about that. They may have been ill-considered, but they were directed precisely at Kerry. We know how Senator Elizabeth Dole's husband feels about how he earned his Purple Heart versus how Kerry got his.

    FOX had a Democrat and a Republican to talk about the speech and the adhesive bandages.

    JF Kerry talks to the vets tomorrow. I have an idea what he might try to say, and it will be interesting how it is received. (More on this soon…)


    What is a "Good News Week"?

    We've seen weeks, months, when the press has piled on the President with relentless energy. You heart their own commentators talk of "two weeks of bad press for Bush," etc.

    Analyst Charlie Cook defined it in his e-mailed "Convention Dispatch" of this morning:
    A week when the [media] focus is on the economy and jobs, or on Iraq and casualties, the management of the war, and weapons of mass destruction is a good week for Kerry and a bad week for Bush. When the focus is on almost anything else, it's very likely to be a good week for Bush and a bad week for Kerry."
    This is true. When the media focus is on the economy, it is portrayed as a Herber Hoover redux. When it is on Iraq and casualties, it is always on mutant uprisings, hostages, and the war dead not in relative terms. When the focus is on the management of the war, it is always from the Kerry perspective. If it is one weapons of mass destruction, their supposed existence is given as the sole reason for the invasion and the President is depicted as a liar who raved about it to the American people when he knew there weren't any. So when something distracts the media from their versions of the stories, it is a good week for Bush.

    "When the focus is on almost anything else, it's very likely to be a good week for Bush and a bad week for Kerry." Translated: "When the focus is on anything regarding Kerry, it's very likely to be a good week for Bush and a bad week for Kerry."


    McCain, Moore, and other thoughts

  • We heard a lot of talk last night about the President, his plan, his vision, the new world coming, etc. He's a great man, Ronald Reagan, blah, blah, blah. Now, if it is dismissed like in this example, then I don't think one gets it.

    There really is the plan, the vision of a democratic Middle East, the end to global terrorism (see below), safety, security, "accountable governments" … that was Mayor Giuliani's term. And why not?

    What I saw was a genuine admiration for the President as a figure and symbol, and as a person. There was enthusiasm for him and what he was doing -- not just from the speakers, but from the convention itself. As scripted, yes, but no less genuine. The Beantown Convention, by contrast, was lifeless, like the contrast between the President and candidate Kerry which Giuliani discussed. At the DNC, there was no adoration for JF Kerry: who he is, what he had done. We heard some affection for Kerry for saving drowning hamsters and Rassmans, but that does not a leader make.

    The affection Monday night was for George Bush's leadership.

  • John McCain attacked Michael Moore, in the house to write a column for USA Today:
    Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war.

    It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Not our critics abroad. Not our political opponents.

    And certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children held inside their walls.
    I saw NPR's Mara Liasson and Mort Kondracke of Roll Call, on FNC, criticizing the Senator for this. "He didn't have to do it." "That was beneath John McCain."

    Wrong. Moore was in the hall, and that could not be ignored. He and his "little fibs" had to be confronted, and McCain did it swiftly. He did not make a show of it. It energized the audience, which was part of why McCain was speaking.

    Moore smiled and remarked that McCain's mention helps his bottom line, and that much is fine. Any publicity is good, so long as they spell the name right. The problem is, Moore misspelled the names of the President and his entire administration.



  • Flipping through the cable to catch a tincture of the commentary after the show last night, I heard Joe Klein submit that "there wasn't a word about Fallujah." He had no doubt prepared that line in advance with Najaf, but was forced to use a fallback.

    Should there be a listing of Iraqi cities at each political convention? I'll note that the Democrats did not mention Tikrit.

    Shall we all conduct a census, Joe?

  • French negotiations over their two journalists kidnapped by Moslem mutants in Iraq have not secured the release of the hostages, but they have produced some encouraging results. French allies in Hamas and Islamic Jihad have called for the release of the Frenchmen, as have amis français Yasser Arafat and Moqtada al Sadr.

    Said Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al Hindi: "France has its own view concerning the American occupation of Iraq which is different from other European countries' views." Yep. Chirac is a go-it-alone French cowboy, standing up against the will the wise Europeans.

  • 8/30/2004


    Rudy says…

  • "Welcome to the capital of the world."

  • "So long as George Bush is our President, they [terrorists] will continue to hear from us. Of that much you can be sure."

  • "I've never seen so many Republicans in New York City. It's great! I finally feel at home!"

  • "New York City and America are open for business, and we are stronger than ever!" This is not the Kerry campaign.

  • "We're Americans! The land of the free and the home of the brave!" It struck me how awkward this would have sounded coming from someone like Kerry or Howard Dean.

    It would be like the Dem audience chanting: "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!"

  • I liked the bit about how Republicans don't have a monopoly on good ideas, but there are times when our ideas are more important. Now is such a time.

  • He just said that on 9-11, he grabbed Kerik's arm and said: "Bernie, thank God that George Bush is our President."

    "And thank God that Dick Cheney, a man with his courage and strength and background, is our Vice President!"

  • He credits the Prez with "turning around the ship of state," from defense to offense.

  • "No matter what happens this election, President Bush has already earned a place in history as a great American President!"

  • Over decades, we had taught terrorists that the world was soft. Governments allowed the terrorists "accommodation, appeasement, and compromise," for fear of reprisal. "Terrorist acts became like a ticket to the international bargaining table."

    And President Bush changed the universe.

  • "The war on terrorism does not end until every terrorist group has been found… and defeated." He attributed that to the President, and it revisits what he said to Matt Lauer this morning. I was waiting for this.

  • "Some call it stubbornness. I call it principled leadership."

  • He has compared… well, what Churchill was to Nazism and Reagan was to Communism, President Bush is to terrorism.

    "John Kerry has no such clear, precise, and consistent vision."

    He respects Kerry for his service. (Applause.)

    "John Kerry, whose record in elected office is one of changing his position…"

  • Kerry voted against the first Gulf War. (boooo) "But he must have heard the booing." He said he had always been for it.

  • "He declared himself an anti-war candidate, now he says he's a pro-war candidate… he still has time to change his position on the war four or five more times!"

  • "Maybe this explains John Edwards's need for two Americas: one where John Kerry can vote for something, and the other where he can vote against exactly the same thing."

  • Kerry's flip-flop on the Israeli security fence.

  • A dig at Kerry, vis-à-vis France. And the implied accommodation to their viewpoint.

  • He applauded the President for remaining on the scene that September for far longer than the Secret Service wanted him. Rudy thinks the President spent more time with the construction workers. "They gave him advice -- in their own language -- exactly what they should do with the terrorists. I can't repeat what they say, after all, this is the Republican convention."

  • A good story of a construction worker and a bear hug. And the secret service.

  • More anecdotes and he thanked everyone. He wants to rekindle that spirit -- "we're one America."

  • "In any plan to destroy global terrorism, Saddam Hussein needed to be removed." Saddam was "himself a weapon of mass destruction."

    "The reasons to remove Saddam were more than just weapons of mass destruction."

    Those who removed him "have done something history will give them credit for."

  • "Don't be discouraged. I can see an end to global terrorism. I can see it happen."

    It may seem distant, "but look how quickly the Berlin Wall fell… because of the pent-up desire for freedom."

    "That is what we've done and must continue to do in Iraq. It's what the Republican Party does when it's at its best: We extend freedom!"

  • He sees "accountable governments" blossoming throughout the world.

    The end of the speech is one President Bush wishes he could give. Freedom, accountable governments…

    And they cut the applause by hauling out the Chairman (vid) singing: New York, New York. It capped Rudy's speech better than a round of applause could have.

    Well done, Rudy. Well done, convention planners.

    It will be interesting to see an opposition commentator accuse Rudolph Giuliani of exploiting 9-11.


    John McCain says…

  • He was introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina -- "There will be no class warfare in this hall tonight." -- introduced Senator John McCain of Arizona.

    "John McCain is a great asset to our party and will carry us to victory in November."

  • "A Nation of Courage" said many of the sings waving in the audience.

  • McCain opened by quoting FDR: "This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny." He defined the war against terror in black and white -- right and wrong, good an evil -- terms, No nuance.

    "Only the most deluded among us could doubt the necessity of this war."

    He reminded us of the attack on September 11 -- "for who we are" -- and the unity which was sparked "in that moment." - "We were not two countries; we were American."

    And we agree that alliances are important, that it will take more than armed force to defeat terror -- and that we have a right to expect assistance from our friends. That was an applause line.

    "I don't doubt the sincerity of our Democratic friends, and they should not doubt ours."

    "There is no avoiding this war. We tried that, and our reluctance cost us dearly." (President Clinton?)

    This will take wisdom. "That is why I commend to my country the reelection of President Bush."

    (Four more years, four more years, four more years…)

    "And a steady, public spirited man who serves as our vice president, Dick Cheney."

    Was that #41 wiping a tear?

    "He promised our enemies would soon hear from us, and so they did. So they did."

    He spoke of the President's successful diplomacy with Pakistan and other countries in the region.

    "After years of failed diplomacy… President Bush made the decision to liberate Iraq."

    Our choice "was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: not our political opponents, and certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe -- APPLAUSE! -- who would have us believe -- FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!... -- certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe, my friends, who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace, when in fact it was" torture chambers, etc.

    "The mission was necessary, achievable, and noble."

    "President Bush deserves not only our support, but our admiration."

    And he closed with a tribute to "the best among us."

    "Might makes right"?

    "What our enemies sought to destroy cannot be taken from us."

    "We are Americans first, Americans last, and Americans always." (McCain's fans in the press must be busy convincing themselves that he meant something other than what he said.)

    "We're Americans, and we'll never surrender. They will."

    His delivery was soft in parts but determined throughout. It was a decent speech.


    Quotes &c.

  • Former NYPD Chief Bernard Kerik: "This fight against terrorism takes decisiveness, not contradiction."

  • Kerik: "George W. Bush has my vote, and for the safety, security, and the future of the country, I pray to God he has your vote too."

    li>Rob Khuzami, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York -- now the Deutsche Bank General Counsel for the Americas -- talked up the Patriot Act, correcting a few histrionic assertions about it.

  • Zainab al-Suwaij, the executive director of the American Islamic Congress -- with a red headscarf, banned in French schools -- spoke of how under Saddam, they could not gather and talk about politics: "For those who want to talk about the war in Iraq, I want to tell them that a war in Iraq had been fought for three decades. A war fought by Saddam against the people."

    "I promise you we will never forget what your sons and daughters did for us. Thank you very much."

  • Actress Angie Harman NFL star Jason Sehorn (St. Louis Rams) took turns reading parts of a statement about Congressional Medal of Honor winners. They pointed out Medal winner Cpl Rudy Hernandez who was in the audience. Lt. Tom Hudner of Massachusetts, also a Medal winner in the audience.

    "And we join your in supporting President George W. Bush." They spoke the name in unison.

  • Country Music singer Darryl Worley sang.

  • Signs in the audience all night have read: "We support the troops."

  • And the actresses played reporters, leaping from delegation-to-delegation, talking to vets, etc. There is an infomercial feel to the evening.


    Two speakers…

    Still before 9p ET:

  • After President George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara were introduced to the strains of a keyboard instrumental of Van Halen's Jump, and took their seats, Tony Award-winning actor Ron Silver spoke… of his neighbors being murdered on September 11. "We will never forget, we will never forgive, we will never excuse."

    He admitted that he's a liberal on a lot of issues.

    "The President is doing the right thing." Then he got excited after the applause: "AND THAT IS WHY WE NEED THIS PRESIDENT, THIS TIME!" And the chants broke out: "Four more years, four more years, for more years…"

    (Silver played Dem campaign strategist Bruno Gianelli on The West Wing a few seasons ago,)

  • Representative Heather Wilson (New Mexico) spoke after Silver. She told a story of a heroic New Mexican, soldier Jason Cunningham: "Jason died in a cause worth fighting for."

    "Where do we find people like this?" With that special courage. She listed cities from around the country and said that we were a nation of courage.

    "We need a Commander in Chief who is a beacon, not a weather-vane."


    Speaker Hastert speaks…

  • House Speaker Dennie Hastert was the first speaker, natch, after getting the entire assembly to shut-up and stand still for the panoramic photo. He might be the only person capable of this feat.

    He mentioned that he from Illinois, home of Abraham Lincoln. Ronald Reagan's birthplace of Dixon is in his distract. "Both President Lincoln and President Reagan believed in the American dream. They both believed in power of freedom. And they believed in the Republican Party."

    He mentioned John Kerry by name, saying the Dem "is on the wrong side of taxation, of litigation, and of regulation," Hastert said. "These are job killers. They add costs onto our products, and put American workers at a disadvantage. But John Kerry doesn't see it that way."

    Now is not the time for a vacillator, he said. No one knows, he said, where Kerry stands on the war. "This is not time to pick a leader who is weak on the war and wrong on taxes."

    He said that for America to be respected around the world -- something Kerry has promised -- the President has to have the courage to stand up for America.

    There's a contrast between the two candidates, and it is a central one. (See a post from earlier today about John Edwards revealing Kerry's plan for Iran and nukes.)


    Opening Ceremonies

    This evening, Imam Izak-ei Mu'eed Pasha, chaplain of the NYPD, began his invocation by quoting President Reagan. With honor.

    Some pretty good singers, Broadway-types, performed a medly.

    Then a girl imitating a reporter "interviewed" Convention CEO Bill Harris. She pretended to be getting a message over her earpiece then said to Harris: "I’m told that you have an important announcement to make."

    Harris: "Live from New York… It's the Republican National Convention!"

    With the Saturday Night Live theme wailing in the background, a Don Pardo imitator went through the usual opening… "with Rudy Giuliani… John McCain… Zell Miller…"

    I think you had to be there.

    Ed Gillespie ran onto the stage and said a bit, and they began the nominating roll call -- alphabetically, as per Rule 36. They're going to stop it and finish Wednesday night or Thursday.

    C-SPAN had the delegate count on the bottom, with spots for votes accorded to Bush and to "Others." It was a cute touch, confers an aura of authenticity to the show.

    There were even girls on stage behind a desk scribbling on paper, as if counting the votes. Heck, they probably were.

    What a show.


    Kerry's Worst Day

    Eric Lindholm (Viking Pundit) is certain that Wednesday "will be the single worst day for the disintegrating Kerry campaign." Kerry will address the American Legion, of which he is a member despite his 1971 written oath, and Zell Miller will addres the Republican National Convention.


    A CNN observation…

    This caught my eye from CNN:
    Reaching out to these two very specific but different audiences won't be all that easy because what often appeals to moderate swing voters (remember those suburban "soccer moms") is poison to the conservative base -- and vice versa. The swing voters, by definition, want to see what President Bush four years ago called a "compassionate conservative" agenda. The Republican conservative base, on the other hand, wants a firm commitment to its social agenda -- think opposition to gun control, affirmative action, gay marriage and abortion rights for women.
    This is shoddy thinking. The two groups do not have mutually exclusive issues, the set of one poison to the other. Ronald Reagan brought these groups together famously. George Bush did a fairly good job of it in 2000.

    The President's job this convention is a walk in the park compared to Kerry getting umpteen thousand rabid anti-war delegates to cheer a "pro-war" nominee and chant, "U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A…"

    This requires some dexterity, natch, but he doesn't have to dance on the head of a pin.


    Check out Kerry's Iran Plan

    Kerry's would-be veep outlined the Dem candidate's plan to deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Washington Post for Monday's edition:
    A John F. Kerry administration would propose to Iran that the Islamic state be allowed to keep its nuclear power plants in exchange for giving up the right to retain the nuclear fuel that could be used for bomb-making, Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards said in an interview yesterday.

    Edwards said that if Iran failed to take what he called a "great bargain," it would essentially confirm that it is building nuclear weapons under the cover of a supposedly peaceful nuclear power initiative. He said that, if elected, Kerry would ensure that European allies were prepared to join the United States in levying heavy sanctions if Iran rejected the proposal.
    Kerry would tell Iran that it could develop a nuclear fuel program if it promised nicely not to pursue nukes. The United States offering this deal alone flies in the face of Kerry's promised internationalism. By his own calculus, he would need U.N. approval for the gullible scheme.

    We do not need confirmation that Iran wants nukes. Maybe Kerry does. Who know?

    He's somehow get France to agree to levying heavy sanctions on Iran? I doubt it. It's in their economic interest not to do so, plus they want to counterbalance the United States, not join a U.S.-led initiative.

    And what sort of heavy sanctions would he lay on Iraq which would force them to abandon their nuclear program?

    Is Kerry sure he's up to the job for which he is running?


    MTV, Kerry, and the really young voters

    The Kerry girls, Vanessa and Alex, were loudly booed when they showed up at the MTV video awards Sunday night. Little Miss Vanessa was booed the loudest when she asked the audience to register to vote, “hopefully vote for our father.”

    The Washington Dispatch, linked above, reports that the Bush twins, appearing by satellite, "got the same treatment"; another source indicates that Jenna and Barbara "were generally received well."

    Both MTV and the Kerry campaign assumed that these kids would back their candidate, but if the awards show was any indication, it is not so easy.


    The French still negotiating…

    Still negotiating to free two French journalists taken hostage by an Iraq insurgent band, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier has convinced the rough, tough Arab League to urge the release of the hostages.
    "I urge everyone to resolve this matter as soon as possible to avoid any consequence of the matter," [Arab League Secretary General Amr] Moussa told reporters after a meeting with visiting French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier.
    "The consequences." Okay.

    I hope beyond hope that M. Barnier's mission is successful, but the mutants are surely receiving a perverse thrill from watching the French squirm.


    The PoliAnnotation Quote of the Hour

    From Tom Curry, MSNBC National Affairs writer:
    "McCain is less predictable than Bush or Kerry; his quicksilver, often mischievous personality makes him fun to loiter near."
    He's hit a certain nail on its head.


    McCain sets terms for discussion

    On The Early Show (CBS) Monday morning, maverick Senator John McCain said that while attacks of JF Kerry's record in Vietnam were "dishonest and dishorable," it is fair game to discuss "what John Kerry did after the war." It seems that McCain is writing the rules this time 'round, so there we have it.

    He had made a similar statement on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday morning, as reported in the Sunday Show review in the Rightsided Newsletter.

    The second ad by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth deals specifically with what John Kerry did after the war, as does the new Chapter 6 of their book Unfit for Command.

    Senator Hillary Clinton, appearing on ABC's This Week last Sunday, told host George Stephanopoulos that "it would be fair game to debate" Kerry's anti-war activities.


    From Charlie Cook:

    In his first e-mailed Convention Dispatch, political analyst Charlie Cook reports:
    The vast majority of political scientists and economists who forecast elections based on computer models will be presenting their papers at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association this week in Chicago, and they are projecting a Bush victory over Sen. John Kerry -- in a landslide, some say. Other analysts, myself included, think Bush faces an uphill struggle.
    He looks at specific forecasts.
    Yale University economist Ray Fair, the dean of the election-forecasting academicians… projects that
    Bush will get a whopping 57.48 percent of the major-party (combined Democratic and Republican, no independent) vote. Fair's model is based entirely on economics -- the real gross domestic product growth rate and inflation -- and it carries, he says, a standard error rate of 2.4 percent in either direction.
    I don't think this is the year for an exclusively economic model.
    [P]olitical scientist Helmut Norpoth of the State University of New York (Stony Brook), who gives 20-1 odds that Bush will be re-elected. His model shows a Republican two-party-vote victory of 54.7 percent to 45.3 percent. Norpoth's model focuses on how well the nominees performed in their respective party's primaries, on long-term partisan trends, and on how long the incumbent's party has held the presidency.
    Oxford University's Christopher Wlezien and Columbia University's Robert S. Erikson… projec[t] a 52.8 percent Bush share of the two-party vote. They say that Bush has slightly better than a two-out-of-three chance of re-election.

    The Wlezien/Erikson model relies upon the index of leading economic indicators, as well as on Gallup job approval ratings and trial heat data.
    Cook himself, however, points out the following:
    When the economic growth rate has been 4 percent or greater in the second quarter, the incumbent party has won seven of the last eight elections, Abramowitz points out, the exception being the Democrats' loss in 1968. When the economy has grown by less than 4 percent in the second quarter, the incumbent party has lost five elections out of six, the exception being President Eisenhower's re-election in 1956.
    The revised growth rate for the second quarter of this year was 2.8-percent. So it seems clear that if this stat is to be considered meaningful, the President will need a special circumstance beyond the economy to propel him to victory.

    Economic models are, I truly believe, out of place this year.


    Convention Notes - 01

    My convention reporter, Marjorie Jeffrey, tells me that some delegates from South Carolina, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Alabama went to Broadway last night to catch Fiddler on the Roof. It was introduced by Governor George Pataki, but there evidently was some trouble there was "with the Stage Actors Guild, about the actors not wanting to perform for the RNC delegations." But they were under contract, so that was that.

    On there return to the hotel, they walked through "a few leftover protesters, yelling, giving us the finger, making other rude gestures and noises."

    The protestors should be a part of the story, as they represent the opposition. It's worse than a '60s flashback, as it lacks even twisted idealism.

    It's in plain view.


    New Column by Barbara J. Stock

    I've put the new column by Barbara J. Stock, John Kerry’s “War of the Worlds”, live on the RSN web site. She talks about what the Swifties have taught us about JF Kerry.

    Read the column on the RSN site: HERE.



    Good morning.

  • The Blogging Caesar has updated his election projections, and he now has President Bush stomping JF Kerry in the Electoral College, 284-254. He has the President also taking the national popular vote by -- brace yourself for closeness -- 0.3%, 49.2% to 58.9%.

  • They know it! This is from Radio Netherlands Wereldomroep:
    The man who will nominate President Bush for re-election will even be a Democrat: Senator Zell Miller from Georgia, who broke ranks with his party after 11 September. Mr Miller strongly believes that George Bush is the right man to lead the country in these times of war and terrorist threats. The Republicans will be heartened by a recent poll that suggests some 15 percent of registered Democrat voters will follow Mr Miller's example and plump for President Bush. Only three percent of the Republican vote looks likely to go to John Kerry.

  • From the French wire AFP:
    Speaking to a rowdy crowd in this steel industry town [Wheeling, West Virginia] the union shop steward who introduced Bush drew loud boos and catcalls when he identified himself: "My name is Rick Casini and I'm a Democrat."

    Casini slowly won over the group by thanking his family, his church, and his fellow steelworkers for supporting the president, who has been running neck and neck with his Democratic rival for the White House, Senator John Kerry (news - web sites).

    Casini had the crowd on its feet, cheering, when he praised Bush's controversial tariffs on steel imports and went so far as to call the president "the man of steel" -- the nickname of comic book hero Superman.
    The French called the town: Wheeling, USA. I'm sure the pro-Bushies in town would like that one.

  • The nation is not divided on party lines. It's pro- and anti-Bush, but it's bigger than the President.

    The battle is between to incompatible visions of America, which can be best identified in shorthand as traditionalist/pro-capitalist and radical/anti-capitalist. It's a modern version of what shook our culture in the 1960s, when most Americans -- such as my parents -- went on with their lives and made their families.

  • As you brace yourself for the convention's first night, Steven Taylor (PoliBlog) has posted a must-read Pre-RNC edition of his Toast-O-Meter.

  • 8/29/2004



  • The political impact of the protests in New York will depend on the extent to which mainstream Americans can identify with 200,000 freaks.

  • French President Jacques Chirac is is still negotiating with terrorist to obtain the release of the two kidnapped French journalists I mentioned earlier.

    The Independent from Britain, linked above, reports:
    Although France has a history of negotiating with terror groups, the country's political leaders were united yesterday in condemning the political "blackmail". The interior minister [and poet], Dominique de Villepin, called a meeting of France's Muslim consultative committee yesterday morning. Afterwards, they called on "anyone with a share of responsibility for the fate" of the journalists to free them immediately.
    Or else what? France will veto something or surrender.

  • The center-left London Daily-Telegraph writes that this crisis "has thrown his [Chirac's] government into panic." What will happen when they are attacked?
    Although a climbdown seems unthinkable on legislation [the headscarves ban] that was passed democratically, France has been suspected in the past of securing the release of hostages by paying ransoms.
    It is a form of surrender.

    The British lefty broadsheet Guardian Unlimited adds:
    There was dismay in France that a country which has vehemently opposed the conflict should be vulnerable to the same kind of violence used against states participating in the war.
    Lesson One: A nation has never enhanced the security of its people through a flagrant display of weakness.

  • Blue Jays win. After longtime Toronto Blue Jays radio announcer Tom Cheek, diagnosed with Brain cancer, was honored a la Lou Gherig before the game, his Jays scored five runs in the 7th to beat the Yankees, 5-4, in Toronto this afternoon.

    No, I'm not a sportswriter; I was simply touched by pregame ceremony.

    And Yankees starter Mike Mussina was touched by Carlos Delgado.

    Tomorrow's an off day -- for both the Yankees and Boston -- so the pennant race I though was over last month remains frozen in time 'til Tuesday.

  • I'm listening to a modern French composer named Francis Poulenc. If you don't listen to this kind of music, you might not know that modern classical sounds distinctly different from "standard" classical: Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Dvorák. They are writing for a different kind of patron, and there is a "brave new world" need for experimentation.

    Poulenc makes it work.


    The latest Justin Darr column

    I've put the latest from columnist Justin Darr, Bull-crapapalooza 2004, live on the RSN web site. In it, he discusses the radical protestors in New York for this week.

    You can read it on the RSN site: HERE.


    NPR is setting up the President

    It seems like a set-up. In a report dated Monday, NPR.com offers us:
    As the Republican Convention begins in New York, President George Bush and Sen. John Kerry are locked in a tight race and the president's approval rating is languishing below the 50 percent mark.
    That's in an NPR poll done by Stan Greenberg and Glen Bolger, and the brief piece gives no margin of error. It is safe to assume, though, that it is within the margin of error of a split.

    Assuming that they expect better than 50% after the convention for the President, they are setting him up to have a great convention and assume control of the race, according to their polls and thinking. If they wanted to do otherwise, they've have written a poll that would have gotten the President better approval marks before the convention so he could fall short of their projections or, if they do the poll properly, take a bath.


    Protest Signs

    Marjorie Jeffrey, my convention reporter and an observer from South Carolina, has reached her hotel. The attitude of the SC delegation, she reports, is "very optimistic and excited."

    As they were settling into their hotel, they were greeted by protestors:
    They looked pretty harmless but their chant was rather unfriendly to the Republicans: "RNC, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay!"
    It sounds generic enough, and we'll hear from Marjorie again starting tomorrow: Day One.

    This afternoon, C-SPAN simply turned on the cameras as the protestors walked as if in a coagulating parade down an avenue, carrying signs and whatnot.

  • A large, pink inflatable: "Piggy, Piggy GOP."

  • A sign: "Bush is the number recruiter for Jihad." [This is a sort of French argument: don't fight them or you'll make them mad!"]

  • A sign: "Bush + Dick = F---ed." [All the letters were on the sign, in a kind of Whoopie Goldberg-esque sentiment.]

  • T-Shirt: "Bush sucks."

  • A giggling blonde on a cell phone, talking to someone watching on television, backed up and waved to the camera high above the crowd.

  • A sign: "I don't hate Bush. But we disagree strongly." On the reverse side: "Stop exploiting 9-11." [Which they are doing to achieve a political end.]

  • A sign: "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." [WRONG! Sacrificing one's life for his country is the highest form of patriotism. Dissent is fine, but it is not patriotic in and of itself, and this particular protest seems to be naught but glorified gainsaying.]

  • A sing: "More f---ing, less fighting." [The letters were on the sign. JF Kerry's generation had "Make love, not war." This may be the Clinton generation's version of that.]

  • "Cheney's America: Number one baby eater." [The sign did not accuse the USA of being a plain, old baby killer. Nope. We're a "baby eater." There might be a Halliburton reference in that which I missed.. Probably not.]

  • "Who dies for Bush lies?" [Some of them are having trouble letting go of the "Bush lied" line."

    There was also a group of about 50 people, each carrying an oblong box covered by an American flag. Flag draped coffins.

    Some of them shouted epithets and chants about the Fox News Channel, but I later discovered that this was because they were walking past a large advertisement for FNC.

    On CNN's Late Edition early Sunday afternoon, Blitzer had a reporter interviewing a protestor. She was a woman who said she felt "Bush has to go."

    That's that. I neglected to mention earlier that the interviews with Hillary Clinton on the Sunday shows took place from inside Madison Square Gardens. She is in there, a part of the State's welcoming committee. How big did Atwater say this tent was?


    Chirac to negotiate freedom for Frenchmen

    The terrorist group Islamic Army in Iraq, the folks who beheaded Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni last week in a manner so brutal not even al-Jazeera would show the vid, have kidnapped two French journalist, and President Jacques Chirac is sending Foreign Minister Michel Barnier to the Middle East to talk to French contacts and try to secure their release.

    They were kidnapped because France opted earlier this year to forbid little Moslem children from wearing headscarves to school.
    Interior Minister [and poet] Dominique de Villepin defended France's separation of church and state, the principle behind the headscarf ban due to apply when schools reopen on Thursday, and Muslim leaders denounced the kidnapping as foreign interference.

    Flanked by about a dozen Muslim leaders after their consultations earlier on Sunday, Villepin strongly defended France's secular system and said the separation of church and state united citizens rather than divided them.
    That is oxymoronic, Dominique.

    Godspeed, FM Barnier.


    Racicot on CNN's Late Edition

    BC04 Chairman Marc Racicot was the first guest on CNN's Late Edition, and it was more amusing than informative. Racicot was answering the charges: Bush is this, Bush is that, Giuliani and Schwarzenegger aren't really Republicans, etc. Of a sudden, Wolfgang Blitzer gleefully announced that he had to cut away for Bill Clinton speaking live at a church.

    Cut to Clinton mumbling about Hillary sitting on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Wolf took it back to the studio. He promised to go back to Clinton if he should say something interesting.

    Wolf talked about the deficit: "Are you embarrassed by this deficit, as a former conservative governor?"

    What kind of question was that?

    Racicot answered: "This is a war, for gawdsake!"

    Blitzer showed the results of a CNN poll, perhaps an online one, in which 56-percent of the respondents said that the President should denounce the Swifties' ads. 32% said no.

    While talking with Racicot about the ads attacking Kerry's war record, they showed a graphic with a monitor playing the 2nd Swifties' commercial, the one in which they denounce what he said to the Fulbright committee in 1971. He was portraying that commercial as an attack on Kerry's war record, when it clearly was not.

    Both John McCain and Hillary Clinton had said, on Face the Nation and This Week respectively, that Kerry's record of protests after the war was "fair game" for criticism.

    Read more about what happened on the Sunday shows in the Rightsided Newsletter: HERE.


    An Angry Kerry Protestor: Great Vid

    KING, K5-TV in Seattle caught a Kerry protestor suddenly wigging out on a Bush supporter -- a sudden snap -- outside the Everett Events Center. Violence works, when the police aren't around.

    The Daily Recycler has the vid. The Recycler posits that this is why JF told the crowd that he didn't have to worry about winning the State.


    If the name's not familiar, The Daily Recycler is a new blog from "a South Park conservative from Seattle," and it is a new addition to the A-1 Blogroll at right.


    New York Governor George Pataki…

    On ABC's This Week this morning (Sunday), host George Stephanopoulos interviewed New York Governor George Pataki. Mind you, this was after he had finished taping an interview with Senator Hillary (D-New York), and it showed. His statements and questions to the governor were almost each prefaced with a form of: "Well, Hillary says…"

    Steph started by mention the two "gentlemen" arrested for plotting to bomb the 34th Street subway station in the City, a few blocks from Madison Square Garden. The term "gentleman" does not apply to the 21-year-old Pakistani man and the 19-year-old U.S. citizen, but that it was on Steph's mind when thinking of this matter shows his tremendous respect for those who might disagree with him. (Spinning.)

    Steph asked the governor if he thought the protests would have a large political impact. Pataki replied: "I don't think they'll have a big impact." I'm reminded of something Karl Rove said to FNC's Brit Hume last week. When talking of the protestors and the Democrats, he said: "If that's the face they want to put on their party, that's fine." It has been a face of the Democratic Party, looking back, at least since JF Kerry and the war protestors of the '60s and early '70s.

    Steph hammered Pataki on the speakers at the convention: Arnold, Rudy, McCain. Pataki. None of them agree with the President, Steph contended. Pataki smiled: "I don't agree with my wife on every issue." The goal of the convention, he said, is to "help the American people understand the President we know, we understand." Which reminds me that Kerry's convention was supposed to let the American people know who he is. It was about Vietnam, though, and I stand by my statement that we cannot get to know Kerry, because there is nothing to get to know. He isn't anything.

    Pataki: "I'm not going to get into the Senator's record in Vietnam. I wasn't there."

    Steph: "Do you have any reason to doubt" what Kerry claims as his record?

    Pataki: "well, he lied about being in Cambodia in December of 1969." He then tried to talk aobut the present and future, which he did repeatedly. He wanted to talk about "the President's leadership."

    He had to know coming in that the interview would not dwell on the President's leadership…

    Steph asked about Kerry's activity after the war. Pataki said that he thought Kerry "crossed the line on that," but he tried to talk again about the President's leadership.

    Steph asked what was the basis for good question: Will there be more about Kerry at the RNC than there was about Bush at the DNC? This is slightly misleading, in that President Bush was mentioned frequently by speakers at the DNC, just not by name. But Kerry, it seems, will be mentioned by name:

    Frist: "Well, I think it [mentioning Kerry] is appropriate… I hope they [voters] find out a little about his [Kerry's] record over the coming week."

    Steph asked him if he were considering a run for the Presidency in 2008, and he said that he wouldn't even think about it until "2005 or 6." Has he considered it? "Every kid dreams of being centerfielder for the New York Yankees…"

    You know, Governor Pataki isn't that much older than Kenny Lofton or Bernie

    Read more of the Sunday Show review in the RSN: HERE.

    Sunday Show Review

    Today's edition of the Rightsided Newsletter has been finished and sent to the sundry global Inboxes. If you'd like to check it out and/or subscribe to the RSN (free), click her to see the site: Sunday RSN.

    I'll put parts of it in here for emphasis, plus I'll review New York Governor George Pataki's slot of ABC's This Week and BC04 Chairman Marc Racicot's appearance on CNN's Late Edition.


    McCain on FTN

    On CBS's Face the Nation, Senator John McCain just said that while he does not think we should reopen old wounds by questioning JF Kerry's war record; however, Kerry's activities after the war are "open game."



    Good morning.

  • They were almost the Third Party for which some folks hunger. Saturday, the Reform Party USA got together in a hotel in Irving, Texas, and formally nominated Ralph Nader to run for President under their little flag.

    Nader spokesperson Kevin Zeese exclaimed: "It's actually surprising how much Ralph and the Reform Party agree on!"

    This puts Nader on the ballot in seven States: Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, and South Carolina.

  • At lunch with reporters at a Times Square hotel, BC04 Chairman Marc Racicot intimated:
    "I do think that we are just coming as a country to know and understand Islam," said Mr. Racicot, a former Montana governor and close friend to Mr. Bush. "And I think once we understand, we're fine with respecting and engaging with virtually all of our fellow citizens.

    "But I'm not sure we're as far along in that process of maturation, in becoming as familiar with and knowledgeable about them as we need to be."

  • Newsday scribe Ellis Henican -- don't ask why I keep referencing this guy -- fritters away his Sunday column lightly taunting the GOP for its lack of celebrity firepower: no JenBen Affleck, Johnny Couger/John Mellancamp, the Boss, Matt Damon, Rob Lowe, Martin Sheen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Barbara Streisand

    Guilt-ridden quasi-gomerals, the lot of 'em!

  • 8/28/2004



  • On NBC's Today Show Saturday, the host asked the President if the thought serving in the National Guard was as heroic as fighting in Vietnam. If I were the President, I'd wonder if that were a trick question.
    Bush replied, "No, I don't. I think him going to Vietnam was more heroic than my flying fighter jets. He was in harm's way and I wasn't."
    It reminds me of something Kerry buddy Jim Rassman said Saturday in Tacoma when the partisan audience heckled the Swifties:
    "No, don't do that," Rassmann said. "They're misguided, but they served bravely."
    Kerry is an undefined set of contradictions, but as the President noted, he did serve.

    As we've been told.

  • This (Saturday) morning, I mentioned that former Texas Lt. Governor Ben Barnes had made a web spot claiming that he regretted, when he was lt. governor, having gotten a young George Bush into the National Guard so that he could avoid service in Vietnam.

    It has since come to my attention that Bush entered the National Guard in May of 1968 [link] and Ben Barnes did not become lieutenant governor of Texas until the next year, 1969 [link]. (Barnes was speaker of the Texas House when Bush enlisted in the Guard, and he refused to say what he did to get Bush into the guard.)

  • Yankees win, and it was one of those afternoons. They beat the Blue Jays, 18-6. Kevin Brown became the first Yankee starter in eons to last long enough to collect a victory, and first baseman Tony Clark smacked three home runs. Gary Sheffield hit his 33rd homer, and Alex Rodriguez had his 31st. Ruben Sierra bashed his 300th career home run, a Grand Slam in the Yankees' nine-run 9th inning.

    The downside is that they beat former teammate Ted Lilly, a good pitcher who never got any run support at all while wearing pinstripes.

  • I'm listening to a Trio by Carl Maria von Weber, a German composer best known for his operas. I don't know that I've heard a note of his operas, but my wife bought me a CD of his instrumental works for Christmas a few years ago, so I'm going into this liking his stuff.


    Kerry Surrogate Smears Bush

    I'm not sure why Kerry is doing this, as it makes his own arguments against the Swift Boat Vets less credible.

    Here's Kerry surrogate Wes Clark in Tacoma smearing the President over Vietnam, as JF himself stands with him:
    Clark began by discussing the war on terror and charged, "George Bush is an incompetent Commander in Chief...George Bush is indecisive, incompetent and we need a new Commander in Chief."

    Not naming but clearly alluding to the SBVfT attacks, Clark questioned, "Where was George Bush when young men from Arkansas, Texas, and Massachusetts were called to service in Vietnam? Where was George Bush?"

    As the crowd shouted, "AWOL," the General continued, "He wasn't there. I think it's outrageous that George Bush can question our Veterans...enough is enough. You want to match (military service records), let them out there, open 'em up, let's see those efficiency reports, that honorable discharge. Let's show out 'em out there. Let's compare 'em."
    And BC04 responds:
    Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt called Clark's comments a baseless attack.

    "John Kerry keeps trying to divide America over the past," he said. "His hypocrisy, combined with his vacillation and indecision regarding the war on terror are one reason he has a growing credibility problem with the American people."
    For his part, Kerry said: "I defended this country as a young man, and I will defend it as president of the United States."

    So he defended this country during his four months in Vietnam? In the epilogue of his 1971 novel The New Soldier, Kerry wrote:
    We were sent to Vietnam to kill Communism. But we found instead that we were killing women and children. We knew the saying "War is hell" and we knew also that wars take their toll in civilian casualties. In Vietnam, though, the "greatest soldiers in the world," better armed and better equipped than the opposition, unleashed the power of the greatest technology in the world against thatch huts and mud paths. In the process we created a nation of refugees, bomb craters, amputees, orphans, widows, and prostitutes…
    He told Tim Russert that what he had said was true. If that is what he still believes, then he does not think he was defending the United States during his four months in Vietnam. The word he used was "we," which includes himself, so he cannot try to play nuance with pronouns. When Kerry repeats that he served in Vietnam, this is what he is telling us. It's what he said he did in Vietnam.

    And he cannot cry foul for what the Swifties do and say of their own volition when he lets Wes Clark go off like that as he watches.

    To stay on course and give the appearance of putting this behind him, Kerry will have to drop Clark from the campaign. I almost expect that, probably after the convention.


    The Sunday Morning Talk Shows

    Meet the Press (NBC): Host Tim Russert will talk to Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, and Tom Brokaw.

    FOX News Sunday: Host Chris Wallace, gearing up for the Republican Convention, talks to Bill Frist, Zell Miller, and Speaker Hastert.

    Face the Nation (CBS): Host Bob Schieffer, ever the contrarian, will talk to John McCain. This is actually the best guest to have this week, in that he was behind the biggest campaign story. For better or for worse. Or worst.

    This Week (ABC): Host George Stephanopoulos talks to George Pataki and his girl Hil.

    Late Edition (CNN): Host Wolfgang Blitzer will talk to Maryland Lieutenant Governor Mike Steele (R), Howard Dean, Marc Racicot and Kerry-Edwards campaign foreign policy adviser Wendy Sherman -- with Tad Devine toasted -- and, again, Hillary.

    I will review and summarize the shows for Sunday's Rightsided Newsletter, to which you can subscribe for free by visiting the web site at http://rightsided.tripod.com, or by sending a blank e-mail to rsn-subscribe [AT] topica.com.

    It will arrive if your inbox shortly after it is completed early Sunday afternoon.


    Jimmy Carter's Venezuelan Election Victory

    Maybe not Carter's, per se, but something is not right.

    Last week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez cruised to victory in the referendum on his rule. Several exit polls had him losing big, but those companies were excoriated and lampooned after Jimmy Carter declared that his friend had won fairly. The American press babbled about the touching show of support for the tyrant and the new day dawning in Venezuela.

    Today's Wall Street Journal editorial examines the situation.
    Mr. Carter's logic seems to be that he could judge the election to be fair more or less because Mr. Chávez's military and election council told him it was fair.
    And they ask why Colin Powell and his State Department blindly endorsed the election "results."

    There was a time when most in the United States government stood their ground against this hemisphere's Marxist tyrants.

    Most, but certainly not all.



    Choosing the right Electoral College

    According to some CNN.com analysis, if the election were held today -- which it is not -- President Bush would win 274 electoral votes, Kerry would snag 264, and that would be that. Many States could go either way, the tell us, and if Kerry were to hold his States and add all of Nevada's Congressional districts, the vote would be tied. Which means it would go to the House of Representatives, where President Bush would be reelected and the opposition would demand new Constitutional Amendments remedying the problems caused by the representatives of the people representing the people.

    The Blogging Caeser has Kerry taking 311, Bush with 227 -- but that calculation is from August 22.


    The New Soldier (download)

    It's Kerry's 1971 tome. From the epilogue:
    We will not quickly join those who march on Veterans' Day waving small flags, calling to memory those thousands who died for the "greater glory of the United States." We will not accept the rhetoric. We will not readily join the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars-in fact, we will find it hard to join anything at all and when we do, we will demand relevancy such as other organizations have recently been unable to provide. We will not take solace from the creation of monuments or the naming of parks after a select few of the thousands of dead Americans and Vietnamese. We will not uphold traditions which decorously memorialize that which was base and grim.
    That's not his campaign.

    A group called Concerned Citizen is offering the thing, free to download, in pdf format. I've yet to read the entire thing, but the intro is mostly from his committee hearing. It's a revolutionary book: the old wars were a lie, patriotism is a ruse, etc.

    You can download it from this site: freekerrybook.com, and I'll have comment after I've read it fully.

    I am concerned that this might violate a copyright, though. If it does and the copyright holder asks me to remove the link, I will remove the link.


    Kerry's Silver Star Citations

    Did JF Kerry lie on his Presidential job application? This question trumps any question of ideology or policy positions, and not just because the Kerry campaign insists on dropping this matter front-and-center in our laps.

    On his web site, Kerry has a Silver Star citation signed by President Reagan's Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman. This one differs from two earlier Silver Star citations in Kerry's records, which differ one from the other, in that the following language was added: "By his brave actions, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty, Lieutenant (jg) Kerry reflected great credit upon himself...." It was signed by Lehman nearly two decades after the actions for which the star was awarded occurred, and after the two early citations had been signed. To get the new one, Kerry would have had to prove that "there was an error in the previous citation or that the existence of the citation somehow constituted an 'injustice.'"

    But here's the Chicago Sun-Times, Saturday, quoting Lehman on the Silver Star citation he allegedly signed:
    "It is a total mystery to me. I never saw it. I never signed it. I never approved it. And the additional language it contains was not written by me," he said.

    [ . . .]
    Asked how the citation could have been executed over his signature without his knowledge, Lehman said: "I have no idea. I can only imagine they were signed by an autopen." The autopen is a device often used in the routine execution of executive documents in government.
    We do not know why Kerry felt it was an "injustice" that his Silver Star citation did not say the bit about " brave actions, bold initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty," or who put Secretary Lehman's "signature" on the document, but he should tell the American electorate what happened.

    Maybe the New York Times can draw a chart of that, too.


    Crossing (and drawing) the line

    Columnist David Broder, in his Saturday column, writes about the money raised by the campaigns, Kerry's need for 527 groups because of a lack of hard money, his reverence for free political speech, the incestuous relationships between both campaigns and these groups, etc. Nice, but nothing new.

    He concludes:
    The reality is that, in a nation with our Constitution's guarantee of free speech and a government whose decisions affect every aspect of life, the flow of money from the private sector into the political world will be almost impossible to control.

    What can be disciplined is the tendency of these ads to exaggerate, distort or flat-out lie. And the candidates who benefit from the ads are the ones who have the first responsibility -- along with the media -- to police them. The candidates ought to be judged by their willingness to tell their supporters when they have crossed the line.
    Let's start with the "tendency of these ads to exaggerate, distort or flat-out lie." Those are strong words expressing righteous indignation, but is there any substance to them? Who has lied, distorted, or exaggerated? How? Throwing the words around does not impute a relevance to them.

    The candidates, he writes, "ought to be judged by their willingness to tell their supporters when they have crossed the line." The Swifties are not supporters, per se, of President Bush. O'Neill says he wrote the book and began the campaign because Kerry reopened old wounds. The Swifties' goal is to defeat Kerry, a man they honestly see as an enemy to themselves and their service in Vietnam. Likewise, most of the A.C.T./Media Fund/MoveOn ads I've seen have not been pro-Kerry; rather, they've been blatant Bush bashes.

    What line has anyone crossed? Who drew it? Do different people or segments of society have different lines? It seems obvious that Broder's line is not mine

    And will these groups listen to the candidate if the two draw different lines in different places?


    Kerry's Top Secret Journal

    We all know that JF Kerry kept a journal whilst in Vietnam, and that Kerry refuses to release them saying that biographer Douglas Brinkley has sole rights to them and their contents.

    Says Brinkley to the Washington Post:
    "I don't mind if John Kerry shows anybody anything," he said. "If he wants to let anybody in, that's his business. Go bug John Kerry, and leave me alone." The exclusivity agreement, he said, simply requires "that anybody quoting any of the material needs to cite my book."
    Kerry knows this.

    Brinkley wants to be left alone? He'll be an NBC analyst at the Republican National Convention. He's putting on a guise for the academic historians whom the article tell us he sees as calling him too much a pop historian because people read his stuff.

    [Hat tip, PoliPundit.]


    The Fugitive Candidate

    A man identified in this AP story Jack Shepherd is trying to the GOP nomination for the Republican nomination to run for Congress. Officials think he's a wanted arsonist, and they know he hasn't completed his probation for a 1979 rape charge (thus he cannot vote).

    Although he argues otherwise, officials say he's not registered to vote. And he admits that he doesn't even live in Minnesota.

    His name has been removed from the September ballot.

    It kind of blows the "All Politicians are Crooks" line, attributed to the lazy, if they won't even let the crooks run in the primaries….


    A Condemnable Net Vid

    JF Kerry supporter and former Texas Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes appears in a re-discovered Kerry Internet vid claiming that he is ashamed that he played a role in allowing George Bush and other sons of privilege to avoid service in Vietnam by joining the Texas National Guard.

    From the AP:
    "I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was lieutenant governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that, but I did it," Barnes said in the 45-second video, which was recorded May 27 before a group of John Kerry supporters in Austin. Barnes, who was House speaker when Bush entered the Guard, later became lieutenant governor.

    He said he became ashamed after walking through the Vietnam Memorial and looking at the names of people who died.
    So we have an admittedly corrupt politician cutting commercials for Kerry, attacking the President speciously while Kerry looks on with his jaw overly squared.

    ADDENDUM: Ben Barnes, as lieutenant lovernor of Texas, could not have "got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard." It's a lie.

    Bush entered the National Guard in May of 1968 [link]. Ben Barnes did not become lieutenant governor of Texas until the next year, 1969 [link].

    (Thanks for the heads up, Tamsey.)



    Good morning.

  • Interesting mini-ruckus at the Massachusetts State House yesterday, as Pro-Kerry veterans attempted to deliverto Governor Mitt Romney that letter Max Cleland had made such a show about trying to give to the President; you know, the "Condemn the evil swifties for questioning that JF Kerry won the war" thing. (Kerry would have us believe he won that war single-handedly. The Swifties would have us believe he almost lost it with his words.)

    Romney was off campaigning with the President, but the pro-Kerry vets wanted the show.

    The anti-Kerry vets, however, were sticking with the White House line: they were not protesting what Kerry did not didn't do in the war; rather, they were protesting Kerry's lack of attendance in the Senate while campaigning.

    This is weak, but it is the high road. If BC04 were involved in the counter-demonstration, they obviously do not hear Kerry's footsteps. It was a counter-demonstration for its own sake, not to achieve any other purpose.

  • But in a very openly pro-Kerry "news story," the Washington Post asserted that President Bush is "worried" about the election in Florida. It criticized the President for accusing Kerry of hurting the dissidents even though Kerry has said that he does not want to do that. The piece made clear that the President was addressing "a partly empty Miami arena," but gave no hint of the actual crowd size. (It did mention the number of voters by which the President officially defeated Al Gore in the State last time: 537.)

    It accused Bush a more desperate approach, which can be contrasted with what happened in Massachusetts.

  • 8/27/2004



  • According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times Friday:
    the official records on Kerry's Web site only add to the confusion. The DD214 form, an official Defense Department document summarizing Kerry's military career posted on johnkerry.com, includes a "Silver Star with combat V."

    But according to a U.S. Navy spokesman, "Kerry's record is incorrect. The Navy has never issued a 'combat V' to anyone for a Silver Star."

    Naval regulations do not allow for the use of a "combat V" for the Silver Star, the third-highest decoration the Navy awards. None of the other services has ever granted a Silver Star "combat V," either.
    There's more in the article. And in the rest of Kerry's unreleased records.

    The question which concerns me: Did JF Kerry lie on his presidential job application?

  • The Kansas City Star ran a piece today about how Representative Dennis Moore (D-Kansas) and Republican challenger Kris Kobach can debate only a few times this season. The writer managed to get 526 words out of nothing, but all I took from it is: "All we've eaten, mate, for the last four bleeding weeks, is lupin soup, roast lupin, steamed lupin, braised lupin in lupin sauce, lupin in the basket with sauted lupins, lupin meringue pie, lupin sorbet.... We sit on lupins, we sleep in lupins, we feed the cat on lupins, we burn lupins, we even wear the bloody things!" (Monty Python's Flying Circus, "The Ballad of Dennis Moore.")

    The Congressman probably doesn't want to hear about it.

  • Yankees win, 8-7, and they stay even with Boston in what has, from out of the blue, become a sort of pennant race. Godzilla, Derek, and Bernie homered for the Yanks. Carlos Delgado hit his 22nd for the Blue Jays, and I thought he'd have at least 30 by now.

    Loaiza started for the Yankees and should be cut loose ASAP. Tanyon Sturtze, basically the long reliever, got the win out of the bullpen while Jeff Gordon picked up his fourth save.

  • Bedrich Smetana, his piano trios. He was another Bohemian nationalist composer who wrote a powerful cycle of six symphonic poems called Ma Vlast ("My Fatherland"). Smetana is a powerful composer who "paints" a great scene.


    Lives saved while US has been in Iraq

    I found a new blog called Harbinger and Historian, put together by someone who calls himself Dakotazout.

    On his blog, Dakotazout has done the math and estimated that the lives of some 71,000 innocent Iraqi civilians have been saved during year and a half U.S. presence in Iraq.

    And that, my friends, is something.


    Remember Joe Gaylord?

    I hadn't seen the man's name in a long time, but Republican strategist Joe Gaylord spoke to the AP about what the President had to say at next week's convention:
    "If he gets on the future and effectively talks about the challenges that are ahead that only he can meet, then he'll be fine," said Joe Gaylord, a Republican strategist from Washington. "But if this campaign continues to be about Vietnam and the past, I don't think he's going to do so fine. I think it's a little dicey."
    Duh, Joe. That's the plan.

    Do you remember Joe Gaylord? More than what Karl Rove is to President Bush, Joe Gaylord was to Newt Gingrich. (Gingrich describing Gaylord's role in October of 1993: "Joe Gaylord is empowered to supervise my activities, set my schedule, advise me on all aspects of my life and career. He is my chief counselor and one of my closest friends.")

    The Contract with America was Gaylord's political idea. You've heard the story of Newton turning to an advisor on election night and asking if he should prepare to be minority leader, Bob Michel having just retired. The advisor told Newton that he had better prepare to be Speaker, and he was right.

    That advisor was Joe Gaylord. It's heartening, in a sense, to see that he's still around.


    Executive Orders: Intelligence

    Four orders, two directives. That's what the President inked this afteronoon (Friday). We get a stronger DCI, a National Counterterrorism Center, a civil rights division, and standard ID requirements for government workers who want access to federal facilities.

    He's moved past JF Kerry, bypassed the 9-11 Commission as the Oracle the media and Democrats have made it out to be, and, in theory at least, taken away any "do-nothing" or urgency issues which could be used against him.

    For sure, though, he will be attacked. He didn't go far enough, he did not follow the 9-11 Commissioners' recommendations closely enough… maybe it could be too much power in the hands of the executive. They'll find something.

    So it was a nice political move. Was it good policy? Doesn't matter. This is in place until Congress returns and does its thing, be it the Kean/Hamilton/Gorelick plan, some version of the Pat Roberts plan.

    Plus we have to consider the effects of a Kerry victory or a Democrat seizure of the House -- remember 1994? -- and/or the Senate.


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