“Fight with me”

John McCain delivered a decent speech Thursday night as the RNC drew to a close. Few will argue that Sarah stole his thunder the night before but he did make the best speech John McCain can make.  John has a different speaking style than George W. Bush but shares some of the same problems with timing and emphasis. He also has a tendency to break into a smile at all the wrong times. He did have some good lines but with the possible exception of the speech’s rallying cry at the end, there were no real ‘pump your fist in the air’ moments. But that’s just John. We knew what to expect here.

That having been said, he did do an adequate job. He covered the usual domestic issues such as education, healthcare, taxes and the economy. The contrast to Obama’s platform was not always as clear cut as one might have hoped. But he did emphasise his commitment to lowering taxes as compared to Obama’s ‘pretend’ tax-cut which would actually line Congress’ pocket more than ours. And he did press for offshore drilling and more nuclear power… much to the delight of the crowd.

The second half of his speech was much better than the first and he was markedly more effective when speaking about his military heroism than he was when talking domestic policy. His account of being held captive at the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam was both sobering and inspiring.

I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn’t in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.

There is no doubt McCain emerged from that experience a true hero and an honor to his country. And he was believable when he promised to fight against terrorism and foreign aggression. These issues are definitely his strong suit.

Hardly worth mentioning were a handful of interruptions from a few brats at Code Pink… their faces contorted into positively miserable forms as they were ushered out of the building to deafening chants of “U.S.A!”.  They honestly reminded me of a kid getting dragged fitfully out of a store by their mom because she wouldn’t buy them a box of Skittles. Apparently they think they swayed someone to their cause with that foolishness but I’m not sure who.

But all in all the speech went as expected and it accomplished it’s objective. Things did end on a powerful note as MCain literally shouted the following lines over a roaring crowd:

I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your president. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.

Fight for what’s right for our country.

Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children’s future.

Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.

Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.

Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

Excellent words. A stirring moment and a great way to end the speech.

I also LOVED it when they played Heart’s “Barracuda” after the families of McCain and Palin took the stage — an obvious nod to our favorite bad-ass running mate. The campaign would be crazy not to adopt that as her theme song from this point forward.

Putting it all into perspective, I’m very enthused about our chances for the first time since this race began. Though McCain is nowhere near the orator Barack Obama is, his experience and service to his country came across loud and clear last night. With his brilliant addition of Sarah Palin (whose mere presence in the audience somehow seemed to ignite the crowd) this has become a VERY powerful ticket.

Bring it, Golden Boy.  This game is officially on.


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