I watched the Republican National Convention via C-SPAN because I like the non-stop flow and the absence of pundits yammering on and on.
The evening opened with many moving stories, mostly military related and the theme of the night was "Country First" and the emphasis on service. Just as the convention led the way yesterday with fundraising for the victims of Hurricane Gustave, tonight was more reminders from all the speakers that much work will need to be done. We are all Americans and, as Senator Joe Lieberman said, "country matters more than party."
The tribute to Michael Monsoor brought me to tears. Again. Cindy McCain was sitting next to his sister and brother and cousin. The audience gave them an extended standing ovation. Former President Bush, sitting a few seats over, walked to her and hugged her. I was a mess.
Laura Bush proved once again why she is such an extremely popular First Lady. She gave a strong, proud, terrific speech. She was there to set the record straight about the accomplishments of her husband's tenure and did an excellent job. As usual. Then she introduced the President, who spoke from the White House.
"If the Hanoi Hilton could not break John McCain's resolve, you can be sure the angry left never will." That was his best line.
A very good video tribute was run of former President George H.W. Bush. He is such a humble man that you can almost see him squirm as all the attention focuses on him. His life is one accomplishment after another. Country first.
Next up was Fred Thompson. He told the story of John McCain's life. He gave a rousing speech about McCain's qualifications versus Obama "one of the least experienced ever" to run for the Presidency. And he spoke of the Democrat controlled Congress - "the most do-nothing, most unpopular Congress in history." He finished with, "Our country has called. We have been called to step up and stand up with John McCain."
And, the keynote address was delivered by Senator Joe Lieberman. "I'm here to support John McCain because country matters more than party." "Only one leader has shown the courage and the capability to rise above the smallness of our politics to get big things done for our country and our people. And that leader is John McCain." "My Democratic friends know all about John's record of independence and accomplishment. Maybe that's why some of them are spending so much time and so much money trying to convince voters that John McCain is someone else. I'm here, as a Democrat myself, to tell you: Don't be fooled."
"Senator Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead. But eloquence is no substitute for a record--not in these tough times. In the Senate he has not reached across party lines to get anything significant done, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups int he Democratic Party."
"Contrast that to John McCain's record, or the record of the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of those same Democratic interest groups and worked with Republicans to get important things done like welfare reform, free trade agreements, and a balanced budget. Governor Sarah Palin, like John McCain, is a reformer who has taken on the special interests and reached across party lines. She is a leader we can count on to help John shake up Washington. That's why the McCain -Palin ticket is the real ticket for change this year."
"When others were silent, John McCain had the judgment to sound the alarm about the mistakes we were making in Iraq. When others wanted to retreat in defeat form the field of battle, when Barack Obama was voting to cut off funding for our troops on the ground, John McCain had the courage to stand against the tide of public opinion and support the surge, and because of that, today, our troops are at last beginning to come home, not in failure, but in honor!"
Tomorrow night will bring Rudy Guiliani and Governor Sarah Palin.