Notes from the NY Stampede: Day 2

I thought in 1996 when she gave a speech supporting her husband on the convention floor, I thought Elizabeth Dole was a classy, attractive, and very accomplished speaker. Last night I thought the content of her speech was very good, and like McCain’s, was very well written; but somehow, in the last 8 years, she has become an over-rehearsed, fake, almost plastic, and scary woman. I know that one of the common tricks of women who have “improvement” surgery to their faces is to also change their hair style, but unfortunately the one she chose, with the short back and wide, streaked sides gives her that unintended “Bride of Frankenstein” look. Now, I have no proof that she has had any “work” done, but a simple image search should show you all you need to know. Plus, she has developed this squint and strain while she speaks that gives her all of the visual appeal of a constipated turtle. I guess the short of it is that her speech, given by somebody else, would have probably been more appealing.

Senator Brownback’s speech was short, to the point, well written, well delivered, and effective. And in honor of his brevity, there is my commentary about it.

Senator Frist, on the other hand, just managed to piss me off. Just as John Kerry is unable take a crap without reminding us of his 4 month charade in Vietnam, Dr. Frist must constantly remind us that he is a doctor. Thank you, Dr. Frist. Somehow it makes him uniquely qualified to speak about healthcare matters, and equally unable to talk about much else. By the time he meandered to the real meat of the healthcare problem in this country, (i.e. tort reform) and the appointment of an ambulance chaser to the Democrat ticket, I was so distracted by my annoyance at his Medicare prescription drug infomercial that I dropped the remainder of his message right down the bottleneck of my Mike’s Hard Lemonade (try it with cherry syrup for a real treat). Shame on you, Dr. Frist, and every other elected representative who fuels the cross generational fire over the fact that you’ve convinced old people that they are somehow entitled to Viagra to be paid for from the pockets of their grandchildren.

T covered the Breast Cancer speaker, so I’ll pass…

Education Secretary Rod Paige did a great job of touting this administration’s education record. Given that I believe the federal government has absolutely no business meddling with education, that is about the nicest thing I can say. I would’ve been far more impressed had Dr. Paige announced that upon President Bush’s re-election, he would work tirelessly to abolish the entire department.

The next gentleman out, was my favorite speaker of the night. I know with all the Republican Arnold-Love going on, that might come as a bit of a surprise. I had never heard of Michael Steele, Lt. Governor of Maryland, but I hope I see and hear more of him in the future. A great speech and a great speaker, he was engaging, moving, and powerful. He spoke straight from his heart and from his personal experience of coming from very little materially to making very much out of himself. This gentleman has real star power. I like him better than I like any of the Republican "up and comers" thus far.

Speaking of Arnold, he came up next. He gave a good speech, and told a good story. I was impressed. Not Michael Steele impressed, mind you, but Governor Schwartenegger did make me extremely proud to be an American. I think, as Americans, we don’t get reminded enough, and we don’t appreciate what we have here in this great country. We definitely don’t often hear anymore about how genuinely good, just, and charitable we are, and the Governator provided us with a wonderful reminder of why we are still the greatest country on Earth. I believe that his speech has gotten such rave reviews because he did a great job of stroking our warm American patriotism and making us feel a little prouder and a little taller…and that’s cool. After a week of the Donks telling us how things are bad and how they’re going to make it better, it is good to hear that we are already better and we can work together to continue to get better still. I also liked his take on the whole "you might be a redneck" routine when he went into defining what it is to be a Republican. He made me proud to be a Republican too.

And then the primetime tragedy struck…Jenna and Barbara Bush. Their jokes weren’t funny, their presentation was horrendous, and they should not have embarrassed themselves. Even their pop culture references were year-old stale. Grandma might not be very hip, but neither was their speechwriter. And age and inexperience, my pale, lily, white ass…these are 22 year old women, graduates of two of America’s premiere universities, and heiresses to one of America’s most prestigious families. They behaved like ignorant, frivolous teenagers. They were inappropriately dressed, and one of them had this annoying consistent giggle that was a constant hum over the microphone. I have never heard of a University that didn’t provide public speaking courses, and both are in desperate need. I have to place part of the blame with their Mom, who should have applied a little more polish to her two little apples. Enough of that wreck, make it go away.

In contrast, their Mother was brilliant. Laura Bush did the job she was sent to do. She didn’t energize the crowd like Schwartenegger, but that’s not her role. She provides the perfect example of why she is a great first lady. Strong, smart, and supportive, she is secure enough to know that she is the strong influence that she should be in her marriage partnership without having to beat us all over the head with it, a la Hillary Clinton. She, unlike her Democrat counterpart from the previous month, is not a self absorbed bloviating ego. Mrs. Bush was there to talk about her husband, not herself, and did an outstanding job of showing the human side of the President. She was effective in describing the way President Bush balanced every Dad’s worry about his daughters being off at school and into trouble, with the worries of doing the right thing by everybody’s sons and daughters in the military. She painted a clear picture of the compassionate, tough, steadfast dependable man, who happens to be our President. She is one of his best representatives, and a picture of classic serenity. While Arnold made me proud to be an American, Laura Bush made me proud to be a Texan.

Update: I still don't like the podium and Arnold should not be President. I will explain that one in a subsequent post.


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