September 3 2004
THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH: I was bored by the
first half of the President's
speech, I don't know whether it was burn out from listening
to too many speeches the past four days or the speech itself.
But there is no question that I felt the first half was
average, about the same as Kerry's speech in Boston. Now
I am not criticizing the rationale for laying out in a 'State
of the Union' type of fashion, the President's domestic
agenda and first term accomplishments, and from a strategic
standpoint it actually made quite a bit of sense, and in
many ways, was vitally necessary from a political perspective
to complete the speech as a whole.
after the initial slowness, the President was able to get
in a few shots at Kerry on important issues with out appearing
mean or too negative:
here, you face a choice. My opponent's policies are dramatically
different from ours.
Senator Kerry opposed Medicare reform and health savings
accounts. After supporting my education reforms, he now
wants to dilute them. He opposes legal and medical liability
reform. He opposed reducing the marriage penalty, opposed
doubling the child credit, opposed lowering income taxes
for all who pay them.
Wait a minute, wait a minute. To be fair, there are some
things my opponent is for.
proposed more than $2 trillion in new federal spending
so far, and that's a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts.....
My opponent recently announced that he is the candidate
of "conservative values," which must have come as a surprise
to a lot of his supporters.
there are some problems with this claim. If you say the
heart and soul of America is found in Hollywood, I'm afraid
you are not the candidate of conservative values.
you voted against the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act,
which President Clinton signed, you are not the candidate
of conservative values.
you gave a speech, as my opponent did, calling the Reagan
presidency eight years of "moral darkness," then you may
be a lot of things, but the candidate of conservative
values is not one of them.
is it was the last third of the President's speech where
Bush really hit the ball out of the park. The whole week
had systematically focused the nation's attention on 9/11
and the President's prosecution of the War on Terror. And
there was a noticeable pickup in the President's intensity
and the connection of his message when he moved into the
portion of the speech defending his administration's approach
to the War.
Senator Kerry who refused at his convention to lay out a
vision for the War, and who still today appears conflicted
and ambiguous on how to precede, the President unapologetically
told the American people his vision of how this War needs
to be prosecuted. But it was the connection the President
made on a human level with the American people, where the
most devastating political points were scored.
opening up to reveal a humility and compassion, that is
hard to square with the caricature most commonly offered
by his political opponents, the President was able to scrape
away some of the scar tissue that had begun to accumulate
the last six months:
the last four years -- in the last four years, you and
I have come to know each other. Even when we don't agree,
at least you know what I believe and where I stand.
You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes
have to correct my English.
I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started
folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas
is called "walking."
Now and then I come across as a little too blunt, and
for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting
right up there.
One thing I have learned about the presidency is that
whatever shortcomings you have, people are going to notice
them; and whatever strengths you have, you're going to
These four years have brought moments I could not foresee
and will not forget. I've tried to comfort Americans who
lost the most on September the 11th: people who showed
me a picture or told me a story so I would know how much
was taken from them.
I have learned first-hand that ordering Americans into
battle is the hardest decision even when it is right.
I have returned the salute of wounded soldiers, some with
a very tough road ahead, who say they were just doing
held the children of the fallen who are told their dad
or mom is a hero, but would rather just have their dad
or mom. I've met with parents and wives and husbands who
have received a folded flag and said a final goodbye to
a soldier they loved.
I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say
that I am in their prayers and to offer encouragement
does that strength like that come from? How can people
so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride?
is because they know their loved one was last seen doing
good because they know that liberty was precious to the
one they lost.
And in those military families, I have seen the character
of a great nation: decent and idealistic and strong.
sequence was unbelievably great, and nothing in John Kerry's
speech last month came even close to this level. This was
the President Bush of October 2001, the President Bush of
70% job approval ratings, and it will serve as a powerful
reminder to many Americans of what they like and admire
in George W. Bush.
course, the Left is so jaded and cynical toward the President
this will have no effect at all with those individuals.
But for the millions of voters who are anxious and unsure,
voters that both campaigns are desperately trying to move
into their corner, these words from the President are exactly
what they wanted to hear from their Commander in Chief.
given the political necessity of defending his first term
domestic accomplishments and the real need to outline a
vision, domestically, for where he wants to lead the country.
The speech has to be seen as a real home run. And a fitting
conclusion to an extremely effective week for the Bush campaign.
J. McIntyre 10:23 am Link
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