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Monday, August 30, 2004

Giuliani's RNC Speech

Rudolph Giuliani continued in much the same vein as John McCain (Transcript). He gave similar salutes to the courage and leadership of George Bush along with a strong defense of the War in Iraq and moving remembrance of Sept. 11th. He also gave a brutal, albeit humorous, accounting of John Kerry as someone who lacks directions. Here are a few key parts:

It was here in 2001 in lower Manhattan that President George W. Bush stood amid the fallen towers of the World Trade Center and said to the barbaric terrorists who attacked us, "They will hear from us." They have heard from us! They heard from us in Afghanistan and we removed the Taliban. They heard from us in Iraq and we ended Saddam Hussein's reign of terror. They heard from us in Libya and without firing a shot Gadhafi abandoned weapons of mass destruction. They are hearing from us in nations that are now more reluctant to sponsor terrorists. So long as George Bush is President, is there any doubt they will continue to hear from us until we defeat global terrorism. We owe that much and more to those loved ones and heroes we lost on September 11th.
He also gave a brief history of the struggle against terrorism, or lack thereof, over the last thirty years:
Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years. And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun. The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government. Action like this became the rule, not the exception. Terrorists came to learn they could attack and often not face consequences. In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer. They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish. Some of those terrorists were released and some of the remaining terrorists allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals. So 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. How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace? Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of the world much like our observing Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate ourselves to peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union through mutually assured destruction.
Here is the part where he really bashes John Kerry. I expect that the last bit will be in a lot of news stories tomorrow:
But it is important to see the contrast in approach between the two men; President Bush, a leader who is willing to stick with difficult decisions even as public opinion shifts, and John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position often even on important issues. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, John Kerry voted against the Persian Gulf War. Later he said he actually supported the war. Then in 2002, as he was calculating his run for president, he voted for the war in Iraq. And then just 9 months later, he voted against an $87 billion supplemental budget to fund the war and support our troops. He even, at one point, declared himself an anti-war candidate. Now, he says he's pro-war. At this rate, with 64 days left, he still has time to change his position at least three or four more times. My point about John Kerry being inconsistent is best described in his own words when he said, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." Maybe this explains John Edwards' need for two Americas -- one where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against the same thing.
As with McCain's speech it is worth reading (or watching) the whole thing. Giuliani is a great man and I expect his strong words in support of Bush will have an effect on the electorate. As with McCain's speech, I was somewhat surprised with how forceful this speech was. The theme for the night was 'A Nation of Courage' and the key speakers expounded on that theme with clarity and obvious sincerity. Technically neither gave as good of speech as Bill Clinton did on the first night of the Democratic Convention, but in substance, they clearly exceeded him. The Republicans are clearly in a 'take no prisoners' offensive mode. I expect that this mood, as much as anything that is actually said, will have an effect on the electorate. The Democratic Convention felt like it was very careful, almost cautious. The Republican Convention so far, feels like a party that is confident in their ideas and their core beliefs. Somehow I think that will translate to the electorate. Yesterday I would have said the convention will give Bush a 2-3 point bounce, if the Republican Convention continues in this vein, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 5 point or greater bounce.


Blogger MikeNargizian said...

Technically neither gave as good of speech as Bill Clinton did on the first night of the Democratic Convention, but in substance, they clearly exceeded him.Which Democratic Convention? The one in 1988 where they were cheering when he finally shut up and got off the stage?
Or the 1992 Convention? He would have been the last speaker there?

8/31/2004 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I was referring to Clinton's speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. I posted on it here the night it happened.

8/31/2004 07:13:00 AM  

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