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From a tiny cell to a huge arena, John McCain tells his story and accepts a presidential nomination

Mccain4

ST. PAUL -- Well, he's no she.

But they both meant every word of it.

Sen. John McCain gave the most important speech of his life here tonight, accepting the presidential nomination he has so long sought from the Republican Party he has so long annoyed.

He got the nomination along with the plaudits of a series of speakers, including his wife, Cindy, hailing his patriotism, sacrifice, service to country, maverickness, values, bipartisanship, fighting spirit and some other really good things.

The right words were there in his speech, many of them familiar words he has uttered so many times the same way out on the trail to much smaller crowds than the national TV audience and some 20,000 rabid Republicans assembled here in the Xcel Energy Center.

It was the final act of the truncated Republican National Convention that got postponed by a hurricane far away and then got blown away by the performance of its first female vice presidential nominee since the party's founding in 1854.

McCain's 53-minute remarks, interrupted both by applause and three protesters, were all about Country First, the week's theme. (The full text of the speech is published below the jump.)

But also not surprising for a 72-year-old ex-pilot blown out of the sky 40 years ago by a missile the size of a phone pole. With numerous broken bones, he had 66 months and countless beatings to think about life and his country.

"I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's," McCain admitted.

It was one of the most heartfelt -- and powerful -- lines from a man who like many of his generation genuinely does not like to talk about himself, especially if it involves war. But he did tonight, telling....

...his story in more detail than he does when campaigning. It was touching and effective.

Near the end, McCain really got into it. So did the crowd. Its members began cheering, drowning him out, as if pushing him forward.

His rhetorical cadence increased. McCain continued through the closing paragraphs of his speech, moving his badly-mended arms back and forth and back and forth in that weirdly wooden way that still looks painful.

"If you find faults with our country," McCain urged, "make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them."

Then he really got going. "Fight for what's right with 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."

The crowd loved it. And him. And the confetti came. And the red, white and blue balloons by the thousands.

Earlier in the speech, though, it was a different story. McCain was no Sarah Palin, the 44-year-old mother of five who thrilled the crowd last night with her small-town family story and sharp jibes at the Democratic ticket.

McCain's early delivery was herky-jerky, mechanical. He hit the economy hard, taking only eight paragraphs to identify with the afflicted. "These are tough times for many of you," he said. "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." It was all fairly standard Republican fare, a pitch to converted GOPers, some of whom may still suspect him, and not a bold outreach to other voting sectors.

At another point he admitted: "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."

Now, what he and the woman plucked unpredictably from the Alaskan governor's office to become the party's new No. 2 star have to fight for is the White House. There are 60 days left.

As the janitors made their way through the littered arena popping unpopped balloons, the McCain-Palin ticket was headed to its plane in a 40-vehicle motorcade and on to Milwaukee.

By the time they land in Wisconsin, there'll only be 59 days left.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Full Text of the Acceptance Speech by Sen. John S. McCain, Sept.4, 2008

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.

                                                       ###

Palinmccain

Photos by Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

 
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What a blessing for John McCain to have a wife like Cindy? She has a big heart for underprivileged and a very gracious lady. A huge contrast with the loquacious pit bull with the lipstick who cannot managed her own family. With regards to McCain's speech, My biggest concern was how he ended it. He appeared like a lunatic saying: “Join me in a fight for this….”, while his party base were drowning him with noise like in a bull fight ring, cheering for the lunatic matador to go for the kill. That’s how people with dementia talk in a Care Home talk recklessly at the middle of the night. I am being unkind on Senator McCain but that’s how it appeared on TV screen. In a nutshell, is he not scarry? Everytime Russia intervenes with a sovereign neighbor, we’re at the brink of 3rd World War by a bravado President and a pit bull VP. Why not try w/ diplomatic missions through NATO or former Soviet satellites than provoking confrontation. I don’t think McCain should be entrusted with the switch and in the event he becomes disabled while in office, a greenhorn Alaskan huskie will be holding that switch, I’m afraid she might mistook it as a light switch in a PTA meeting

_?_

So the Republicans are adopting as their party's emblem, the Coat Hanger. What is that about?

John McCain is no change. He and all his Republicans, along with his Fundamentalists are too deeply stuck and frozen in time, place and action. CHANGE THEY WILL NEVER BRING ABOUT...NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS.

McCain has been over-rated by the sentimental media, especially Fox and CNN. Reporters like John King are bought off to pander for the Republicans. They repeat and elaborate on each others platitudes.

One comment I heard from two different reporters, both on MSNBC, and CNN I think, was an un-named reporter commenting that Sarah Palin wasn't qualified for VP, because she had never been on Meet The Press, nor had he interviewed her.

Lets see, two sorces, from two different networks, recounting the same comment from an un-named reporter. Compare that with what is often passed off as a news sorce these days. One un-name person, often an unknown blogger, to tear apart the reputation of someone with whom is disagreed with by the Media Outlet, or Reporter. (Not that the L.A. Times, or its Reporters has ever stooped so low in the past)

What the democrats will not do: corral a few cash strapped Vietnam 'veterans' to sell their honour short and defame a ddecorated war hero, like the republicans did with John Kerry in 2004.
After choosing the military record of George Bush four years ago, I can well imagine the american people use the excuse of Obama lack of war experience as an excuse to vote for McCain
Morally, the United States are becoming just a bigger Italy...

If only he would have gotten into something other than platitudes. Where's the beef, John (that is, what are you actually going to do and how you are going to do it)?

“A Dozen Reasons Why McCain Won’t Win: Money-Back Guarantee”
http://msa4.wordpress.com/

John McCain was right to link both the Republican and Democrat parties to the corrupt morals of Washington politicians.

These same party politicians also share a bankruptcy of ideas for how to fix their fiscal mismanagement.

For too long the U.S. Congress has financed its deficit spending with economic policies and legislation that promoted lenient credit and lax oversight to encourage U.S. consumer borrowing in order to produce economic expansion.

This economic house of cards has come tumbling down following the dot-com market bubble burst and sub-prime housing collapse.

As a result of this wealth meltdown, U.S. consumers can no longer finance their debts and Congress is desperate to find revenues to keep the U.S. out of bankruptcy.

It's time to limit Congressional terms.

McCain is using or copying Obama's words: about the CHANGE We need in Washington.

With this McCain also recognized that Obama is right.

But in order to have a better perspective of what McCain said about his heroic past experience, this other information is the most puzzling aspect of the whole affair.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KjsEs46C70

Think out of the box.

though this might look like a triumph of evil, it is no victory.
RON PAUL has won regardless. life is on his side, integrity and love.
the rEVOLution will go on, and freedom will prevail.

In 2004, I and a few of my fellow Republicans setup a website called USAKERRYMCCAIN.COM, and we did some lobbying behind the scenes to the respective Senators, encouraging Kerry to make McCain his Vice-President. Our idea was to draft McCain to run on a bi-partisan Democratic ticket. I believe the Kerry campaign actually did offer the idea to McCain (informally) and McCain rejected it.

I mention this as a sort of credential: for many years I was a big supporter of John McCain, and I considered him among the best leaders our party had to offer. Today, I find myself dreading the thought that McCain might actually be elected President. The reasons are many, but the one that sealed the deal for me came when McCain voted against the new GI Bill offered by Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. The gist of that bill was to revise the terms under which members of our all-volunteer army enlist, so that the promise made to them to provide them a college education after completing their enlistment could be fulfilled. Without it, the fine print limitations on the benefit had fallen so far behind the practical cost of attending most colleges, it had become a non-benefit for the majority of our soldiers.

When asked why he voted against the bill, McCain gave a rather confusing answer involving a concept called "retention". In effect, McCain said it would be irresponsible for him to support the bill because it would undermine "retention rates" critical to our national security.

In lay person's terms, what McCain was saying was this: if we revise the fine print on our contract with our volunteer soldiers, it will make it too easy for them to opt out of the military and go to college. Put another way, we make a lot of promises when we're recruiting people to join the military, but when it comes time to make good on those promises, we're going to make it as difficult as possible for those who signed up to take advantage of them.

I thought there was a reasonable case for invading Iraq, regardless of whether they actually had weapons of mass destruction. My opposition to our continued presence there stemmed from two things: first, the obvious incompetence of the Bush administration in prosecuting the war, and second, the unfair burden for fighting that war which had been placed on the shoulders of a handful of our volunteer military and their families.

Despite all their pronouncements about their stewardship of our nations security, and their relentless refrains about "supporting our troops", in truth, George Bush and John McCain have exploited and abused our military personnel to an extent which I consider bordering on criminal. The vast majority of my fellow Republicans prefer to deny these factual realities, so it doesn't bother them when Bush and McCain and others likes them (Lindsay Graham being another prime offender), wrap themselves in the flag and piously try to portray themselves as the supremely patriotic champions of our valiant citizens in uniform. I, on the other hand, having looked at the facts, and considered the damage that has been done to our military and to their families by placing the entire burden of true sacrifice for this war on their shoulders, am disgusted every time I see or hear Senator McCain posing with our Flag, and all that it is supposed to stand for.

the country he fell in love with, when he was in someone else's, was not his own, but a fantasy from hell. his home is in a nightmare. he has a crush on death and tyranny, and this is where he wants everyone to join him, to destroy all life, and love and liberty, to make him feel at home. deception is his transparent game. he does not master it. yet many people accept the marching order, when he snarls at them.

Among the numerous white lies of McCain, ''change is coming'' yes change will come no matter what, in McCain''s case if he were tragically elected, we would have a new President and that in itself would constitute change, sure. In McCain''s case that is where it would end however, it would be like reelecting Bush for a third term, which really would not be a change at all. Remember John McCain voted in support of 95 per cent of Bush''s disastrous policies. In Obama''s case we would see President Obama and the newly elected Democrats in the House and Senate get straight to work at reversing all of the failed economic, foreign, environmental, employment, education and many other failures of the Bush administration. It is not a matter of will there be some kind of change, it is a matter of exactly what kind of change we want, Obama all the way if that''s the question.

You may disagree with some of his politics, (I know I do) but you gotta love this man. Here is a TRUE American hero. But more importantly here is a man who is NOT petty, vain, and a man with the real deal type of deep character that we don't see often enough in politics. The message that came across was that this guy sees himself in the right light; he sees that America is much bigger than himself, not the other way around. He has maturity, authority, sincerity, experience, and he doesn't care about political posturing. In his own modest, humble way, this guy's character leaps out at you. I'll take a wise man with average oratory skills over a great speaker any day. Even if,(or perhaps because of the fact that), he's not a perfect man. He at least admits that he's not all that, and strives to do better. I don't want a politician who STARTS with the premise that he's the ONLY one who can effect change. I want a politician who starts with the premise that he's grateful for his country, and acknowledges that he is only one of many Americans who sees something bigger than himself. America will still will go on. I want a leader who has quietly DEMONSTRATED change over time and not made a rapid rush to broadcast and inflate a thin resume. I fear that today's masses only want to look on the flash and style that is on the outside rather than seeing the true heart on the inside. American Idol may be a lot more fun, but American heroes are a lot more real.

His speech and he are very confusing. His is the party of special interests. He talks about making change in DC, but the Republican party will never allow him to do that. His running mate proves that he can't be the decider in his own campaign. He wanted to run with Lieberman. The GOP extreme right-wing religious fundamentalist extremists wanted Palin. He got Palin.

If he can't control his own campaign, where will he find the strength to ignore the folks that are putting him in office (oil cos. and extreme religious right) and lead this country into the change we need?

McCain has been working in DC all his political life, he's entrenched in the current system. How can he separate himself from that? How can he bring our country together if he can't separate himself from the people who are the most selfish, exclusionary, folks on the planet who don't want to cooperate with the rest of the country, who think only their view is the right view, who have no tolerance for people who don't believe exactly as they do?

I don't see that it's possible. I'll bet my granddaughter's future on Obama, I think she'll have a better chance for achieving whatever her American Dream is with Obama as president. He's not beholden to the extreme and dangerous right, and he's careful with the campaign contributions.

By the way, Susan Eisenhower, formerly a lifelong Republican left the part and is now an Independent. I think she has the right idea, here's a quote from her website and a CNN interview 8-29-08, http://www.susaneisenhower.com/ :

"EISENHOWER: Well, I was a lifelong republican and then about ten days ago, I changed my registration. I’m a die hard moderate and I will always stay that way. And I feel like the party has left the moderate wing. In any case, I want to be able to vote for democrats or republicans or independents or anybody else who reflects my views."

John Patrick Smith - AGREED! this is a great idea, both Democrats and Republicans are to blame for the mess we're in. Term Limits are in order.

I noticed an Asian woman at the RNC last night. A couple of Hispanics and a few African-Americans, too.

Watching the RNC is like driving through Colorado City, Arizona, the largest polygamous enclave in America, where everybody is WHITE and nobody is right.

http://www.bankingonheaven.com

John McCain today,” Romney said, according to excerpts released in advance. “It is to rein in government spending and lower taxes, for taking a weed-whacker to excessive regulation and mandates, for putting a stop to tort windfalls, and to stand up to the tyrannosaurus appetite of government unions.

GO McCain down with Unions

Watching the Republic convention was like watching one of those old 1940's or 1950's convention videos - one that had been colorized like they do to old movies.

Whereas the Democratic Convention looked more like a cross-section of America. It was as if God told Noah to go out and collect two of every race, creed, gender or color.

What I see coming out of these conventions, is a new dynamic especially for Hiliary Clinton. Before, it was almost in Hiliary's self interest for Obama to lose. But now a McCain/Palin victory makes 2012 an iffy deal. If McCain stays health and Palin performs well as VP. He could run for reelection and the issue of him not surviving a second term is not so scary because Palin could step in. If McCain doesn't survive the first term (family history is against him), Palin goes into 2012 as an incumbent, make a race against her dificult. Also takes away the historical nature iof being the first female President.

So the issue for Hiliary seems to be take on Palin now or later when she is stronger.

i agree with the post from jim, i dont agree with all of mccains politics, i was confused as to who i would pull the lever for this year, so i did what all americans should do, i opened my mind and looked past all the hype and how well a speach is delivered, and mccain is my choice, not cause i agree with him on every issue but because he is a true american , and i trust him alot more then obama, to me personally obama is young an cocky, arrogant if you will , im voting for mccain cause i truly believe that he learned something while campaining, , i believed he learned what really matters in america, something i dont think obama gets just yet

From Dean Baker regarding McCain's acceptance speech: http://tinyurl.com/6zxney
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Senator McCain claimed that Obama's proposal would force people into a health care plan run by government bureaucrats. This is not true. Senator Obama's plan would give people the option of buying into a publicly run Medicare-type plan, but this would only be an option. Under Senator Obama's plan, no one would be forced to join the public plan, they would be free to stay with their current plan if they chose.

Senator McCain also misrepresented his plan on taxes for ordinary people. He claimed that he would not raise taxes, but his health care plan would raise taxes for tens of millions of middle income workers. McCain proposes making employer payments for health care taxable income. This will be a substantial tax increase for many workers. It also would have been appropriate to note this misrepresentation since Senator McCain has made low taxes so central to his campaign.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Link to Obama's health plan:
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/

McCain looked so old he could keel over any minute, and I do not want that amateur hockey mom/LensCrafters model to have her finger on the button

That photo makes it look like he's reaching critical mass.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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