ELEVENTH IN LINE
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A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Convention thoughts (day one) So, I've been reading the convention transcripts (not just the main speeches, mind you, but all of them). It's interesting so far; the speeches seem quite short (and the transcriptionists need editors). I figure that no one in particular is going to have noticed what our governor, Bob Taft (yes, he's related to that other Taft, but he doesn't look anything like him ^_^) said, so I thought I'd put it here:
"Good afternoon. My name is Bob Taft, and I am the Governor of the great State of Ohio. Today I stand before you as the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. It is my honor and privilege to share the stage and podium that our President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, will address you from in a mere four nights. This convention is truly democracy at work and a shining example of liberty and the American way. The Republican Governors Association is hard at work spreading and practicing the values and policies of our party in States across the country. We currently have Republican governors is 28 States, and as their Chairman, I proudly announce to you that we are strong and growing stronger! Republican governors represent nearly 60 percent of our country, from California and Hawaii, to Massachusetts and Florida. Thank you for your support of these dedicated leaders, many of whom will address you in the coming days.
This year we have 11 races, and with your efforts we will continue to grow our majority.
Our candidates have been working tirelessly to put themselves in a position to win in November, in fact many of them are still in their home States pounding the pavement today.
The Republican Governors Association is working closely with all of our candidates and believes that their vision, ideas and leadership will carry the day on November second. Thank you for your support. "
For what it's worth, the states where governorships are in play are Utah, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Montana, North Dakota, Indiana, North Carolina, Washington, Delaware, and West Virginia (courtesey of MyDD.Com).
In a related note, there are a lot of candidates for such-and-such position speaking, at least from my perspective. Some have causes that frankly seem hopeless (defeating Tom Daschle), and others seem to be there as a nod to local party types (there's candidates for Congress from Puerto Rico and Washington, DC -- the DC guy used to work for NASCAR), in the same vein as the trick at the DNC convention (conveniently held while I packed all my stuff up in California, and had no place to be but right in front of the television) of having John Glenn tip the scales with Ohio's delegates for John Kerry (the state in front of Ohio yielded the floor for that one). It's a little bizarre, especially because unlike the national speaker types (including most of those doing various place-keeping functions, and the minor celebrity moment types), these guys are talking local issues. I mean, really local issues, like Pennsylvania's health care system. The national speakers' line seems to be pretty pure -- all the war on terror, all the time. The national security issue is obviously a strong suit for the Republican party, both in a traditional sense and in a "hey, our guy's been in charge of this here war thing" sense. Not to mention that John Kerry, when he talks about war, prefers to talk about the one that ended seven years before I was born, and many liberal activists come across as, well, kind of frivilous/airheadish when discussing matters of war, peace, and so on.
Plus there's the number of libertarian-minded people, like myself, who'd probalby be undecided, ambivalent, or protest-vote minded were it not for Sept. 11th and the war on terror. Like Glenn Reynolds, it's pretty much the deal-breaking issue for me; unlike in 2000 I can't really vote for a libertarian in good conscience (it helps that this time, the difference between Bush -- who seemed really airheadish in 2000 -- and his opponent is rather clearer). You certainly won't find me exploring my politicality (not a word, but still) with the whole "hanging out with the Republicans, volunteering for the Democrats, working with the libertarians, and seeking refuge from the constant chaos with the Greens" thing that I did last time.
(it has come to my attention, through my oh-so-observant ability to actually READ the top of each page, that a lot of this stuff is the prepared remarks, and there's a lot more junk that people said that I don't have in front of me -- dang it, where are the actual TRANSCRIPTS???)
Anyway. I liked the comment from the Hispanics Across America leader, Ferdnando Mateo, "In the next four, he will remain a leader of deep conviction and compassion and courage." It's kind of annoying to me that the Bush administration doesn't match a lot of my policy stands, because as a leader, Bush tends to match my desired tone, in a way that Clinton, Gore, and Kerry just... don't. I guess it's just an emotional response (I tend to disregard feelery stuff in elections; I think it was all the Poli Sci classes), but still.
Oh, wow. In the background, I have CNN playing the convention. The reaction to McCain's "disingenuous filmmaker" comment is a little excessive. I guess the mild annoyance and irritation and disrespect I have for Michael Moore is somewhat lower than that experienced by the vocal majority of Republican National Convention attendees. Yeesh. McCain handled it well, though. I don't much care for him in general, but he makes a good first day speaker, I think.
The Burlingame remarks aren't on the convention website's speech list; I definitely need real transcripts. Why, C-SPAN, do you fail your people in time of need?
The emotional angle I think was done well. I'm afraid I'm a little too much of a rational creature to be as moved as normal people are, particularly "in the moment" and while trying to analyze things. But I don't think it was overdone, and I do think that the tone they struck was appropriately reverent without being schmaltzy (admittedly, I'm not actually watching, just listening).
Rudy Giuliani is a much better speaker in person than his speech transcript would indicate. I think they did a good job of writing something he'd deliver well. He also does a good job ad-libbing and working the crowd. After seeing Ed Koch, obviously, it seemed like almost any former NY mayor could do a better job of talking at the Republican Convention, but then again, they could all do a better job than me, too -- that's not the measure of how well he did (can you tell it's almost 4am? I really need to get a better sleep schedule). In any case, he deserves the anchor spot of this lineup; he's much better than McCain (and not just because I like him better) both in terms of crowd relations AND as a substantive speaker.
Overall, a decent first night, I think. I'll probably blog more about it in some less chaotic form tomorrow.
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Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.