Saturday, March 11, 2006


Day 2 - SRLC - 4:53 P.M. CST

OK, I am finally going to post the updates on the speeches by Senator McCain, J.C. Watts, and Senator Frist. Really. I mean it this time.

Last night, J.C. Watts, former Congressman from Oklahoma, delivered what many on Blogger Row feel was the best speech of the event. Of course, Watts has always delivered fantastic speeches, and (unfortunately) he isn't running for any elected office at this time. Given the other speakers of the night, Watts considered himself "the cheap date" of the evening.

Watts started by stating that we are "living in interesting times." He also lamented that most of us were more focused on the next election instead of the next generation. Watts carries an idealist's view, stating that we should want it all. Quoting Ronald Reagan: "Why shouldn't we dream big dreams? After all, we're Americans."

Watts fears that we have squandered our values over the past 40 years. Watts blames our loss of a focused vision on these loss of values. "We must ponder the thought: what do we want our nation to be when we grow-up?"

Watts also showed a strong belief in God. "America is nothing without our Creator."

Health care was one area where Watts put forth an idea that was certainly outside of the box. He proposed tax credits for those who were healthy - the government paying less on the front end instead of paying more on the back end. Why not give a $500 tax credit to someone who is doing what they should be doing, asked Watts, instead of paying for a $100,000 life-saving quadruple-bypass when the citizen is 55 with cholesterol over 300?

Watts also honored parents and teachers who care, because that is what he feels are the most important elements of a successful education. He also charged America to continue its strong foreign leadership, saying that fledgling democracies will look to us as an example. Watts closed by stating that the Republican Party must embrace an ideal: diversity in color is a good thing. "God is the artist of a person's skin color. God likes diversity of color." Without a doubt, Watts gave one of the best speeches I have heard this year.

The politician charged with the difficult job of following J.C. Watts was Senator John McCain, another presidential hopeful. McCain claimed that he "had been doing the Lord's work in the city of Satan." I know that it is great to look as a Washington outsider when campaigning for office, but I thought both the statement and the idea of McCain as a Washington outsider to be a bit much.

McCain did admit that his bid might be jinxed from the onset, listing several Arizona politicians who had run for the White House but hadn't come close to winning. "Arizona might be the only state in the union whose mothers don't tell their children they can grow up to be President." McCain also joined the parade of speakers who cautioned for everyone to realize the political focus should be on the 2006 races and not 2008.

McCain stated that the most important national priority should be the war on Iraq. He said that he was standing with the President on Iraq, and as a show of support, asked for everyone to write-in President Bush as their candidate in the Hotline Straw Poll (as was reported on this site yesterday).

McCain stated that it was a disgrace that 42 Democrats would vote against Judge Sam Alito, whom he labeled a "good and decent man." He also broke ranks with several politicians (including many Republicans) in recognizing the United Arab Emirates as our "good friend." He stated that he supported a 45 day waiting period to look at the ports deal before making a decision.

One place where McCain showed some passion was in his report on the ethics bill that was on the Senate floor earlier this week. He personally called out Senator Chuck Schumer for trying to tack the ports amendment onto the ethics bill. Given all of the hard work that had been put into that bill, said McCain, showed how important the Democrats view ethics. (Of course, what McCain didn't mention was that his ethics bill would greatly handicap conservative grassroots efforts, but did you really expect him to say that?) McCain also called for United Nations sanctions against Iran. It was unclear as to what other situations McCain thought the United Nations should be consulted before we act.

McCain said little else of consequence. It is my feeling that if you are already in the McCain camp, you probably liked his speech. If you were undecided or not a McCain fan already, this speech would not have swayed you.

Well, I haven't gotten to Senator Frist's speech, which was the final speech of today's sessions and the last speech before the final voting for the straw poll. With Frist speaking in his home state and the personal attention that he showed us yesterday - and the help he has given me in the past - I really hoped that he would deliver a successful speech. Judging by my own reactions and several other critics, Frist's speech was not the best he could have hoped for.

Senator Frist was introduced by Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, who Frist called the "next Majority Leader of the United States Senate." He also recognized his wife, Karen, and his two sons, who were in attendance.

I would like to tell you what Frist said after that, but the truth is that he didn't really say much that was noteworthy. In that way, it was a very safe speech. He talked about the importance of the grassroots, action instead of just talking, and health care (stating, "The Republican Party has a solution - and it's not Hillary-care.) Frist, however, did not detail what that plan was.

Where Frist did make up some valuable ground was with his talk about the filibuster debacle in the Senate. He took credit for the judges that are now on the bench after the filibuster was "broken," as well as Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. Frist also made hay with his support of the burial of the "death tax," saying that he was going to do "everything in my power to bury the death tax once and for all" this May. Frist also came out for the line-item veto.

All in all, it was a safe speech. I suspect that Senator Frist will win the straw poll tonight, but I don't believe that it is a result of his performance today.

Can you give me a really good reason to trust Bill Frist? Right now, I don't trust him. Yes, I know he did great work in the Senate on the judicial front, but I felt sold out by his stem-cell decision. In addition, I don't think he's a real hard-shell conservative. If I can be proven wrong, I am willing to have my mind changed.
Having heard several presidential hopefuls speak, who do you think can get the most votes and beat Hillary? Is there any talk about Condoleezza Rice?
Dave -

I think Frist can be trusted, as much as a politician who has risen to his stature can be trusted. That doesn't mean that he is the best candidate alone, though, because we deserve better than just someone we can trust.

Pastor Scott -

The best speeches out of the candidates (ie - not J.C. Watts) were delivered by Romney and Allen. Romney had more substance, but Allen appeared very presidential and covered a wide array of topics. Both of those candidates would have national appeal and should have no trouble stopping Hillary.

There was some talk about Rice, but it was by a group that had come there for that purpose (to "draft Condi"). They were mad that Condi wasn't on the straw poll ballot, but, as we pointed out, Condi has expressly denied being a candidate. There wasn't any real talk about her as a candidate amongst the delegates, though.


Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?