Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Impressions of Rudy Giuliani at the RNC

These will just be some quick overviews, as Mr. Giuliani's speech was too lengthy for point-by-point analysis:

-- First and foremost, he seemed to be enjoying himself. And that was a good tone for him to take, as the tribute he gave to the tragedy of 9/11 could have left the entire address somber. In Giuliani's performance last night, you saw the personification of the war on terror: from initial shock, to grief, to the call to action, and on towards the end result--hope. And it was Pres. Bush that put us in this hopeful mood so soon after the terrorists shook the nation's foundations--and Giuliani made sure that the credit was given to where it belongs;

-- A great statement from him as to why the convention should be held in New York City: "we're open for business, stronger than ever, and we're not going to let the threat of terrorism stop us from leading our lives";

-- Some very funny digs at a number of things, most notably Edwards' two America's, Kerry "shifting positions" on key issues, and the lack of decorum showed at certain Democratic events so far this election season. And they weren't that subtle of digs, either--talk about calling a spade a spade!;

-- my personal favorite topic: the weakness of Europe in dealing with the terrorist threats as they have evolved over 30-plus years. From his prepared remarks (so the actual speech may have varied in exact wording): "terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was 'accommodation, appeasement and compromise.' And worse, the terrorists also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously, almost in direct proportion to the barbarity of the attack.Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table" Kinda exposes Kerry's "What does Europe think?" approach to international negotiations as a foolish way to ensure security in a world where terrorism is the biggest threat to stability;

-- of course, Giuliani drew strong contrasts between the convictions of Pres. Bush and the apparent "wind-blown" ideologies of John Kerry. Giuliani did it with humor, but that didn't absent from the painted picture the sharp edges such a comparison between the two candidates always draws;

-- already, on night ONE, we hear stories about the MAN behind the office. Giuliani related the great story of the New York construction worker that had the President's ear--and then some--in the wake of Sept. 11. THAT is the human quality that Bush possesses in spades over his rival, and that message came out on night ONE, whereas the Dems' attempts to paint the Kerry behind the suit repeatedly fell short throughout their entire week;

-- Money quote: "I believed then and I believe now that Saddam Hussein, who supported global terrorism, slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own people, permitted horrific atrocities against women, and used weapons of mass destruction, was himself a weapon of mass destruction";

-- Inquisitive observation: is it an "attack" on the candidate if you're using words from his own mouth? I mean, all you're doing is simply repeating his stance on the issues (or in Kerry's case, stanceS)--is that really "negative" politics?

Overall, an effective speech. I do hope that the time over-run that happened last night does not become a trend during the convention (although the lack of major media coverage allows for such a thing to happen).

Big picture: Last night featured leadership and the war on terror. Tonight we get the Governator and the First Lady--look for some more "the man behind the jacket" stuff as well as an appeal to the moderates in the country. I guess that leaves Cheney as the economy guy--which may not be his strongest suit, but is there anything that guy can't talk about? I look forward to hearing Arnold speak tonight--if there's one thing I learned from watching him in California, he knows how to work a crowd.


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