The final night of the convention was the celebration of the type of person we all wish we could be--driven, blessed, humble, compassionate, joyful, optimistic, strong. It was the definition of a life lived in service. A life dedicated to lifting others up, making the most of freedom and opportunity, and pushing on to a better tomorrow.
Paul Ryan's speech--with a few nerves, some great lines, and full of conservative convictions--capped off an electric evening last night. Here are a few of the best lines:
"So our opponents can consider themselves on notice. In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the left isn't going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate." "Now all that's left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday's wind." "Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What's missing is leadership in the White House." "President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record." "College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life." "None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers- a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us." (My favorite line of the night!) "Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government- to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America's founding.They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government." Here's the full transcript.
Condoleezza Rice just left the stage and left the entire convention on a high. What a great speech. What a great speaker. A woman with humble grace, intellectual greatness, and personal convictions. How refreshing to finally, after four years, hear someone with the capacity for greatness highlight hard truths and hopeful promises.
From the transcript available on Drudge: After all, when the world looks to America, they look to us because we are the most successful political and economic experiment in human history. That is the true basis of “American Exceptionalism.” The essence of America – that which really unites us -- is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion – it is an idea -- and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.
Ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement. We have not believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well. We have not been envious of one another and jealous of each other’s success. Ours has been a belief in opportunity and a constant battle – long and hard -- to extend the benefits of the American dream to all – without regard to circumstances of birth.
But the American ideal is indeed endangered today. There is no country, no not even a rising China, that can do more harm to us than we can do to ourselves if we fail to accomplish the tasks before us here at home.
So, I just finished watching the convention speeches. First...the women were on fire tonight. Mia Love, Nikki Haley, Ann Romney--they were highlights this evening.
Second... I liked Christie's speech, but I didn't love it. I don't want to nit-pic. But it's a political blog--so I will.
His tone was great. He's a commanding public speaker who is obviously passionate about politics and is fired up. He had a lot of good points and strong statements. But I was left feeling a little "meh" about the whole thing. Here's why:
1) Never, never use the term "shared sacrifice" or anything like it as a positive thing. It makes people think of Obama. And Marx. And Commies in general. Even if you mean that we'll all have to join together to cut government freebies and wasteful spending. It's not a "shared sacrifice"--it's an American success. It's the power of a united people, striving together, working together, moving together for a stronger future. It's not a "shared sacrifice"--Christie used that term twice.
2) "It doesn't matter how we got here." Excuse me? It damn well does matter how we got here and who took us here. That's what the election's about! There's not "enough blame to go around." It rests squarely on Obama and the Democrats who shoved through legislation, shouted down dissent, and shamelessly sold the future of the nation to the tune of $5 trillion. If it doesn't matter how we got here, then what's the point of all of this?
3) Several lines were set up to be knock-outs but just turned out to be glancing blows. They were like Don Corleone saying, "I'm gonna make him an offer he can take or leave." Just doesn't have that heat. Like Christie saying, "You see, Mr. President, real leaders don't follow polls--real leaders change polls." Does that mean they change the views? They lead and the people come around? Or Christie saying, "Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power." The visual imagery just doesn't compute. They're going to drive themselves off the cliff? Meh.
However, there were a few lines that did strike bada-bing--all over their nice, Ivy League suits.
"They believe in teachers unions. We believe in teachers."
"We have never been victims of destiny. We have always been masters of our own."
"I know this simple truth and I'm not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America."
Morton Blackwell is being interviewed right now by Mark Levin regarding the travesty against conservatives from the RNC at the convention. Morton is a true and humble leader--conservative to the core--and has great perspective on this and other issues. Audio link to follow...
Aside from being one of the best schools in the nation, University of Virginia has just shocked the Obama administration by not dropping everything to accommodate an Obama visit. The local NBC affiliate reports that, due to logistical reasons--which included having to cancel nearly 200 classes on the second day of school--UVA denied the request.
From the NBC29 report: UVA says the Obama campaign requested the use of one of two outdoor venues - the Amphitheater or the Harrison-Small Library plaza. The university declined the request for a number of reasons including class cancellations, which UVA estimates could be more than 186 classes on the second day of school. The other main reason is they would have to take on the full cost of security, and because of university policy and their federal and state tax exempt status, they would have to offer the same opportunity to the other candidate so as not to show favor for either candidate. Huh. An establishment taking costs and the law seriously. Guess UVA has some lessons Obama needs to learn. Not only that, but UVA offered the John Paul Jones Arena, but were told it "was not academic enough" for the campaign. Now, both venues requested are beautiful--and relatively small for a presidential appearance. Perhaps the arena truly is not academic enough...or perhaps they're worried they don't have enough supporters to fill the larger venue.
Read the full story and statement here.
A bakery in Virginia that won't bow to the VP?! That's a great inaugural link for this blog. I'm glad to share that there was so much support from my fellow Virginians that the bakery ran out of food halfway through the day.