Friday, September 05, 2008

McCain claims "change is coming"

John McCain made his acceptance speech before a loyal and enthusiastic crowd of Republicans on Thursday. It was a carefully scripted speech so there were none of the mistakes occasionally seen in some of McCain’s addresses. Search for McCainisms on the internet and one will find many howlers. One particular mistake stands out where McCain spoke of Putin being the prime minister of Germany. But there were no slip ups on Thursday.
Re-inventing the party

Much of the focus at this years convention has been biographical. Looking at John McCain’s military service, a video was played prior to the presidential candidate stepping out to address the crowds at St Paul. With the slogan of “Country First”, McCain hopes to convince voters that he serves not his own interests, but those of the American population.

It has been a convention that has been selective in its memory of the past 8 years under George W Bush. “Four More Years” has been replaced with the simpler “USA” and “Change is Coming”. The War on Terror has been mentioned but it was not as high on the agenda as previously seen.
Cheney was nowhere to be seen, as he spent his time fleeting between Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Ukraine. Even President Bush made his address from the White House via a video link. In fact the whole atmosphere was markedly different from the Republican convention last time round when the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger gave his support to the presidential candidate and terrorism and the war dominates speeches.

This time round a page had been turned. It was time for change. But not for a different party. He told Obama and his supporters that they had his “respect and admiration despite our differences”.

“Much more unites us than divides us,” he said “we are fellow Americans”. But he insisted “we’re going to win this election” to cheers of more USAs.

His speech was interrupted by several anti-war demonstrators. But as protestors attempted to call out, the crowds launched into calling out in cheers of “USA”.
Palin "stands up for what's right"

Speaking about his running mate, Sarah Palin, McCain praised her for “tackling tough problems like energy independence and corruption”.

“She has balanced a budget, cut taxes and she’s taken on the special interests...She’s the wonderful mother of five children”, John McCain said.

“She’s helped run a small business, she’s worked with her hands and knows what it’s like to worry about mortgage payments, and healthcare, the cost of gasoline and groceries. She knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for. She stands up for what’s right and she doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down”.

He insisted “change is coming” and promised to keep his word. “I don’t work for a party, I don’t work for a special interest, I don’t work for myself. I work for you”.
And he spoke of how he wanted to win back the trust of all Americans and went on to criticise Barack Obama’s policies. McCain said he would cut taxes while insisting his opponent would raise them. He added that he would open up new markets, something which he claimed Obama would eradicate. And McCain said he would cut government spending while Obama would increase it. This strategy “would create jobs while his tax increases will eliminate them” McCain insisted.

John McCain moved on to talk about health care, welfare benefits and education, all of which he said he would change to give every American an equal footing.

On energy, he proposed to increase off shore drilling, develop clean coal technology build more nuclear generating stations and build electric automobiles. “It’s an ambitious plan but it’s time to show the world how Americans lead”.

“I’d rather lose an election than see my country lose a war”.

McCain insisted he would not let al-Qaeda strike the US again. He spoke too of the threat posed by Iran which “remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism“ and of “Russia, which invaded a small democratic neighbour to gain more control over oil supplies”.

McCain finished by saying he would draw on all his experience to ensure an “enduring peace”. And he slighted Obama saying he did not have the experience. “I have that experience and the scars to prove it, Obama does not” he said.

In his final summing up gave an inspiring statement which pulled the audience together. “America is the greatest country on Earth. 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. 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” [CNN BBC / Sky News].

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