A Good Morning To Be A Republican
I thought the President did just fine last night (and I even missed the last ten minutes or so because I called my mom for her birthday; it looks like that was the best part.) He gave us some domestic stuff to hang our hats on (portable retirement and health insurance! woo hoo!), reminded us of the magnitude and seriousness of his decisions on the war on terror, and concluded with a frank conversation about who he is and who we are.
Last week I said his job Thursday night was to be President Bush. I think he did it, especially with this section:
In the last four years, you and I have come to know each other. Even when we don't agree, at least you know what I believe and where I stand. You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to correct my English — I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it. Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking." Now and then I come across as a little too blunt — and for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting right up there.The bottom line is that in a peculiar way, both conventions were about biography. The DNC was about an abbreviated, air-brushed biography of John Kerry. The RNC was about the biography of the United States of America, and that's why I happily await the coming Bush landslide.
One thing I have learned about the presidency is that whatever shortcomings you have, people are going to notice them — and whatever strengths you have, you're going to need them. These four years have brought moments I could not foresee and will not forget. I have tried to comfort Americans who lost the most on Sept. 11th — people who showed me a picture or told me a story, so I would know how much was taken from them. I have learned first-hand that ordering Americans into battle is the hardest decision, even when it is right. I have returned the salute of wounded soldiers, some with a very tough road ahead, who say they were just doing their job. I've held the children of the fallen, who are told their dad or mom is a hero, but would rather just have their dad or mom.
And I have met with parents and wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I am in their prayers — to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and strong.
The world saw that spirit three miles from here, when the people of this city faced peril together, and lifted a flag over the ruins, and defied the enemy with their courage. My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose.