Sarah Palin’s message to America
Democrats said they expected an impressive performance from the governor, but said she won’t do anything to change the policies of President Bush.
“The speech that Governor Palin was well-delivered, but it was written by George Bush’s speechwriter and sounds exactly like the same divisive, partisan attacks we’ve heard from George Bush for the last eight years,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.
Earlier in the day, Obama campaign aide Robert Gibbs told reporters that Mrs. Palin wouldn’t change the election.
“It doesn’t make a ton of difference who that second name is on the bumper sticker,” he said.
Before Mrs. Palin took the stage, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Mr. Giuliani — all one-time challengers to Mr. McCain — spoke, and the jousting for leadership of the conservative movement was apparent.
Mr. Giuliani accused Mr. Obama of flip-flopping on undocumented wiretapping and on taking public financing for his campaign and blasted the Democrat for repeatedly ducking tough votes in his time in the Illinois Senate — “nearly 130 times he was unable to make a decision yes or no. It was too tough. He simply voted ‘present.’ “
“”I didn’t know about this vote ‘present’ when I was mayor of New York City. Sarah Palin didn’t have this vote ‘present’ when she was mayor or governor. [. . . ] For president of the United States, it’s not good enough to be present. You have to make a decision,” he said.
The man who earned the nickname “America’s mayor” after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks said Mr. Obama has “never had to lead people in crisis.”
“This is not a personal attack, it’s a statement of fact — Barack Obama has never led anything. Nothing. Nada,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Romney delivered what amounted to a manifesto of party governance, saying the Republican Party needs to combat “pornography, promiscuity and drugs” and fight for families with a father and a mother. He said liberalism has been in control in Washington for the past three decades.
“It is time to stop the spread of government dependency, to fight it like the poison it is,” he said.
Mr. Huckabee brought his particular brand of populist conservatism to the stage, saying he understands those hoping for change this election in the face of high gas prices and housing problems.
“I’m not a Republican because I grew up rich, but because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me,” said the former Southern Baptist pastor, who easily mixed jokes with harsh barbs against Mr. Obama.
“Barack Obama’s excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don’t even vote or pay taxes here,” Mr. Huckabee said. “It’s not what he took there that concerns me. It’s what he brought back — lots of ideas from Europe he’d like to see imported here.”
Excerpts from Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s speech to the Republican National Convention on Sept. 3, as prepared for delivery:
Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored to be considered for the nomination for vice president of the United States. [. . .]
And I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions . . . and met far graver challenges . . . and knows how tough fights are won – the next president of the United States, John S. McCain. [. . .]
He’s a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years, and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight.
And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. I’m just one of many moms who’ll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm’s way. Our son Track is 19. And one week from tomorrow — September 11th — he’ll deploy to Iraq with the Army infantry in the service of his country.
My nephew Kasey also enlisted, and serves on a carrier in the Persian Gulf.
My family is proud of both of them and of all the fine men and women serving the country in uniform. Track is the eldest of our five children.
In our family, it’s two boys and three girls in between – my strong and kindhearted daughters Bristol, Willow, and Piper.
And in April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. From the inside, no family ever seems typical. That’s how it is with us. Our family has the same ups and downs as any other. [. . .]
A writer observed: “We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity, and dignity.” I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman. I grew up with those people. They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America . . . who grow our food, run our factories, and fight our wars.
They love their country, in good times and bad, and they’re always proud of America. I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town.
I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better.
When I ran for city council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too.
Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.
And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.
I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities. [. . .]
I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment.
And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.
But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion – I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.
Politics isn’t just a game of clashing parties and competing interests.
The right reason is to challenge the status quo, to serve the common good, and to leave this nation better than we found it. No one expects us to agree on everything. But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and . . . a servant’s heart.
I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States. This was the spirit that brought me to the governor’s office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau . . . when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good ol’ boys network.
Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That’s why true reform is so hard to achieve.
But with the support of the citizens of Alaska, we shook things up.
And in short order we put the government of our state back on the side of the people.
I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law.
While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor’s office that I didn’t believe our citizens should have to pay for. That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay. I also drive myself to work. [. . .] And I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending: nearly half a billion dollars in vetoes.
I suspended the state fuel tax, and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. [. . .]
And despite fierce opposition from oil company lobbyists, who kind of liked things the way they were, we broke their monopoly on power and resources.
As governor, I insisted on competition and basic fairness to end their control of our state and return it to the people.
I fought to bring about the largest privatesector infrastructure project in North American history.
And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly forty billion dollar natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.
That pipeline, when the last section is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart. The stakes for our nation could not be higher. When a hurricane strikes in the Gulf of Mexico, this country should not be so dependent on imported oil that we are forced to draw from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
And families cannot throw away more and more of their paychecks on gas and heating oil.
With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers.
To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world energy supplies . . . or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia . . . or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries . . . we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas.
And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we’ve got lots of both.
Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems – as if we all didn’t know that already.
But the fact that drilling won’t solve every prob- lem is no excuse to do nothing at all.
Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines ... build more new-clear plants . . . create jobs with clean coal . . . and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative sources. [. . .] I’ve noticed a pattern with our opponent. Maybe you have, too. We’ve all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers.
And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.
But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform – not even in the state Senate.
This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word “victory” except when he’s talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed . . . when the roar of the crowd fades away . . . when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot — what exactly is our opponent’s plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger . . . take more of your money . . . give you more orders from Washington . . . and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy . . . our opponent is against producing it.
Victory in Iraq is finally in sight . . . he wants to forfeit.
Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay . . . he wants to meet them without preconditions.
Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America . . . he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights? Government is too big . . . he wants to grow it.
Congress spends too much . . . he promises more.
Taxes are too high . . . he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific.
The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes . . . raise payroll taxes . . . raise investment income taxes . . . raise the death tax . . . raise business taxes . . . and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars. My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that’s now opened for business – like millions of others who run small businesses.
How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up? Or maybe you’re trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or Ohio . . . or create jobs with clean coal from Pennsylvania or West Virginia . . . or keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota.
How are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy? [. . .]
There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you . . . in places where winning means survival and defeat means death . . . and that man is John McCain. In our day, politicians have readily shared much lesser tales of adversity than the nightmare world in which this man, and others equally brave, served and suffered for their country. [. . .]
If character is the measure in this election . . . and hope the theme . . . and change the goal we share, then I ask you to join our cause. Join our cause and help America elect a great man as the next president of the United States.
Thank you all, and may God bless America.