Friday, September 03, 2004

Final Night of the Convention

"Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called 'walking.'"

Bush did what he had to do and perhaps a little more. He was a little slow coming out of the gate, but by about 15 minutes into the speech he found a brisker rhythm and I don’t think the protestors did much to throw him off his track.

He outlined his domestic agenda but didn’t get too specific, being a convention speech and all. There were a few bold proposals, from malpractice reform and a health care buying plan for small businesses to social security reform and re-hauling the tax code. I think his “ownership society” rhetoric will resonate among voters. As someone who has recently been breaking into the investor class, I particularly like the idea of individual accounts. For people that criticize Bush for tapping into social security, they should welcome the “nest egg you can call your own and government can never take away.”

All in all, he did a good job focusing on the future and in describing his last term as part of that projection into the future. He effectively explained that many of our institutions and laws were designed for the last 50 years and the we need to change them to accommodate the present and future.

In contrast to the Yahoo article posted by Mat, I think Bush has got a winning argument about Kerry disrespecting our allies:

“In the midst of war, he has called America's allies, quote, a ‘coalition of the coerced and the bribed.’ That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others — allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget.”

Everyone knows that the U.S. has most of the forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. But regardless of how much support we’re given by these countries, support is support, and it is wise to appreciate and be thankful for that support instead of ridiculing it. That is, if you want support in the future. Surely, that is taught in Diplomacy 101.

And Bush showed himself to be humble and emotional, something Kerry has hitherto been unable to express. Unless your heart has been hardened against him, W. came across as sincere and humble; emotional but collected.

Convention Summary - I think the convention was definitely stronger than the one in Boston. Obviously, the GOP figures that the War on Terror is the issue of the day and that it’s a winner for them. I’m not sure what kind of bounce Bush will get in the polls, but I personally had about a 7- point bounce.

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