Live Blogging Romney, Giuliani and Future Veep Sarah Palin

Do ya (getting ready for the Alaskan accent) really think I’d miss this? Come on now! Be here or be square! The party starts in less than an hour. Go get yer beer and moose burger and get comfy in your Lazy-Boy. It’s going to be fun.

7:54 CST Other people live blogging The Anchoress and Ann Althouse (and just a note about Ann, she has been doing fantastic blog work about Palin). So, flip back and forth between us, just make sure you comment here. 🙂

8:04 CST Michael Steele is asking, “Do you want to put America first?” going back and forth with the audience. “Then let’s make decisions on our national security based on what keeps us safe, not what’s politically correct.” He’s getting the house rocking. “John McCain has the experience, judgment, character to lead….it’s about his knowing who the enemy is, and what to do about them, and who you hang out with, does matter. America should never be damned for being a place so many people want to call home.” Going after Jeremiah Wright, there.

8:09 Here’s Mitt!

“If America really wants change, it’s time to look to the West, because the sun will rise from Arizona and Alaska!” Romney doing a call and answer with the crowd, too. “Is Washington liberal? We need change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington.” I wonder why Romney and Thompson couldn’t show this energy while they were campaigning.

“America cannot lead the family of nations if we fail the family at home. Dependency is death to initiative. It is time to fight government dependency and fight it like the poison it is. It’s time for the party of big ideas, not the part of big brother.”

As a side note, Romney said that there’s no way he’d accept a cabinet post because he loathed the idea of being told what to do by a Presidential intern or staffer and dealing with the bureaucracy. So, he’ll be “outside the government” he said. Probably running a company, I’d guess. Who knows.

Money quote: “I have one more idea for energy conservation. Let’s keep Al Gore’s private jet on the ground”

“Republicans believe in good and evil. Radical, violent Islam is evil and HE [John McCain] WILL DEFEAT IT!” Crowd is chanting “USA!”

8:19 CST “Just like you, there’s never been a day when I have not be proud to be an American.” Wow, he’s just tossing big bloody steaks to the base.

Ugh, country music. Don’t like it. “If you’re going through hell, keep on going.” Ah, good. Quoting Winston Churchill at least. Everyone is jazzed in the audience. I can’t imagine that there would have been this same energy had Romney been the VP candidate. Sorry Romney lovers.

Ann Althouse heard something interesting. I’m watching C-Span. I don’t know what network she’s watching:

7:48: I’m just settling in for some serious blogging, and the first thing I notice is this open mike eavesdropping on Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan. Peggy: “The most qualified? No! I think they went for this — excuse me– political bullshit about narratives… Every time the Republicans do that, because that’s not where they live and it’s not what they’re good at, they blow it.”

8:30 CST Mike Huckabee sad that he wasn’t here tomorrow night.

Money Quote: “I’d like to thank the media for doing something that I don’t think could have been done, uniting the Republican party and all of America behind Senator McCain and Governor Palin.”

He’s talking about civil rights in Arkansas. He’s talking about the greatness of Obama’s nomination. “As Americans we celebrate this milestone because it elevates our country, but the election isn’t about symbolism.” What we don’t want to change: freedom, security and the opportunity to prosper. Calls Obama’s “excellent adventure” to Europe. Obama brought back “European ideas” like “more government”. “Most Americans don’t want more government, they want less government.”

“The government that does everything for us, is the government that can take everything from us.”–Quoting Abraham Lincoln

He doesn’t like the Republicans portrayed as having “silk stockings”[edit: oops! not stalkings!] and “silver spoons”. “I’m not a Republican because I grew up rich, I’m a Republican because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life waiting for the government to rescue me.” [That got a standing “O”.]

8:38 CST “Sarah Palin got more votes running for Wasilla Alaska than Joe Biden got running for the United States.” The place is going NUTS.

“You don’t have to earn your desk, ‘cuz these guys, they already did.” Punchline of story about teacher who made her kids “earn” their desks, but who ended up not having to because of those who gave us our freedom–vets. “These guys bought it for you. John McCain helped us to buy our freedom.”

I’m glad Huckabee wasn’t the guy. Man, he bugs me. I know. I know. Some of you love him.

8:46 p.m. Linda Lingle, Governor of Hawaii

She’s boring. Telling Governor Palin’s story. “The Palins have five wonderful children and a grandchild on the way.” When in tough times, “Families pull together and get through it.”

Talking about how as mayor you’re held “personally accountable for your decisions.” The people of Alaska and Hawaii are doing just fine.”

“I find it amusing that the two candidates of the other party talks about experience when neither of them have had any executive experience. ZERO.” “Mayors…. Governors are CEOs. Sarah is a great choice.”

Cindy McCain wearing green, greeting the Huckabees.

“Last time I checked Alaska had the same electoral votes as Delaware. And not only the same number of electoral votes, you can fit 250 states the size of Delaware in the borders of Alaska.”

“Reaching out to women.” Meh. I don’t know about going after this woman thing.

In walks Todd Palin, looking hot as usual. (Wait a minute, was that sexist?)

9:02 CST Whew. Glad that speech is over. C-SPAN is looking at the Palin family. Nice looking bunch. Cindy McCain sitting next to Bristol who is holding the baby. Tight pan right now on the little girl (Rachel Lucas called her a cute little turkey, indeed, adorable). Texas delegation waving their cowboy hats to the country muzak which I still don’t know.

9:04 Rudy Giuliani (one of my most favorite public speakers, btw) Wild applause.

“This election represents a turning point. We get to decide who’s the next president. Not the Hollywood stars, or Washington insiders, not the media, but Americans!”

Rudy is going after Obama. It’s delicious. “Nearly 130 times, he couldn’t make a decision. He couldn’t vote yes or no. It was too tough. He voted present. I didn’t know about this vote present when I was mayor of NYC. Sarah Palin didn’t have the “present” vote as mayor or Governor. As president, it’s not good enough to be present, you have to make a decision. A few years later, he ran for US Senate. He spent his time as a celebrity. It’s the kind of the story that can come only in America. [Crowd is laughing.] He’s never had to lead people, in crisis. He is the least experienced candidate for President of the United States in the last 100 years. Barack Obama has never lead anything, nothing, zero, nada. Not a personal attack, just a fact.” Oof. “The choice in this election comes over substance over style. This is no time for on-the-job training. We agree with Joe Biden, one time. When he said that, until he flip-flopped….” Leaves it hanging. He’s eating this up and the crowd is loving it.

“Change is not a destination, just like hope is not a strategy. John McCain will bring about the changes…lower taxes so our economy can grow. He’ll reduce government to strengthen the dollar. He will lead us to energy independence so we can be free of foreign oil. He will do it with an all-of-the-above approach.”

Crowd chanting “Drill Baby Drill”. Rudy has everyone all stirred up.

They rarely mentioned the attacks of 9/11. “They are in a state of denial. If you deny it, you can’t face it. John McCain will face it.” Now he’s talking about the troop surge. “The Democratic party abandoned the surge, they abandoned America.”

“In the single biggest policy decision, John McCain got it right and Barack Obama got it wrong.” Man, he’s going after Obama. “Obama promised to take public financing then broke his promise. He favored an undivided Jerusalem for one day, until he changed his mind. If I were Joe Biden, I’d want to get that VP thing in writing.”

John McCain said “I’d rather lose an election than a war. When Russia ran over Georgia, John McCain said, “We are all Georgians.” Obama’s first instinct was to create a moral equivalency, to suggest that both sides were equally responsible, the same moral equivalency of the Palestinians and Israel, then after consulting his 300 advisers he’d turn it over to the UN security council. Apparently, no one told him that Russia has a veto on the council. He changed his view to John McCains. I have some advice for Barack Obama, next time just listen to John McCain.”

“In choosing Sarah Palin, John McCain looks toward the future. She’s already one of the most successful Governors and the most popular. She’s been a mayor. I love that. I’m sorry that Barack Obama feels that her home town isn’t cosmopolitan enough. Maybe they cling to religion there.” Crowd is crazed.

“This is a woman who has no fear. This is a woman who stands up for what is right. She is shaking up Alaska in a way that hasn’t happened, maybe ever. And with John McCain, can you imagine how they’ll shake up Washington?

How dare they question whether she has enough time to spend with her children and be Vice President? How dare they do that? When do they ever ask a man that question? When?

We’re at our best when we’re expanding freedom. We’re the party that believes that parents should choose where their children should go to school.”

9:32 CST Sarah Palin!!!

Looking great in a black skirt and champagne colored jacket. Getting a standing “O”. Her daughter is teary. Everyone is going crazy for her. Little girl adorable. Husband looks nervous and holding baby. Crowd won’t let her start. They’re so psyched and cheering. Huge smile from Todd. I don’t recall any cheers like this at the DNC.

Just accepted the nomination. Woot!

“The pollsters and the pundits overlooked one thing when they wrote him off, the determination, the resolve and the sheer guts of Senator John McCain. The voters knew better, maybe that’s because there’s a time to campaign and a time to put our country first.” Son Track, I think, stands and gets a standing “O”.

“I’m just one of the many moms who will say an extra prayer every night. My nephew Casey is also enlisted in the Navy and serves on a carrier in the Persian Gulf. We are so proud…” [Crowd chanting USA!] Introduces Bristol, Willow and Piper. Aw, Piper waving to the crowd. Such a sweet pea. Welcomed a “perfectly beautiful boy”, Trig.

“Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge. A special child brings special love. To the families of special needs children all across this country, for years, you’ve sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters, and I promise you, if elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.”

Todd’s story. He is world champion snow machine racer. “Two decades later, he’s still my guy.” He stands up and waves. Everyone cheering. Her parents look so relaxed, like they expected this. Standing and waving to everyone like pros.

“They love their country in good times and bad and they’re always proud of America.” She’s a working-class hero.

“The difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?” ….pause “Lipstick.” That was off the teleprompter and got huge laughs.

Now, she’s going to explain what the job of Mayor and Governor involves. “It’s sort of like a community organizer except that you have actual responsibilities.” They are hauling off a Code Pink protester. Small town people don’t quite know what to make about a candidate “one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco. As for our candidate, you can be sure that wherever he goes

“I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. I’ve learned quickly that if you’re not a member, that some in the media consider you not qualified for that reason alone” huge boos, she’s letting them go “here’s a little newsflash for those reporters and commentators, I’m not going to Washington to seek their opinion, I’m gong to Washington to serve the people of this great country.”

Oof. They will hate her more, now. Hate.

9:50 CST “That luxury jet? Over the top. I put it on E-bay.” Got rid of the personal chef. Senator McCain will use the veto pen in defense of the American interest. Vetoed nearly 1/2 billion dollars. Sent oil revenues back to people.

She’s talking energy and oil now. She’s going around the world–Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, –we need energy independence. “We need American energy by American ingenuity and produced by American workers.”

Money Quote: “This is a man who has authored two memoirs but not one major law. This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting and never say the word victory except when he’s talking about his own campaign.”

Wow, she’s got great timing. “What does he plan to accomplish after turning back the water and healing the planet? His goal is to increase the government.”

“Government is too big, he wants to grow it. Taxes are high, he wants to increase them.” Now she’s talking about her sister’s business and taxes. She has the crowd hanging on her every word. Amazing.

“Self designed presidential seals”

“A leader who is not looking for a fight, but sure isn’t afraid of one either.” Now she’s going after Harry Reid. “‘I can’t stand John McCain.’ Perhaps no accolade could give better proof that we’ve chosen the right man.”

“The American presidency isn’t supposed to be a journey of personal discovery, this world’s threats and dangers, it isn’t just a community and it doesn’t need an organizer. Let’s look at this clearly, 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.”

“To the most powerful office in the world, he’ll bring the awareness of what it is to face evil.” Very moving story of Tom Mo (spelling?)

“For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds. If character is the message, hope the theme and change for the future, then elect John McCain.” Huge ovation. She’s walking across the stage. Thanked Tom personally (the POW). She’s eating it up. The family is on the stage now. The crowd won’t stop cheering. Holding the baby. Kissing the family. Bristol holding her fiancé’s hand.

John McCain showed up “surprise!” Ha! Crowd is wild. Everyone psyched. He’s wearing an orange tie. Looking pleased. Wow, crowd is so psyched.

“Don’t you think we made the right choice for the next Vice President of the United States? And what a beautiful family.” Crowd yelling “Palin!”

Wow. Home run all the way around. There is great gnashing of teeth amongst the Dems tonight. No doubt, they’re sharpening their swords as we sit here enjoying this.

10:19 CST Now some group I’ve never heard of is singing the National Anthem with the words of great American speeches sprinkled through it. “One nation UNDER GOD”.

“Raising McCain.”

Final thoughts: She is a Democrats worst nightmare. I fully expect them to go ape-sh*t, escalating every single day until the election. In addition, she is one of the most natural speakers and orators of either party. Her instincts are good. It’s so challenging for a woman to sound tough but not strident, or to not be interpreted that way. Did you notice she didn’t sound shrill or harpish even when delivering humdingers? She is a woman comfortable with being a woman and being in charge.

No wonder the Democrats are afraid. I’m glad she’s on our side.

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