Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Impressions of Sen. McCain at the RNC

Having seen little of Sen. John McCain from the stump, I do not know what his typical "delivery" is for major speeches. I will venture this thought: I have seen more impassioned speakers before.

However, even without oratory fireworks, he managed to do a couple of good things in his endorsement of Pres. Bush last night:

1. Favorite line: on the war in Iraq, "Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat." A good framing of the war in Iraq--the Bush team could learn from that!

2. Contrary to the entire DNC, where an uninformed observer might think that the United States was the only country fighting against terrorists, McCain stressed that Bush had gathered quite an IMPORTANT group of allies to help in the war on Terror. Pakistan was highlighted, and for good reason, as recent events have shown that the help of Musharraf has been critical to the successes we've had against terrorism. And he said Republicans agree with Democrats who argue that diplomatic, financial and intelligence successes will be needed to prevail against terrorism. The difference to be drawn, although McCain didn't, is that such tactics need to be part of a strategy that also incorporates actions to keep our foes on the run.

3. McCain saluted Bush because "he has been tested and has risen to the most important challenge of our time." As was pointed out in the commentator booth on FoxNews later, this was McCain, a leading figure among veterans, figuratively saluting Bush for actions in response to difficult challenges--as opposed to Kerry, who physically saluted. . .the delegates?. . . because they ordered him to be there? One of the "salutes" carries much more respect and authenticity to it--I'll let you figure out which one I think it is.


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