...busting up my brains for the words

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Exit Strategy Found

As luck would have it, I ran into another volunteer I knew at the rally. This fellow was at HQ last Tuesday when I was on the phone bank. He'd told me then that he couldn't come to my rescue in providing a ride because he was leaving at 6 am and was going to be making calls to a few customers he has in his personal business. Wouldn't you know it, I ran into him at the rally almost immediately upon reaching the stage. And yes, he could give me a lift home.
I love it when a plan comes together.

I've written about the trip and the site, but I haven't much described the President's speech. The crowd was very enthusiastic about seeing him, of course. And many local Republican officials were there to get things warmed up. They included Congressmen Gil Gutknecht and John Kline, Minnesota State Governor Tim Pawlenty and State Senator Norm Coleman. Representing support for the President coming from the armed forces on the stage was Col. Joe Repya.

Also speaking was Cheri Pierson Yecke, Minnesota's ex-education chief.
Yecke's presence at the rally and her message served to remind voters that the Republican Party is active in serious education reform, but is blocked from this reform by the opposing party.

There was a familiar ring to the President's speech. Anyone who has been exposed to the two minute news flashes on television has heard pieces of this stump speech at least a few times. But listening to the entire speech (which was 40 minutes long) brought underlying themes to mind.

Buzzwords parsed in the President's delivery were "values", "accountability", "responsibility", "results", "reform", "compassion" and "ownership". I don't intend to demean these words by calling them buzzwords. An effective campaign will recognize the need to define the candidate and carefully choose words that serve to shape that definition.

Here's a key sentence from W's speech;"Listen, our culture is changing from one that said, if it feels good, do it, and if you've got a problem, blame somebody else, to a culture in which each of us understands we're responsible for the decisions we make in life."

That sentence frames the difference between W's vision of a government that is a reflection of the values of the people in contrast to an idiot machine that dumbly plugs in, leaving its subjects unaccountable.

No one who heard the President's address could walk away and complain that he'd not said something of substance. No one could claim that it was a negative message. It was challanging and it was hopeful and it was inspiring. I was reminded of what one of the men I'd called in my phone bank work told me over the telephone; "I like Bush. He gets shit done."

The message I got from this speech was that a vote for President Bush would be a vote for a government and a leader who understand that it is the people of the United States who hold primacy. Government's role is to serve the values of the people, a people who are hard-working and hold strong values of freedom and humanity and responsibility. President George W. Bush is a known quantity. He gets results. He'll work for us at least as hard as we work for ourselves.
I like that message. It feels very American.


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