President Bush Convention Speech

I had another engagement last night and missed the speech, which I TiVo’d and will watch this evening. The sound clips I’ve heard so far sound good, although a bit State of the Union-ish.

WaPo has the transcript: President Bush’s Acceptance Speech to the Republican National Convention. The speech reads well, although a bit too wonky and with too many leftovers from 2000 for my tastes.

The AP wire story sounds like an op-ed, which is rather unusual. I love the headline: Bush Glosses Over Complex Facts in Speech. Well, yes. An acceptance speech isn’t a public policy conference.

If John Zogby is right–and he often is–the convention did its job:

Bush Runs Offense and Leads Kerry by 2 Points; President Rallies Troops and Stumps on Leadership, Strength and Decisiveness; New Zogby America Poll Reveals

President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney have taken a two point lead over Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and North Carolina Senator John Edwards (46%-44%), according to a new Zogby America poll. The telephone poll of 1001 likely voters was conducted from Monday through Thursday (August 30-September 2, 2004) during the Republican National Convention in New York City. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of +/-3.2

Pollster John Zogby: “The President has had a very good convention following a good week where he also dominated the news with his own message: leadership, strength, decisiveness. Not only has he dominated the news but he also has thrown Kerry off his game. Last week I said the President’s top goal from the convention was to make sure his Republican ducks were all in a row. He needed to bring back and strengthen his ties with both wavering moderates (concerned about Iraq) and deficit hawks. His messages have clearly elucidated why the war and why the spending. This is the first time this year that the President has achieved 90% support among Republicans. He has also strengthened his numbers among investors. “The President has widened his lead in the Red States and tightened things up considerably in the Blue States. For the first time in months he now leads among Independents and Catholics. “While the President has improved his numbers, he still has a negative re-elect, job performance, and wrong direction.

Unless the Miller speech causes a backlash, one would think the numbers would be slightly higher after the Bush speech, once the early days roll out of the average. Certainly, this isn’t a huge bounce by any historical standard but it’s more than John Kerry got out of his convention.

Other reactions:

Joe Gandleman thought the speech weak on style but strong on substance. “Partisans can (and will) hotly debate Bush’s list of accomplishments and what he proposed. But, again, it was when he got into his verbal duel (apologies to Zell Miller for use of that word) with Kerry and terrorism that Bush glowed.”

Dan Drezner missed the speech, too, but let his readers blog it for him. The birth of a daughter apparently takes precedence over blogging.

Stephen Green‘s brain hated the speech but his gut loved it.

Glenn Reynolds, too, missed the speech but provides a round-up of live bloggers and an assessment via a British time machine.

Andrew Sullivan thought the speech “superb” and “the second best” Bush speech ever but still can’t support his reelection.

Donald Sensing thought the delivery was unpolished and the content proved once again that “the Reagan revolution is dead.”

Steve Bainbridge agrees.

Electablog notes, “I’ve rarely seen a guy enjoy himself more while giving a speech.”

Kevin Drum found the delivery “better than average” but didn’t learn anything new.

Rob Tagorda thought the speech got better as it went, saving the best for last.

Steven Taylor agrees, calling it “excellent” overall but rather “laundry listish” at the beginning.

Pejman Yousefzadeh thinks the president’s speechwriters must read Tech Central Station.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004, Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. State of the Unionish – yep, that’s what I wrote last night. He did a good job with it, though.

  2. Miguel A Fleitas says:

    In late December of 1999 I had a major crisis that involved my family, wife and stepdaughter. Since I reside in Boston, MA. I decided to get help from Senator John F Kerry. Help on a humanatarian issue concerning my family. This was a matter of life or death for my wife and stepdaughter. I work, pay taxes, respect the laws of this great nation and felt that in certain situation I can rely on our elected Senator to come forward and help. A few years earlier I petition in our local INS office for my wife and stepdaughter to be reunited with me in our great nation made up of different ideas, cultures, immigrants from accross the world. But the INS was dragging it’s feet, even though they collected and cashed the money I paid for them to process the documents. Still even now I’m still dealing with the INS even though my wife and stepdaughter are here finally with me.

    In December of 1999 there was a national tragedy in Caracas, Venezuela. Over sixty thousand people lost their lives in mud slides. My wife along with her daughter thank God did not perished in those mud slides, but they did become homeless in the streets of a city as dangerous as the mud slides it self. The INS was still acting like they always do, ignorants. Fustrated I went to Senator Kerry’s office so he can help my family.

    Well, let me tell you. The door was shut in my face. His office along with Senator Kerry after initially indicating that they would help and get the issue taken care with the INS, simply with out any explanation shut the door in my face. “Help was not on it’s way for my family and me” just like Senator John F Kerry declare on his speech during his Democratic Convention in Boston, MA. He was no where with his help for my family, and now he is declaring that he will be there for the families of this great nation if elected President. that “Help is on it’s way”. Well, this is my message to the families of this great nation. Do not be fooled by Senator John F Kerry pledge “Help is on it’s way” It is a total lie, he will not be there for you, he was not there for us. Just like he did with my family, he first pledged his help and then turned his back on us. He will do the same for you. He is a liar, more then anything else. Just like they say in the media, he is flipper the flip-flopper. First he says yes, then no. Do not be fooled by this man. He will not be there for you, he will not be there for your family. HELP IS NOT ON IT’S WAY