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September 2008

  1. A Democrat's Case for McCain

    Sen. Lieberman's Speech to the RNC

    By Joe Lieberman

    Thank you for that warm welcome. I am honored to be here.

    We meet tonight in the wake of a terrible storm that has hit the Gulf Coast but that hurts all of us, because we are all members of our larger American family.

    At times like this, we set aside all that divides us, and we come together to help our fellow citizens in need.

    What matters is certainly not whether we are Democrats or Republicans, but that we are all Americans.

    The truth is, it shouldn't take a hurricane to bring us together like this.

    Every day, across our country, millions of our fellow citizens are facing huge problems.

    They are worried about their homes, their jobs, and their businesses; they are worried about the outrageous cost of gas and of health insurance; and they are worried about the threats from our enemies abroad.

    But when they look to Washington, all too often they do not see their leaders coming together to tackle these problems.

    Instead they see Democrats and Republicans fighting each other, rather than fighting for the American people.

    Our founding fathers foresaw the danger of this kind of senseless partisanship. George Washington himself -- in his Farewell Address to our country -- warned that the "spirit of party" is "the worst enemy" of our democracy and "enfeebles" our government's ability to do its job.

    George Washington was absolutely right. The sad truth is -- today we are living through his worst nightmare, in the capital city that bears his name.

    And that brings me directly to why I am here tonight. What, after all, is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this?

    The answer is simple.

    I'm here to support John McCain because country matters more than party.

    I'm here tonight because John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead our country forward.

    I'm here because John McCain's whole life testifies to a great truth: being a Democrat or a Republican is important.

    But it is not more important than being an American.

    Both presidential candidates this year talk about changing the culture of Washington, about breaking through the partisan gridlock and special interests that are poisoning our politics.

    But only one of them has actually done it.

    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!

    John understands that it shouldn't take a natural disaster like Hurricane Gustav to get us to take off our partisan blinders and work together to get things done.

    It shouldn't take a natural disaster to teach us that the American people don't care much if you have an "R" or a "D" after your name.

    What they care about is, are we solving the problems they are up against every day?

    What you can expect from John McCain as President is precisely what he has done this week: which is to put country first. That is the code by which he has lived his entire life, and that is the code he will carry with him into the White House.

    I have personally seen John, over and over again, bring people together from both parties to tackle our toughest problems we face --to reform our campaign finance, lobbying and ethics laws, to create the 9/11 Commission and pass its critical national security reforms, and to end the partisan paralysis over judicial confirmations.

    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.

    God only made one John McCain, and he is his own man.

    If John McCain was just another go-along partisan politician, he never would have taken on corrupt Republican lobbyists, or big corporations that were cheating the American people, or powerful colleagues in Congress who were wasting taxpayer money.

    But he did!

    If John McCain was just another go-along partisan politician, he never would have led the fight to fix our broken immigration system or to do something about global warming.

    But he did!

    As a matter of fact, if John McCain is just another partisan Republican, then I'm Michael Moore's favorite Democrat.

    And I'm not.

    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 in the 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.

    The Washington bureaucrats and power brokers can't build a pen strong enough to hold these two mavericks.

    And together, you can count on John McCain and Sarah Palin to fight for America and to fight for you! And that's what our country needs most right now.

    What we need most is not more party unity in America but more national unity!

    Especially at a time of war, we need a President we can count on to fight for what's right for our country -- not only when it is easy, but when it is hard.

    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 from 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!

    Before I conclude, I ask the indulgence of those in this hall tonight, as I want to speak directly to my fellow Democrats and Independents who are watching.

    I know many of you are angry and frustrated by our government and our politics and for good reason.

    You may be thinking of voting for John McCain but you're not sure. Some of you have never voted for a Republican before and in an ordinary election, you probably wouldn't.

    But this is no ordinary election, because these are not ordinary times, and John McCain is no ordinary candidate. You may not agree with John McCain on every issue.

    But you can always count on him to be straight with you about where he stands, and to stand for what he thinks is right regardless of politics.

    As President, you can count on John McCain to be a restless reformer, who will clean up Washington and get our government working again for you!

    So tonight, I ask you whether you are an Independent, a Reagan Democrat or a Clinton Democrat, or just a Democrat: This year, when you vote for President, vote for the person you believe is best for the country, not for the party you happen to belong to.

    Vote for the leader who, since the age of 17, when he raised his hand and took an oath to defend and protect our Constitution, has always put our country first.

    So, let's come together to make a great American patriot our next great President!

  2. Rudy Giuliani's Keynote Address to the RNC

    Rudy Giuliani's Keynote Address to the RNC

    By Rudy Giuliani

    St. Paul, Minnesota

    Almost exactly one year ago during a Republican presidential debate in Durham, New Hampshire, I said that if I weren't running for President myself, I'd be supporting John McCain. Well, I'm not, and I do.

    Every four years, we are told that this Presidential election is the most important election of our lifetime. This year - 2008 - IS the most important.

    This has already been historic. It is the longest Presidential campaign in history. And it sometimes felt even longer.

    The American people realize this election represents a turning point. In two months they will decide the future direction of our nation. It's a decision to follow one path or another.

    'We the people' - the citizens of the United States - get to decide our next president...not the media, not Hollywood celebrities, not anyone else.

    This is a time for choosing - and to those Americans who still feel torn in this election, I'd like to suggest one way to think about the choice you have to make in 2008:

    You're hiring someone to do a job - an important job that involves the safety and security of your family. Imagine that you have two job applications in your hand - with the names and party affiliations taken off the top. They're both good and patriotic men - with very different life experiences that have led them to this moment in history.

    You've got to make this decision right. Who would you hire?

    On the one hand, you've got a man who has dedicated his life to the service of his country. He's been tested time and again by crisis. He's passed every test.

    Even his adversaries acknowledge that he is a true American hero. He loves America as we all do - but he's sacrificed for it as few do. As a young man, he joined the military...and being a "Top Gun" kind of guy, he became a fighter pilot. He was on a mission over Hanoi when his plane was shot down.

    He was tortured in a POW camp, but he refused his captors' offers of early release. Because this is a man who believes in serving a cause greater than self-interest. He came home a national hero.

    He had earned a life of peace and quiet, but he was called to public service again, running for Congress and then the Senate as a proud foot-soldier in the Reagan Revolution. His principled independence never wavered. He stood up to special interests, fought for fiscal discipline, ethics reform and a strong national defense.

    That's one man.

    On the other hand, you have a resume from a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer, and immersed himself in Chicago machine politics. Then he ran for the state legislature - where nearly 130 times he was unable to make a decision yes or no. He simply voted "present."

    As Mayor of New York City, I never got a chance to vote "present." And you know, when you're President of the United States, you can't just vote "present." You must make decisions.

    A few years later, he ran for the U.S. Senate. He won and has spent most of his time as a "celebrity senator." No leadership or major legislation to speak of. His rise is remarkable in its own right - it's the kind of thing that could happen only in America. But he's never run a city, never run a state, never run a business.

    He's 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.

    The choice in this election comes down to substance over style. John has been tested. Barack Obama has not.

    Tough times require strong leadership, and this is no time for on the job training.

    It's about who can answer that crisis call - yes, Hillary, at 3:00 in the morning.

    Well, no one can look at John McCain and say that he is not ready to be Commander in Chief.

    So, our opponents want to reframe the debate. They would have you believe that this election is about 'change versus more of the same.' But that's really a false choice. Because "change" is not a destination ... just as "hope" is not a strategy.

    John McCain will bring about the change that will create jobs and prosperity. He will lower taxes so our economy can grow. He will reduce government spending to strengthen our dollar. He will expand free trade so we can be even more competitive. He will lead us toward an America that will be independent of foreign oil by an all-of-the-above approach, including nuclear power and off-shore drilling.

    This is the kind of change we need.

    And he will keep us on offense against terrorism at home and abroad. For 4 days in Denver and for the past 18 months Democrats have been afraid to use the words "Islamic Terrorism." During their convention, the Democrats rarely mentioned the attacks of September 11.

    They are in a state of denial about the threat that faces us now and in the future.

    You need to face your enemy in order to defeat them. John McCain will face this threat and lead us on to victory.

    Look at just one example in a lifetime of principled stands -- John McCain's support for the troop surge in Iraq. The Democratic Party had given up on Iraq. And I believe, ladies and gentlemen, that when they gave up on Iraq they were giving up on America. The Democratic leader in the Senate said so: "America has lost."

    Well, if America lost, who won? Al Qaida? Bin Laden? In the single biggest policy decision of this election, John McCain got it right and Barack Obama got it wrong.

    If Barack Obama had been President, there would have been no troop surge and our troops would have been withdrawn in defeat.

    Senator McCain was the candidate most associated with the surge. And it was unpopular.

    What do you think most other candidates would have done in that situation? They would have acted in their own self-interest by changing their position.
    How many times have we seen Barack Obama do that?

    Obama was going to take public financing for his campaign, until he didn't.

    Obama was against wiretapping before he voted for it.

    When speaking to a pro-Israel group, Obama favored an undivided Jerusalem. Until the very next day when he changed his mind.

    I hope for his sake, Joe Biden got that VP thing in writing.

    John McCain said, 'I'd rather lose an election than a war.' Because that's John McCain.

    When Russia rolled over Georgia, John McCain knew exactly how to respond.

    Having been to that part of the world many times and having developed a clear worldview over many years, John knew where he stood. Within hours, he established a very strong, informed position that let the world know exactly how he'll respond as President. At exactly the right time, John McCain said, "We're all Georgians."

    Obama's first instinct was to create a moral equivalency - that "both sides" should "show restraint." The same moral equivalency that he has displayed in discussing the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel.

    Later, after discussing it with his 300 foreign policy advisors, he changed his position and suggested that the "the UN Security Council," could find a solution. Apparently, none of his 300 advisors told him that Russia has a veto on any UN action. Finally Obama put out a statement that looked ...well, it looked a lot like John McCain's.

    Here's some free advice: Sen. Obama, next time just call John McCain.

    Like Ronald Reagan, John McCain will enlarge our party. He's the candidate with the real record of bi-partisan cooperation. He's the candidate who can credibly reach out for the votes of Independents and Democrats.

    In choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has chosen the future. Governor Palin represents a new generation. She's already one of the most successful governors in America - and the most popular. And she already has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket. She's led a city and a state. She's reduced taxes and government spending.

    And she's actually done something about moving America toward energy independence - taking on the oil companies while encouraging more energy exploration here at home.

    Taxpayers have an advocate in Sarah Palin - she even sold the former governor's private plane on E-Bay.

    And as a former U.S. Attorney, I am impressed by her success in combating corruption - when she found unethical and illegal behavior among the power-brokers of her own party, she did not hesitate - she acted courageously and independently. That's the kind of reformer we need - she shook up Alaska. She'll shake up Washington.

    And we sure need that.

    And as we look to the future never let us forget that - when we are at our best - we are the party that expands Freedom. We began as a party dedicated to freeing people from slavery... And we are still the party that is willing to fight for freedom at home and around the world. We are the party that wants to expand individual freedom and economic freedom... because we believe that the secret of America's success is not central government, it is self-government. We are the party that believes in giving workers the right to work. The party that believes parents should choose where their children go to school.

    And we are the party that believes unapologetically in America's essential greatness - that we are a shining city on the hill, a beacon of freedom that inspires people everywhere to reach for a better world.

    So my fellow Republicans and my fellow Americans - over the next 8 weeks, remember that the results of this election are in your hands. You get to determine America's future. You can decide America's direction.

    Thank you very much. And God Bless America.

  3. Sarah Palin's Address to the RNC

    Sarah Palin's Address to the RNC

    By Sarah Palin

    St. Paul, Minnesota

    Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored to be considered for the nomination for Vice President of the United States...

    I accept the call to help our nominee for president to serve and defend America.

    I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election... against confident opponents ... at a crucial hour for our country.

    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.

    It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves.

    With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost - there was no hope for this candidate who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war.

    But the pollsters and pundits overlooked just one thing when they wrote him off.

    They overlooked the caliber of the man himself - the determination, resolve, and sheer guts of Senator John McCain. The voters knew better.

    And maybe that's because they realize there is a time for politics and a time for leadership ... a time to campaign and a time to put our country first.

    Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by.

    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 kind-hearted 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 ... the same challenges and the same joys.

    Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.

    And children with special needs inspire a special love.

    To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters.

    I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House. Todd is a story all by himself.

    He's a lifelong commercial fisherman ... a production operator in the oil fields of Alaska's North Slope ... a proud member of the United Steel Workers' Union ... and world champion snow machine racer.

    Throw in his Yup'ik Eskimo ancestry, and it all makes for quite a package.

    We met in high school, and two decades and five children later he's still my guy. My Mom and Dad both worked at the elementary school in our small town.

    And among the many things I owe them is one simple lesson: that this is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity.

    My parents are here tonight, and I am so proud to be the daughter of Chuck and Sally Heath. Long ago, a young farmer and habber-dasher from Missouri followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency.

    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 might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

    We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

    As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man. 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 thought we could muddle through without the governor's personal chef - although I've got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her. I came to office promising to control spending - by request if possible and by veto if necessary.

    Senator McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest - and as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.

    Our state budget is under control.

    We have a surplus.

    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.

    I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere.

    If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves. When oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged - directly to the people of Alaska.

    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 private-sector 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 problem 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 nuclear plants ... create jobs with clean coal ... and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources.

    We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers. 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 nuclear weapons without delay ... he wants to meet them without preconditions.

    Al Qaeda 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? Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election.

    In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.

    And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

    They're the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals.

    Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speechmaking, in which crowds are stirringly summoned to support great things.

    And then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things. They're the ones who are good for more than talk ... the ones we have always been able to count on to serve and defend America. Senator McCain's record of actual achievement and reform helps explain why so many special interests, lobbyists, and comfortable committee chairmen in Congress have fought the prospect of a McCain presidency - from the primary election of 2000 to this very day.

    Our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd.

    He's a man who's there to serve his country, and not just his party.

    A leader who's not looking for a fight, but is not afraid of one either. Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee.

    He said, quote, "I can't stand John McCain." Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we've chosen the right man. Clearly what the Majority Leader was driving at is that he can't stand up to John McCain. That is only one more reason to take the maverick of the Senate and put him in the White House. My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of "personal discovery." This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer.

    And though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they are always, quote, "fighting for you," let us face the matter squarely.

    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.

    It's a long way from the fear and pain and squalor of a six-by-four cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office.

    But if Senator McCain is elected president, that is the journey he will have made.

    It's the journey of an upright and honorable man - the kind of fellow whose name you will find on war memorials in small towns across this country, only he was among those who came home.

    To the most powerful office on earth, he would bring the compassion that comes from having once been powerless ... the wisdom that comes even to the captives, by the grace of God ... the special confidence of those who have seen evil, and seen how evil is overcome. A fellow prisoner of war, a man named Tom Moe of Lancaster, Ohio, recalls looking through a pin-hole in his cell door as Lieutenant Commander John McCain was led down the hallway, by the guards, day after day.

    As the story is told, "When McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn toward Moe's door and flash a grin and thumbs up" - as if to say, "We're going to pull through this." My fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through these next four years.

    For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words.

    For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.

    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.

    Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska, is the Republican vice presidential nominee.
  4. John McCain's Acceptance Speech

    John McCain's Acceptance Speech

    John McCain

    St. Paul, Minnesota

    Thank you all very much. Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans -- the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for President of the United States. And I accept it with gratitude, humility and confidence.

    In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasn't any different. That's a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. They're leaders of great ability, who love our country, and wished to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor I won't forget.

    I'm grateful to the President for leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable; and to the First Lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private. And I'm grateful to the 41st President and his bride of 63 years, and for their outstanding example of honorable service to our country.

    As always, I'm indebted to my wife, Cindy, and my seven children. The pleasures of family life can seem like a brief holiday from the crowded calendar of our nation's business. But I have treasured them all the more, and can't imagine a life without the happiness you give me. Cindy said a lot of nice things about me tonight. But, in truth, she's more my inspiration than I am hers. Her concern for those less blessed than we are -- victims of land mines, children born in poverty and with birth defects -- shows the measure of her humanity. I know she will make a great First Lady.

    When I was growing up, my father was often at sea, and the job of raising my brother, sister and me would fall to my mother alone. Roberta McCain gave us her love of life, her deep interest in the world, her strength, and her belief we are all meant to use our opportunities to make ourselves useful to our country. I wouldn't be here tonight but for the strength of her character.

    My heartfelt thanks to all of you, who helped me win this nomination, and stood by me when the odds were long. I won't let you down. To Americans who have yet to decide who to vote for, thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to win your trust. I intend to earn it.

    Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We'll go at it over the next two months. That's the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We're dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn't be an American worthy of the name if I didn't honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement.

    But let there be no doubt, my friends, we're going to win this election. And after we've won, we're going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace.

    These are tough times for many of you. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and are struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that's just what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future.

    And I've found just the right partner to help me shake up Washington, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She has executive experience and a real record of accomplishment. She's tackled tough problems like energy independence and corruption. She's balanced a budget, cut taxes, and taken on the special interests. She's reached across the aisle and asked Republicans, Democrats and Independents to serve in her administration. She's the mother of five children. She's helped run a small business, worked with her hands and knows what it's like to worry about mortgage payments and health care and the cost of gasoline and groceries.

    She knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for. She stands up for what's right, and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down. I'm very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I can't wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming.

    I'm not in the habit of breaking promises to my country and neither is Governor Palin. And when we tell you we're going to change Washington, and stop leaving our country's problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it. We've got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment and backbone to keep our word to you.

    You know, I've been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it's meant as a compliment and sometimes it's not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you.

    I've fought corruption, and it didn't matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and had to be held accountable. I've fought big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank and make your mortgage payment. I've fought to get million dollar checks out of our elections. I've fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.

    I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasn't a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.

    Thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petreaus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command, that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans.

    I don't mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I've had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.

    I fight for Americans. I fight for you. I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market. Bill got a temporary job after he was out of work for seven months. Sue works three jobs to help pay the bills.

    I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Jake works on a loading dock; coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. Toni is a schoolteacher, working toward her Master's Degree. They have two sons, the youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. They matter to me.

    I fight for the family of Matthew Stanley of Wolfboro, New Hampshire, who died serving our country in Iraq. I wear his bracelet and think of him every day. I intend to honor their sacrifice by making sure the country their son loved so well and never returned to, remains safe from its enemies.

    I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us. We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger. We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles.

    We're going to change that. We're going to recover the people's trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics.

    We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential from the boy whose descendents arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We're all God's children and we're all Americans.

    We believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labor.

    We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and don't legislate from the bench. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.

    We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans. Government that doesn't make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself.

    I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them. I will cut government spending. He will increase it.

    My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them. My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.

    Keeping taxes low helps small businesses grow and create new jobs. Cutting the second highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from moving overseas. Doubling the child tax exemption from $3500 to $7000 will improve the lives of millions of American families. Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit. Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity.

    I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems your government hasn't even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. That's going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We're going to help workers who've lost a job that won't come back, find a new one that won't go away.

    We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities. For workers in industries that have been hard hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower paid one while they receive retraining that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage.

    Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained. But what is the value of access to a failing school? We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice, remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.

    When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them. Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have that choice and their children will have that opportunity.

    Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when I'm President, they will.

    My fellow Americans, when I'm President, we're going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much. We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.

    Senator Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power. But Americans know better than that. We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. It's an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It's time for us to show the world again how Americans lead.

    This great national cause will create millions of new jobs, many in industries that will be the engine of our future prosperity; jobs that will be there when your children enter the workforce.

    Today, the prospect of a better world remains within our reach. But we must see the threats to peace and liberty in our time clearly and face them, as Americans before us did, with confidence, wisdom and resolve.

    We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they'll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russia's leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the world's oil supply, intimidate other neighbors, and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire. And the brave people of Georgia need our solidarity and prayers. As President I will work to establish good relations with Russia so we need not fear a return of the Cold War. But we can't turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.

    We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace.

    When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years. My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me. I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination.

    I'm running for President to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has. I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal -- diplomatic, economic, military and the power of our ideals -- to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.

    In America, we change things that need to be changed. Each generation makes its contribution to our greatness. The work that is ours to do is plainly before us. We don't need to search for it.

    We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.

    The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn't a cause, it's a symptom. It's what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you.

    Again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.

    Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn't think of them first, let's use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let's try sharing it. This amazing country can do anything we put our minds to. I will ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability.

    We're going to finally start getting things done for the people who are counting on us, and I won't care who gets the credit.

    I've been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And I've never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didn't thank God for the privilege.

    Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes, and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, compassion and love.

    On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin, I prepared for my 23rd mission over North Vietnam. I hadn't any worry I wouldn't come back safe and sound. I thought I was tougher than anyone. I was pretty independent then, too. I liked to bend a few rules, and pick a few fights for the fun of it. But I did it for my own pleasure; my own pride. I didn't think there was a cause more important than me.

    Then I found myself falling toward the middle of a small lake in the city of Hanoi, with two broken arms, a broken leg, and an angry crowd waiting to greet me. I was dumped in a dark cell, and left to die. I didn't feel so tough anymore. When they discovered my father was an admiral, they took me to a hospital. They couldn't set my bones properly, so they just slapped a cast on me. When I didn't get better, and was down to about a hundred pounds, they put me in a cell with two other Americans. I couldn't do anything. I couldn't even feed myself. They did it for me. I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence. Those men saved my life.

    I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn't in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.

    A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I'd been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I'd been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.

    When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn't know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.

    I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's.

    I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.

    If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.

    I'm going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I'm going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I'm an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.

    Fight for what's right for our country.

    Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

    Fight for our children's future.

    Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

    Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.

    Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.

    Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

    Thank you, and God Bless you.

  5. McCain Co-Sponsored Fannie/Freddie Reform… In 2005

    McCain Sponsored Bill To Reform Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae in 2005

    Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 sponsored by Senator John McCain, indicates that he was right on target over three years ago in calling for reform of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

    While the barbs fly back and forth between the McCain and Obama campaigns as to who can better manage the current financial crisis, one indisputable fact is John McCain has actively been seeking reforms that may have prevented the current situation.  Congressional records show McCain Co-sponsored S. 190 the Federal Housing Enterprise Act of 2005.  On May 25, 2006 McCain made this impassioned plea on the floor of the Senate.

    Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

    The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.

    The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator’s examination of the company’s accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.

    For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs–and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.

    I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

    I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.

    The bill included the following provisions:

    (1) in lieu of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an independent Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Agency which shall have authority over the Federal Home Loan Bank Finance Corporation, the Federal Home Loan Banks, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac); and (2) the Federal Housing Enterprise Board.

    Sets forth operating, administrative, and regulatory provisions of the Agency, including provisions respecting: (1) assessment authority; (2) authority to limit non-mission-related assets; (3) minimum and critical capital levels; (4) risk-based capital test; (5) capital classifications and undercapitalized enterprises; (6) enforcement actions and penalties; (7) golden parachutes; and (8) reporting.

    Where was Obama and what was his position on Freddie/Fannie while McCain was calling for reform?  Obama was the beneficiary of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the lobbyists McCain mentions in this speech, making him the #2 recipient of Fannie/Freddie money.

  6. Clinton fundraiser backs McCain over Obama

    Clinton fundraiser backs McCain over Obama

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Hillary Rodham Clinton fundraiser threw her support behind Republican John McCain on Wednesday, saying he will lead the country in a centrist fashion and accusing the Democrats of becoming too extreme.

    "I believe that Barack Obama, with MoveOn.org and Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean, has taken the Democratic Party — and they will continue to — too far to the left," Lynn Forester de Rothschild said. "I'm not comfortable there."

    Rothschild is also a member of the Democratic National Committee's Platform Committee. She said she would be stepping down from her position on the committee but will not switch political parties.

    She praised McCain for working with Democrats to pass legislation and for standing up to President Bush on the Iraq war.

    "I just ask, who has Barack Obama ever stood up to? And that troubles me a lot," she said.

    Rothschild also disputed Obama's argument that a McCain administration would be an extension of Bush's presidency. Democrats cite McCain's own account of having voted in support of Bush's policies 90 percent of the time.

    She said the Arizona senator has broken with Bush to support funding for stem-cell research and to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

    "It is the classic cheap shot. Just not true," she said.

    Rothschild said she was also excited by the prospect of a woman being in the White House, even though she and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin disagree on issues. The Alaska governor opposes abortion except in the case of a threat to the mother's life. Rothschild said she supports abortion rights.

    "I believe that the McCain-Palin government will be a centrist government," Rothschild said. "It's not going to be an ideological government."

    Rothschild is a member of the DNC's Democrats Abroad chapter and splits her time living in London and New York. She was one of Clinton's top fundraisers, bringing in more than $100,000 for her presidential campaign. She built a multimillion-dollar telecommunications company before marrying international banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.

    Rothschild said she has not discussed her support for McCain with Clinton.

    "I'm sure she is not pleased with what I'm doing today," she said. "But you know what? I have to do what I believe in."

  7. Bumper Stickers, Yard Signs, and Phone Calls (oh my)

     
    If you'd like McCain/Palin bumper stickers or yard signs, please contact the McCain-Palin Victory Center by calling 734-761-1399 .
     
    There is also a need for volunteers.  Please click here for a summary of the Victory Center's needs.
     
     

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  8. McCain-Palin Victory Center needs

    The McCain-Palin Victory Center needs are as follows:

    • Monday  - Thursday: Phone Bank from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.
    • Friday: Phone bank from Noon to 6:00 P.M.
    • Saturday: Phone Bank/Door-To-Door (Call 734-761-1399 for details)
    • Sunday: Phone Bank/Door-to-door (Call 734-761-1399 for Details)

    If you would like to do something other than go door-to-door or phone bank, please call 734-761-1399

    Also, we are looking for someone that would be interested in staffing the office.  We would like the office open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Monday through Saturday and from Noon to 6:00 PM on Sundays.

  9. We have McCain-Palin Yard Signs !!!

    We have McCain-Palin Yard Signs !!!

    Please pick yours up at the Victory Center, located at 2245 S State Street in Ann Arbor.

    NOTE - 1 sign per family.  If you wish to also pick up a sign for a friend, you should be prepared to provide their name, address, phone number, etc.

    The Victory Center is open M-F 9-9; Sat 10-9, Sun Noon-8.  The phone number of the victory center is 734-761-1399.

    Please get your sign and volunteer to help out.