RNC @ MSG: Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
Rudy's speech was, in a word, brilliant. More than anyone else living today, Rudy embodies and personifies the courage and strength of our country on September 11. His remembrances last night were like a transport in time back to that fateful day, and his heartfelt recollections of President Bush during that time struck me as powerful reminders, not only of why many people like Bush, but of what we face in the war on terror.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, is a more effective weapon against a political opponent than ridicule. Giuliani's attack on Kerry's record of flip-flopping on serious issues was, I thought, one of the most devastating I've seen this year. It was done with humor, with wit, and with perfect timing. Rudy's line about understanding why Edwards thinks there should be two Americas - one America where Kerry can vote one way and another where he can vote the opposite - couldn't have been done better by Jay Leno or Dave Letterman.
But after all the laughter ended the message Rudy left was a deadly serious one: John Kerry does not have the courage and ability to lead with resolve as Commander in Chief.
The Mayor’s remarks went long, and he took frequent departures from the teleprompter, but his delivery was so seamless – and so, well, Rudy, that you didn’t really notice. It also helped that he was very entertaining, using humor to leaven what some commentators fretted would be seen as “slashing partisan attacks.”
Gee, slashing partisan attacks at a political convention? Perish the thought.
So long as President Bush is our President, is there any doubt that they will continue to hear from us?
As Dave Niehaus would say, “Swung on and belted! Deep to right field! That one will fly, fly away…!”
Thank God Bush is our President, and thank God Dick Cheney, with his knowledge and his experience, is our Vice President!
No matter what happens in this election, George W. Bush has already earned his place in history as a great American president.
Giuliani showed us how we got to this point, ripping Europe’s appeasement of terrorism, clearer and tougher than President Bush ever would:
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 terrorist 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?
This, my friends, is an absolute tour-de-force. A veritable history of the war that began several decades ago and of which we took little notice until that bright, blue September morning.
How’s this for a full-throated cry of New Yorker defiance?
It doesn't matter how [Bush] is demonized. It doesn't matter what the media does to ridicule him or misinterpret him or defeat him.
They ridiculed Winston Churchill. They belittled Ronald Reagan. But like President Bush, they were optimists; leaders must be optimists. Their vision was beyond the present and set on a future of real peace and true freedom.
Some call it stubbornness. I call it principled leadership.
Badda-boom, badda-bing, badda-BANG!
And then this barrage at the Boston Balker:
[I]t 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.
By this point I was envisioning Kerry as Neo in The Matrix when he’s fighting Morpheus in the virtual combat training simulation. None of the action was really taking place in the “real” world, but the ass-kicking Neo took left him bleeding for real when they exited the program.
Wherever Brah-Man was last night, he must have needed smelling salts after this beating.
And still it continued:
President Bush will not allow countries that appear to have ignored the lessons of history and failed for over thirty years to stand up to terrorists, to dissuade us from what is necessary for our defense.
He will not let them set our agenda. Under President Bush, America will lead rather than follow.
John Kerry's claim that certain foreign leaders who opposed our removal of Saddam Hussein prefer him, raises the risk that he would accommodate his position to their viewpoint.
Devastating. Simply devastating.
Remember in the opening video montage of Rocky III, when Clubber Lang is working his way up the rankings, and in his final bout before challenging Balboa he punches out his hapless opponent when he’s already on his knees?
And then, this wonderful anecdote that was so, well, Bush:
I remember President Bush coming here on September 14, 2001 and lifting the morale of our rescue workers by talking with them and embracing them and staying with them much longer than originally planned.
In fact, if you promise to keep it just between us so I don't get in trouble it was my opinion that the Secret Service was concerned about the President remaining so long in that area.
With buildings still unstable, with fires raging below ground of 2000 degrees or more, there was good reason for concern.
Well the President remained there and talked to everyone, the firefighters, the police officers, the healthcare workers, the clergy, but the people who spent the most time with him were our construction workers.
Now New York construction workers are very special people. I'm sure this is true all over but I know the ones here the best. They were real heroes along with many others that day, volunteering immediately. And they're big, real big. Their arms are bigger than my legs and their opinions are even bigger than their arms.
Now each one of them would engage the President and I imagine like his cabinet give him advice.
They were advising him in their own words on exactly what he should do with the terrorists. Of course I can't repeat their exact language.
But one of them really went into great detail and upon conclusion of his remarks President Bush said in a rather loud voice, ‘I agree.’
At this point the guy just beamed and all his buddies turned toward him in amazement.
The guy just lost it.
So he reached over, embraced the President and began hugging him enthusiastically.
A Secret Service agent standing next to me looked at the President and the guy and instead of extracting the President from this bear hug, he turned toward me and put his finger in my face and said, ‘If this guy hurts the President, Giuliani you're finished.’
Meekly, and this is the moral of the story, I responded, ‘but it would be out of love.’
Thanks to the passage of time and the efforts of the DisLoyal Opposition, the picture of September 11thhas grown fuzzy over the last three years. Monday night it started coming back into focus. The gradual case of comfortable amnesia is over. The message of Messrs Silver, McCain, and Giuliani is only four words long and oughtn’t be a Republican or Democratic message, but an American message: WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
But as a collective entity, the Democrats have.
And it will be their undoing.