August 30, 2004


Procession of Speakers Invoke Bush's Leadership After 9/11 (ADAM NAGOURNEY, 8/31/04, NY Times)

The Republican Party opened its convention yesterday with a searing evocation of the Sept. 11 attacks that leveled the World Trade Center three years ago, as former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York asserted that Senator John Kerry did not have the fortitude to lead the nation through a war on terror.

A procession of speakers - including a former New York City police commissioner, the current mayor of New York and a former terrorism prosecutor - invoked Mr. Bush's leadership after Sept. 11, 2001, using the city where the attacks took their greatest toll as a platform to recount the event that the president's aides view as the linchpin to his re-election. [...]

"The contrasts are dramatic," Mr. Giuliani continued. "They involve very different views of how to deal with terrorism. President Bush will make certain that we are combating terrorism at the source, beyond our shores, so we can reduce the risk of having to confront it in the streets of New York. John Kerry's record of inconsistent positions on combating terrorism gives us no confidence he'll pursue such a determined course."

Mr. Giuliani spoke at the end of a day in which the party adopted without dissent a platform that sets up a sharp contrast with the Democrats, particularly in its strong worded opposition to same-sex unions and legalized abortion.

The remarks by Mr. Giuliani on the opening night of the Republican convention in New York left no doubt that this gathering would strike a notably different tenor than did the Democratic gathering in Boston, where Mr. Kerry instructed fellow Democrats to refrain from excessive attacks on Mr. Bush.

By contrast, Republicans have increasingly argued that the best hope for Mr. Bush's re-election was to use these four days in New York to tear down Mr. Kerry, given that voters know so much and have set opinions about their president.

Mr. Giuliani's speech was especially good and blessedly overlong and understructured. One devastating bit was the way he turned the entirety of John Edwards political being--his inane two Americas metaphor--into an anti-Kerry joke. It's quite amusing that after a Democratic convention where the speakers were terrified of seeming critical of the President the GOP is quite joyfully ripping into Senator Kerry.

Here;'s the quote, which continues the bold strategy of reducing the Democratic ticket to objects of ridicule:

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.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 30, 2004 11:50 PM

Well, as poll after poll shows, America likes Bush (hence one can't rip him overmuch), and doesn't like Kerry (hence once can).

Posted by: brian at August 31, 2004 12:04 AM

I'm sure the talking points are being crafted at this moment, but given how much of the Democratic Party is in a Sept. 10 mindset about the world in general, I would expect at least a few of them to reach back to before that date for some barbs at Giuliani by Tuesday morning (and just as an aside, it's worth noting that 75 percent of the living current and former mayors of New York are supporting George W. Bush for re-election. The other is David Dinkins).

Posted by: John at August 31, 2004 12:13 AM

Was Adam Nagourney thinking straight when he used the adjective 'searing' in his opening line?

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at August 31, 2004 2:02 AM

this gathering would strike a notably different tenor than did the Democratic gathering in Boston, where Mr. Kerry instructed fellow Democrats to refrain from excessive attacks on Mr. Bush

Democrats refraining from attacking President Bush? What alternate universe is he from?

Posted by: Mike Morley at August 31, 2004 6:12 AM

>Democrats refraining from attacking President
>Bush? What alternate universe is he from?

The alternate universe of The Party Line and The Media, of course:

war is peace
freedom is slavery
ignorance is strength
oceania has never been at war with eurasia
rejoice! the chocolate ration of twenty grams has been increased to ten grams
2 + 2 = 5
The Party has always been doubleplusgood doubleplusconsiderate and doubleplusgood doublepluscompassionate towards THOUGHT-CRIMINALS TRAITORS BUSHIST/GOLDSTEINIST-REPUBLICAN STOOGES!!!! BUSH IS GOLDSTEIN!!!!! BUSH IS GOLDSTEIN!!!!! BUSH IS GOLDSTEIN!!!!!

Posted by: Ken at August 31, 2004 1:06 PM

Heh, and here I was, thinking that the Two Americas Edwards was talking about were the Plaintiffs and the Defendants....

Posted by: Ptah at August 31, 2004 8:50 PM