Monday, September 22, 2008

These "Winners" Are Real Losers!

Go. Read.

A very long and detailed, but quite fascinating, investigative report into possible shenanigans by the Obama camp in relation to the smearing of Gov. Sarah Palin from Dr. Rusty Shackleford at The Jawa Report.

Think Axelrod, "Astroturfing" and plausible deniability. Think supposed professional PR sewer rats with very uncreative, easily traceable pseudonyms and sockpuppets. Think about embarrassing evidence quickly disappearing from the internet immediately after the post is published. (Sorry, jerks. They made copies of everything!) Think possible campaign law violations!

Now quit thinking and just read!

Hope, Change, & Lies: Orchestrated "Grassroots" Smear Campaigns & the People that Run Them

Ace of Spades take on it is here:

Anti-Palin Astroturfing Traced Directly to Obama-Connected PR Firm

The cockroaches are scurrying... someone must have turned a light!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

In Case You Missed Anything...

Since they keep on filling my e-mail box with these things, I figure I should post them here and make it easy for people who are searching for them online to be able to find them and to read them all in one place.

What follows are the texts of several major speeches at the Republican National Convention as transcribed in RNC e-mails. They may occasionally differ somewhat from the speeches as they were actually delivered.


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 Petraeus, 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.


Thank you everyone.

John and I are so proud of them and so happy to have them here with us tonight.

Nothing has made me happier or more fulfilled in my life than being a mother.

But while John and I take great joy in having been able to spend time together this week as a family, our hearts go out to the thousands of families who have had to leave their homes once again due to devastating weather.

It is not only our natural instinct to rally to them, to lift them up with our prayers and come to their aid, it is also our duty to our country.

That duty is what brings me before you tonight. And it's much larger and more important than just me or John or any of us: It's the work of this great country calling us together - and there is no greater duty than that, no more essential task for our generation -- right now.

That's been very much on my mind these last few months as I traveled our country.

Each day, after the bands packed up, the speeches were done, and the camera lights darkened, I always came back to how blessed and honored I was to be part of our national conversation.

And in these times, when so many of our fellow Americans face difficult situations, what I saw moved me deeply.

Families worried about losing their homes.

Towns deserted by industries once at their center.

Mothers with no choice but to send their children to unsafe and underperforming schools.

But I have also seen the resilience of the American people. I've heard stirring stories of neighbor helping neighbor, of cities on one end of the country offering help to fellow citizens on the other.

Despite our challenges our hearts are still alive with hope and belief in our individual ability to make things right if only the Federal government would get itself under control and out of our way.

So tonight is also about renewing our commitment to one another.

Because this campaign is not about us. It's about our special and exceptional country.

And this convention celebrates a special and exceptional Republican Party ... the hand we feel on our shoulder belongs to Abraham Lincoln.

Our country was born amidst the struggle for freedom ... and our party arose from a great battle for human rights, dignity, and equality for all people. We give way to no one and no other party in that cause.

From its very birth, our party has been grounded in the notion of service, community and self-reliance ... and it's all tempered by an uniquely American faith in - and compassion for - each other's neighbors.

A helping hand and friendly support has always been our way. It's no surprise that Americans are the most generous people in history.

That generosity of spirit is in our national DNA. It's our way of doing things. It's how we view the world.

I was taught Americans can look at the world and ask either: what do other countries think of us ... or we can look at ourselves and ask: what would our forefathers make of us and what will our children say of us? That's a big challenge. In living up to it, we know the security and prosperity of our nation is about a lot more than just politics.

It also depends on personal commitment, a sense of history and a clear view of the future.

I know of no one who better defines how to do that ... whose life is a better example of how to go about that than the man I love and with whom I have shared almost 30 years of my life:

My husband, John McCain.

From the beginning of time, no matter how accomplished in other fields, women have always sought a husband with an eye to what kind of father that man would be.

Well, I hit a home run with John McCain!

I got the most marvelous husband and friend and confidant ... a source of strength and inspiration ... and also the best father you could ever imagine.

In that most sacred role, he brought to our children his great personal character ... his life-long example of honesty... and his steadfast devotion to honor.

He has shown the value of self-sacrifice by daily example and, above all... John showers us with the unconditional love and support every family dreams of. I know what his children say of him.

And his courageous service to America in war and peace leaves no doubt what our forefathers would make of him!

It's these virtues of character that led him to this campaign, to this moment.

John McCain is a steadfast man who will not break with our heritage ... no matter how demanding or dangerous the challenges at home or abroad.

And let's not be confused: these are perilous times, not just for America, but for freedom itself.

It's going to take someone of unusual strength and character - someone exactly like my husband - to lead us through the reefs and currents that lie ahead. I know John.

You can trust his hand at the wheel.

But you know what, I've always thought it's a good idea to have a woman's hand on the wheel as well.

So how about Governor Sarah Palin!

John has picked a reform-minded ... hockey-mommin' ... basketball shootin' ... moose huntin' ... fly-fishin' ... pistol-packing ... mother of five for vice president. And as a fellow hockey mom myself and a western conservative mother, I couldn't be prouder that John has shaken things up as he usually does!

No one can do the job alone. And that's why I'm glad John will have Governor Palin by his side.

We all to have work together ... build consensus - the way John has done all his life.

His leadership inspires and empowers ... and places ultimate success in all our hands.

Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, "with freedom goes responsibility -- a responsibility that can only be met by the individual himself."

I have been witness to great service and sacrifice - to lives lived with humility and grace.

In World War II, my father's B-17 was shot down three times. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

But he was quiet about that... and never claimed to have done more than his small share.

Just like my husband.

I think John was a hero in Vietnam.

But he thinks it was just his turn.

Our son, Jack, will graduate from the United States Naval Academy next year - fourth generation - ready to do his service.

And our son Jimmy - a lance corporal in the Marine Corps - served honorably in Iraq ... as hundreds of thousands of other young men and women just like him are doing for America and freedom everywhere.

The stakes were never more clear to me, than the morning I watched my son Jimmy strap on his weapons and board a bus headed for harm's way.

I was born and raised in the American West and will always see the world through the prism of its values.

My Father was a true "Western Gentleman."

He rose from hardscrabble roots to realize the American dream.

With only a few borrowed dollars in his pocket, a strong back and a can-do spirit, he built a great life for his family.

His handshake was his solemn oath. He looked you straight in the eye and he always believed the best of you unless you gave him good cause not to.

Modest and good-natured, he had deep roots in our American soil.

He taught me life is not just about you - it's also about nurturing the next generation ... preparing a better world for all our children and helping them find the right way up.

We all come to that knowledge in different ways. For me, the great moment of clarity came when I became a mother.

Something changed in me, and I would never see my obligations the same way.

It was after that, I was walking through the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, surrounded by terrible poverty and the devastation of a cyclone.

All around me were the children, and the desperate faces of their mothers. The pain was overwhelming ... and I felt helpless.

But then I visited an orphanage begun by Mother Teresa, and two very sick little girls captured my heart.

There was something I could do. I could take them home.

And so I did.

Today both of those girls are healthy and happy. And one of them you just met: our beautiful daughter, Bridget.

Much is expected of a country as blessed as America ... and our people are at work all over the globe ... making it a better planet ... doing their part.

It was my privilege to work with the men and women of the American Voluntary Medical Teams in places like Zaire, Micronesia and Vietnam ... watching as they relieved whole towns from disease ... and rescued countless children from sickness.

The reward for sharing in that work is truly indescribable.

To see a child rescued from a life in the shadows by Operation Smile is to witness and share a joy that is life-changing.

And the challenges go on.

I just returned from the Republic of Georgia, where HALO Trust - an organization specializing in clearing the debris of war - and others, are rescuing innocent victims from landmines and missiles.

Sometimes the courage of others leaves me breathless.

I only need to speak the word Rwanda and the images it conjures are beyond description.

In my box tonight is Ernestine, a woman, a friend, a mother like myself, whom I met in Kigali.

She suffered unimaginable horrors and was made to watch appalling havoc wreaked on her family.

Yet, as the violence in her country subsides, she doesn't seek retribution -- instead, she offers love and seeks reconciliation for her people.

She says, simply, "It's time to move on for me and my country."

Ernestine, would you please stand up?

Your courage is humbling. Your forgiveness is healing. You are my hero.

Forgiveness is not just a personal issue: it's why John led the effort to normalize relations with Vietnam ... to retrieve the remains of our MIAs... to bring closure to both sides.

That's leadership - national leadership. And it's leading by example.

The Presidential contest will begin in earnest when this convention closes.

If Americans want straight talk and the plain truth they should take a good close look at John McCain ... a man tested and true ... ... who's never wavered in his devotion to our country ... ... a man who's served in Washington without ever becoming a Washington insider... ... who always speaks the truth no matter what the cost... ... a man of judgment and character ... ... a loyal and loving and true husband and a magnificent father!

This is a good man, a worthy man ... I know.

I have loved him with all my heart for almost 30 years ... and I humbly recommend him to you tonight as our nominee for the next President of the United States!

I'm so grateful to have had the chance to speak with you tonight ... and for the honor you are about to grant my husband -- and, indeed, our entire family. I promise you I will work every day to help John strengthen our freedom ... to serve this great country with the honor, dignity and the love it deserves ... from each and every generation it blesses.

May God bless all of you: ... our beloved America ... the citizens of the Gulf Coast ... and all the sons and daughters serving this great country around the world tonight.

Thank you.


Thank you. Tonight I speak to you with a grateful heart and enormous pride.

I speak to you as one friend about another.

About a proven leader... a world statesman... an untiring and effective public servant. I speak to you about a warrior...who has sometimes stood alone... or shown the way... in fighting for the most vulnerable of our citizens... for the country he so dearly loves... and for the founding principles we all so deeply cherish.

I speak to you about a friend - who was first pointed out to me - in the same way he is proudly pointed out wherever he goes today - "That's John McCain."

John and I have been friends for 26 years.

Both of us got elected to Congress in 1982 and both of us are Vietnam veterans.

Some might say that is our common bond. For certainly the Vietnam experience is a uniting one.
But I would also say that our friendship blossomed over many a laugh as we told jokes that only we thought were funny.

Over many a moment boasting about our children.

And over many a conversation about our country and the world in which we both feel so privileged to live and to serve.

It was only a little more than a year ago - in August of 2007 - that I drove to John's office to offer an encouraging word.

You all remember that time.

It was really rough going for the campaign. Some were ready to count John out.

Some questioned his resolve.

Some wondered and waited for the white flag of surrender.

Having rehearsed my pep talk... I walked into John's office... put my arm around him... and asked, "Hey - how are you doing?"

He paused for a moment.

From his shoulders came a quick shrug.

Then he looked at me and said, "Tom, you and I both know I've been through worse."

We sat down... he spread some papers across a table... and said, "NOW - let me tell you how I think we can win."

He talked strategy... a way forward... next steps.

And later I would leave my friend's office thinking what I share with you tonight - "That's John McCain."

Where some people see adversity, John McCain accepts a challenge.

Where some people see a crisis, John McCain creates an opportunity.

Where some people see defeat, John McCain pursues victory.

John knows - the purpose of elections is not merely to win.

You run to win... but you win to govern.

So who of our two candidates is the most qualified to govern the freest, strongest, most blessed nation on Earth?

Who but John McCain understands that America's security and prosperity will - now and forever more - be tied to the security and prosperity of the rest of the world?

Who but John McCain has the experience... the sheer will... the steady hand... and the informed judgment to advance our economic and political interests during these perilous 21st century times? And who but John McCain - and only John McCain - can negotiate from a position of strength and proven ability - because he's already earned the trust... respect... and admiration of our friends and allies around the world? And I suspect he has the attention of those who would oppose us.

Now more than ever we need a leader who fits the times - not a candidate who merely thinks it's his time to lead.

For the consideration before us is not about who can take a 3 a.m. call.

It's about who has answered the call throughout his life.

It's not about building a record.

It's about having one.

It's not about talking pretty.

It's about talking straight.

The challenge of our times is not simply to change.

The challenge of our time is to leave nothing to chance.

More than 230-plus years ago, a group of leaders - some people called them mavericks - dared to think differently, dared to act boldly and dared to believe its future leaders would preserve, honor and protect the great land of the free.

Today - we have a leader - some people call him a maverick - who for his country, has put his life on the line.

Who for his country, leads with his conscience.

Who for his country, has worked to preserve, honor and protect the great land of the free.

That's John McCain.

John dares to think differently, to act boldly and to put country before self.

He dares to believe that we are all called to serve as long as we call ourselves free.

He dares to embrace the founding principle that our responsibility to one another extends from a national crisis to an individual need - from nation to nation - community to community - in this, the greatest community ever formed.

So may we rise to the occasion, to the moment, to the vision of our Founding Fathers.

May we summon ourselves to our best efforts and call this maverick forward.

Let us elect a man who has firmly and unequivocally laid out his vision of where this country can go.

Who offers a better way...a better day...and a greater say - for all who call this great country home.

That's John McCain.

Let us elect a public servant who refuses to think in terms of red versus blue - but only in terms of red, white and blue.

That's John McCain.

An artful leader... a diplomat... a tenacious legislator.

Say it with me!

That's John McCain!

Someone who speaks truth to power, truth to the American people, and rises above politics to get things done.

That's John McCain.

A consensus builder, a reformer - the patriot who always puts his country first.

That's John McCain!

A Reagan optimist...

America's go-to guy.

That's John McCain!

That's John McCain.

That's John McCain.

I am so very proud to say... 'that is my friend - John McCain.'

The next president of the United States.

The next Commander-in-Chief.

Ready to lead.

Ready to serve.

Ready to deliver.

God bless you, John.

God bless you all.

And may God continue to bless our brave troops who serve our country so well.

Thank You.


By every measure, the surge of troops into Iraq has worked.

Sectarian violence and coalition casualties are at record lows.

15 of the 18 political benchmarks have been met.

The Iraqi's have a larger, more capable Army. Oil production is dramatically increasing.

This week, Anbar Province, once an Al Qaeda stronghold, was turned over to the Iraqis. And all American combat brigades who made up the surge have returned home.

We know the surge has worked. Our men and women in uniform know it has worked.

I promise you -- above all others -- Al Qaeda knows it has worked.

The only people who deny it are Barack Obama and his buddies at

Why won't they admit it?

Because Barack Obama's campaign is built around us losing in Iraq. Without John McCain's courageous leadership there would be no surge.

I know.

I was there with John McCain and Joe Lieberman every step of the way.

In our visits to Iraq, we saw the situation deteriorate.

The troops we met - the sergeants, captains, and colonels - had such respect and admiration for Senator McCain they felt comfortable giving him something he knows a lot about -- Straight Talk.

They said -- Senator McCain, this ain't working. John heard their message and put their interests ahead of his own. He came back to Washington and told everyone, including Republicans, - we must change course.

For his honesty, some accused him of being disloyal. But John McCain's loyalties have always been to his country and to our men and women in uniform.

Not a political party.

Calling for more troops to be sent to Iraq was one of the most unpopular things John McCain could have done. Some said it was political suicide. But you know what?


Because losing in Iraq would have been a nightmare for America. Al' Qaeda would have claimed victory over our nation. Sectarian violence would spread throughout the region. And Iran would fill the vacuum.

Last summer, we came within 2 votes of a congressionally mandated surrender. One Democrat broke with his party to support the surge.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank God for Joe Lieberman.

It was John McCain's voice and credibility that stopped Congress from losing this war.

The Petraeus plan will be a model for generations to come, and our troops will be heroes for the ages.

Those who predicted failure, voted to cut off funding for our troops, and played politics with our national security will be footnotes in history.

There's no doubt about it, we are on the road to victory.

America is safer by winning in Iraq - A Muslim nation in the heart of the Arab world that rejects Al Qaeda.

A nation where the rule of law replaces the rule of gun.

A place in the Middle East where a woman can finally have a say about her children's future.

While Barack Obama expresses appreciation for our troops' service, he refuses to acknowledge their success.

They have worked too hard and sacrificed too much for a patronizing pat on the back.

Barack Obama went 2 and a half years between visits to Iraq and never once sat down with General Petraeus. If Barack Obama cannot appreciate that our troops are winning in Iraq, he should not be their Commander in Chief.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Barack Obama doesn't care.

I'm just saying - he doesn't get it.

Not once was Barack Obama's eloquent voice ever raised in support of Victory in Iraq. Not once was it used to rally our troops in battle. Instead, he inspired those who supported retreat and would have accepted our defeat.

We should all be grateful that Barack Obama was unable to defeat the surge. The surge was a test for Barack Obama.

He failed miserably.

Our troops deserve a Commander in Chief who acknowledges their success. Has walked in their shoes. Speaks their language. Shares in their sufferings. And will lead them to victory in a war we cannot afford to lose.

That person is my dear friend John McCain.

John often says he would rather lose a campaign than lose a war. Here's the good news.

We are going to win this war.

And John McCain will be our next President of the United States.

But wait, it gets even better. Because John McCain has one of the toughest and most talented political reformers in America as his running mate.

Let's watch to learn more about the phenomenal Governor of Alaska, Sara Palin.


John McCain is a friend of mine, a colleague and an inspiration.

He comes from the Teddy Roosevelt wing of the Republican Party.

Bold and aggressive.

Given to action more than words. That's the way John lives.

From the halls of the Naval Academy, to the hole of the Hanoi Hilton -- from confronting cancer to making history with his Vice Presidential selection -- John McCain lives for something bigger than himself.

It's not about him... it's about us and taking that difficult path that has always been required for this nation to be what it was meant to be.

This is the most powerful nation in the history of mankind.

We have liberated more nations, invested more in research and development, cured more diseases, fed more people, produced more technology, explored more, and saved more lives than any other nation in history.

These accomplishments are all the product of our greatness.

The source of our greatness has always been the American People, who have lived for something bigger than they are.

In this historic nation, John McCain is a history maker, and with selecting Sarah Palin, a history breaker. But that's not what I like most about John McCain.

What I like is that he does what he tells you he'll do... even if it hurts him.

He's always working to make the team around him better and give the glory to them. Last week in Denver, the other party was encouraging us to "believe." They told America over and over, "Yes we can." But when you look at the past two years with Democrats controlling the House and Senate, all we've seen is, "NO we can't."

They said we can't reach energy independence by finding new sources of oil and gas in our own country.

We can't cut spending.

We can't have a health care system run by doctors and patients instead of a federal bureaucracy.

They say we can't win the war in Iraq.

While the other side may say "yes we can" and then votes "no you won't" -- John McCain says "yes we will."

Are we going to achieve energy independence with conservation, renewables, biofuels, and new domestic production of oil and gas?

Yes we will.

Are we going to develop more nuclear energy, clean coal technology, and the wind energy we need to generate the power to keep our nation running?

Yes we will.

Are we going to have a health care system that works for patients and doctors and not for a bureaucracy?

Yes we will.

Are we going to cut taxes and reform the tax code to improve this economy?

Yes we will.

Are we going to give love and respect to the unborn child, regardless of whether that child has Down syndrome or is born into poverty?

Yes we will.

Are we going to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of Iran?

Yes we will.

Are we going to win in Iraq?

Yes we will.

Are we going to keep America a shining city on a hill full of hope and optimism?

Yes we will.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe in American exceptionalism.

That this is a special land and that to whom much is given much is required.

We are blessed to be a blessing.

But for America to fulfill its God-given destiny, we need leaders to help take us there.

Leaders who deny themselves the pleasures of the moment to pursue the joy of serving others.

John McCain is one of those leaders.

You know, John McCain is easy to understand.

He loves America and feels a duty to his very core to serve this nation he so loves.

So when John McCain stands up on the west side of the Capitol to take the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States ...

He will put his left hand on the bible and raise his right hand about this high.

He can't raise it any higher because of the broken bones he suffered in Vietnam serving his country and standing up for his men.

I don't know about you, but where I come from that's called true grit.

He'll give that same level of commitment, courage and true grit to being President of the United States of America!

May God so bless us; and may God continue to bless the United States of America!!


Thank you.

We're so glad we're in Minnesota.

How do we measure the content of a person's character? How do we recognize their fitness to serve?

Barack Obama gives a good speech.

But the best sermons aren't preached, they're lived.

John McCain's whole life is a testimony to service, duty, courage and common sense. John McCain has walked the walk, and he has always put our country first!

When he showed guts and courage as a Prisoner of War, John McCain put our country first!

When he stood up to special interests, and fought against earmarks and pork-barrel spending in Congress, John McCain put our country first!

When he saw the need to change strategy in Iraq and boldly called for the surge, John McCain put our country first!

When he responded to our energy crisis with an all-of-the-above energy plan, John McCain put our country first!

And when John McCain is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, we know he will always put our country first!

We've seen in this man the very best our country has to offer.

I recently traveled with John to Iraq, a nation whose destiny he helped change.

I saw first-hand how he loves and admires our troops.

And I saw how they love and admire him.

They know how he personally understands the costs of war.

They also know how committed he is to doing whatever it takes to ensure they come home with honor and victory.

We live in a dangerous world.

With John McCain as President, there will be no misunderstanding about where America stands and what we stand for.

John McCain is tough -- but he's also compassionate. I've gotten to know John, and I can tell you he is a Purple Heart recipient with a heart of gold.

He understands the concerns of everyday Americans like you and me.

What I like to call "Sam's Club Republicans."

These voters are on a tight budget.

They're looking for value and accountability at the store. And they're looking for value and accountability from their government.

John McCain connects with Sam's Club voters.

He gets it.

He will force government to live within its means, just like families do.

He knows that small businesses are the job growth engine for our country.

He knows the last thing they need is MORE taxes.

John also understands that health care costs are budget busters for too many American families.

He'll provide help but will put consumers and their doctors in charge, not the federal government.

John also knows it's getting tougher for us to afford to fill-up at the pump.

His energy plan is classic McCain - bold and aggressive.

In this time, we don't need a president who can just read a poll or momentarily thrill a crowd.

We don't need rhetoric or empty promises.

We need a president who has the integrity and courage to make the tough choices so America will be stronger and safer.

I believe the times call out great leaders.

This time, our time, calls out for John McCain.


Good evening.

I'm Senator John Ensign, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

I was first elected to Congress in 1994.

You probably remember it as the year of the Contract with America.

After 40 years of a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives, it was time to put the focus of government back on freedom and opportunity.

We came to Washington with real ideas and real solutions.

We enacted welfare reform and freed countless people from poverty.

We worked to lift the burden of oppressive taxes from American families.

We scaled back regulation and bureaucracy.

Our inspiration was a man whose vision will forever guide our nation -- President Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan was a true champion of freedom.

He understood that when we stand for freedom, we always win.

And he never wavered in that belief.

Nor should we.

To stray from freedom is to turn our backs on the 42 million Americans who have served our nation on the frontlines of freedom by donning the uniform of the United States Military.

They are proof of how sacred freedom is.

One of those Americans is Jacob Fogel from my home state of Nevada.

Jacob graduated from Elko High School and joined the U.S. Navy.

He deployed to Iraq, where he worked under the threat of terrorist attack to help construct bridges.

He lost friends who fell beside him on the field of battle.

Jacob knows the price of freedom.

He put it this way: "Nobody really knows what freedom is like until you have to fight for it."
John McCain knows freedom.

He has fought for it and sacrificed for it.

He has proudly served this nation as a combat aviator and a public servant.

It is impossible to imagine the horrific experiences he survived as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

But I can guarantee one thing: John McCain knows what it means to be free.

If we fail to elect leaders who understand that, we also fail as freedom's keepers. We are facing one of the most important national elections in generations.

If the Democrats win a stronger majority in the United States Senate, our nation will move farther and farther from the principles of freedom.

The vision of Ronald Reagan will be replaced by an agenda of bigger government, higher taxes, and less security.

The choice in this election is clear.

Do you want a country more dependent on Middle Eastern oil and crippled by higher gas prices?

OR do you want a country with its own innovative energy supply?

Do you want a government-run healthcare system that takes the choice away from patients?

OR do you want a system that gives you control over your own health care?

Do you want bigger government and higher taxes?

OR do you want to eliminate wasteful Washington spending and keep more of your hard-earned money?

Do you want Democrats to eliminate the right to a secret ballot, letting big union bosses run rampant over employers and employees?

OR do you want Republicans to protect workers' rights?

Do you want judges who legislate from the bench?

OR do you want judges who strictly adhere to the Constitution and our laws?

And most importantly, do you want those who do not understand that there is true evil in the world to dictate our foreign policy?

OR do you want to continue to stand up to radical Islamic extremists?

Republicans are on the right side of these critical issues, because we will always champion freedom.

We know that sacrifices are made every single day to strengthen, protect, and honor that freedom.

That is why we must work to take back the majority in the United States Senate -- make Sarah Palin our next Vice President -- and elect John McCain our Commander in Chief.

This is the great cause of our party -- and I ask each of you to give everything you have to this cause in the months ahead.

Inspire Americans with the fundamental ideals of the Republican party: freedom and opportunity.

And make sure that they turn out to vote in this election...

On November 4th, freedom is on the ballot.

In addition to the Presidency, there are ten key races that will decide the makeup of the U.S. Senate.

If we want strict constructionist judges... less dependence on foreign oil... tort reform... healthcare choices... and lower taxes -- we need to elect Republicans to these seats.

If we want to protect freedom, we must win these Senate races, and we must win the White House.

Let's work together to keep the freedom that we all cherish.

God bless you, and God bless America.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


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.< br>
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 new-clear 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 new-clear 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.


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'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.


Good evening my fellow delegates, friends, guests, and all those watching this historic convention on television and online. Aloha!

It is my distinct pleasure and honor to speak with you tonight about Senator McCain's outstanding choice of Alaska governor Sarah Palin as our party's Vice Presidential nominee!

As a fellow Republican Governor ...of a non-contiguous state ....I have had the chance to get to know Governor Sarah Palin. She is a terrific individual...and an outstanding governor. Sarah is a person with proven leadership skills, and strong moral character.

Because most Americans are just being introduced to Sarah Palin, I think it is important to share with you a little about her great personal story.

Her family moved to Alaska -- the Last Frontier -- when Governor Palin was an infant.

Sarah and her family are avid outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy long distance running as well as hunting. In high school, she led her basketball team -- as point guard and captain -- to victory in the state championship. Two years later, she was crowned Miss Wasilla and finished second in the Miss Alaska pageant.

After college, she married her high school sweetheart, Todd. As early evidence of Sarah's commitment to fiscal discipline...they eloped!

Todd is a commercial fisherman, an oil field worker and a union member, as well as a world-champion snowmobile racer. After 20 years of marriage, Sarah and Todd have five beautiful children and a grandchild on the way.

They face the same challenges that moms and dads do, every single day in our country. Difficult things happen to families, and just like yours, families pull together and get through it.

More than just having a great personal story, Sarah Palin is a great person. She is genuine, and comfortable in her own skin...truly authentic.

She will not be trying to reinvent herself during this campaign! She is who she is.

Like others who meet Sarah, when you get to know are going be very impressed...and the more you get to know her, the more impressed you're going to be.

Sarah has integrity and strong values. She is smart and she is a unique combination of toughness and grace.

I was at a conference with Sarah and a few other governors this past April, in Dallas, when on very short notice she delivered an outstanding, strategic speech on energy issues. Let me assure you that she knows the energy issue well and she will help our soon to be President John McCain...achieve energy independence!

The same day she delivered that speech, Sarah went into labor with her fifth child...made the trip back to Alaska...and delivered her son Trig the next day.

"Did I mention that she is tough?"

All of these qualities contribute to make Governor Palin a great leader.

In fact, she is a gifted leader. It comes naturally to her...and people naturally gravitate toward her. She engenders trust in people...and she lives up to that trust!

She has cut excessive spending from the multi- billion-dollar state budget she oversees.

She has taken on the Establishment...challenged a corrupt political system...and enacted a strong ethics reform law.

She took on the sitting Republican Governor with whom she disagreed...and she won.

In the general election, she took on a former two-term, Democratic Governor. And she won! Put simply...Sarah is a leader and a winner!

Like all governors, she is dealing with many issues that members of Congress have talked about, a lot, through the years, including health care, education, economic development, energy and the environment. But, mere words, no matter how eloquently delivered, will never replace the decisive actions of a governor that produces real results.

While Congress passes lots of laws, it is the governors who have to deal with their consequences.

Sarah is also the Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard.

I share that same Commander in Chief role with my fellow governors. As the governor of a tightly-knit state, I know that seeing off troops before an overseas deployment is not a perfunctory exercise, but an intense, personal experience.

These are our friends and our neighbors, our family and colleagues...people we know.

Before serving as Governor, Sarah was the mayor of Wasilla for two-terms...again, defeating the incumbent! Some have tried to diminish this experience by pointing out that Wasilla only has a population of nearly 10,000 people. This is the size of many cities all across our country. The size where everyone knows everyone, and where as mayor you are held personally accountable for your decisions.

I find it reminiscent when I hear Democrat party leaders and their surrogates questioning Sarah's experience. They used the same tactic against me when I ran for governor. They said being the mayor of Maui was insufficient experience to be the governor.

Since becoming governor, Hawaii has moved up 10 spots in the Forbes ranking for best states to do business, is among the top five states in health insurance coverage, and was one of only 12 states last year where the number of people living in poverty went down.

I think being a mayor, whether in Hawaii or Alaska or anywhere else, is outstanding preparation for higher office.

I find it especially amusing that the other party says Governor Palin lacks experience when their own candidates for president and vice president...have NO executive experience... ZERO!

Neither Senator Obama nor Senator Biden has ever managed a multi- billion dollar budget, or been a chief executive of any city... or state, of any size... or of anything for that matter.

As President Lyndon Johnson said, "When the burdens of the presidency seem unusually heavy, I always remind myself it could be worse. I could be a MAYOR."

Mayors, like Sarah Palin, are CEOs. Governors, like Sarah Palin, are CEOs.

That's why I think it is so beneficial to have a Governor on the ticket...and Sarah is a great choice. Senator McCain decided to look "North to the Future" - which is Alaska's motto - to find a transformative leader.

The other side has made the point that Alaska is a small state, but the last time I checked, it had the same number of electoral votes as Delaware. And, you can fit more than 250 states the size of Delaware within Alaska's border.

Sarah has broad appeal within our Party...because she is a strong social conservative, an adherent to free market principals, and a fiscal hawk...and because she has the ability to expand our numbers by reaching out to independents...young people...and women!

His decision to choose Sarah tells us a lot about Senator John McCain. It is a clear reminder that he truly is a maverick, and that he will always do the right thing for the people of America. It underscores that Senator McCain understands what Americans have known for quite some time - Washington is broken.

And Senator McCain showed his commitment to ending politics as usual in Washington by picking an Outsider...a proven experienced woman governor.

This choice is bold, historic and courageous...just like John McCain and Sarah Palin!

I am glad I have had the chance to get to know Sarah Palin. I know when you... and the rest of America gets to know her, you will agree with me...that Sarah Palin is going to be a great Vice President.

Mahalo, God Bless You and God Bless America!