Day 4 at the RNC: John McCain’s acceptance speech

Senator John McCain will take center stage tonight to accept his party’s nomination for President. The big question, of course, is whether McCain will be able to top Sarah Palin’s speech and drive home his appeal to the conservative base.

Video from the Associated Press of the stage being revamped for McCain:

Report from MyWay on McCain’s big night:

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Convention workers hurriedly rebuilt the stage where John McCain will formally accept the Republican Party’s presidential nomination Thursday night, embarking on his final drive for the White House after a vigorous sendoff boost from running mate Sarah Palin.

Elsewhere, on the final day of the Republican National Convention, a lot of the talk was still about Palin, who gave her big introductory speech Wednesday night, less than a week after being chosen for the ticket.

McCain’s wife, Cindy, suggested in one interview that she doesn’t agree with Palin’s support for a nearly total ban on abortions.

And Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden declared that some news coverage of his Republican counterpart had been sexist.

Parts of the platform at the Xcel Energy Center were removed by construction workers on Thursday to bring delegates closer to where McCain will give his acceptance speech, giving the stage a T-shape. Organizers said the change reflected the town hall-type forums in which McCain has campaigned.

“The extended podium will serve as a fitting complement to John McCain’s preference for direct interaction with his fellow citizens,” said Maria Cino, a convention official.

Meanwhile, party leaders added two speakers to the night’s lineup. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will speak prior to Cindy McCain. Both are close to McCain. Ridge was considered a finalist for the No. 2 spot before McCain picked the Alaska governor. And Graham has appeared frequently with McCain on the campaign trail.

Delegates will also vote Thursday night to make the convention’s nomination of Palin official. And McCain himself will close out the activities with his prime-time acceptance speech.

We’ll have all the coverage later including the entire video of McCain’s speech. I’ll update again with the actual speech times but everything will lead off around 10pm eastern with McCain.

Stay tuned for the evening’s events…

Update

The schedule tonight was massive, dozens of speakers at all levels in the Republican ranks. I will try to be featuring the main speeches of the most nationally known individuals.

Florida Senator Mel Martinez:

Minnesota Governor, and one of McCain’s considered VP choices, Tim Pawlenty:

Former Tennessee Senator Bill Frist:

Kansas Senator and former Republican Presidential candidate Sam Brownback:

Update

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham:

Update

Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge:

Update

Cindy McCain:

Update

Senator McCain’s biographical video played before his speech:

Update

Here is Senator McCain’s entire acceptance speech:

For McCain, the speech was delivered well, however, the entire convention center seemed to lack the energy which was present during Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech last night. McCain hit some specifics on issues which his Democratic opponents had criticized the convention for lacking during the first few days.

Update

Reaction from media sources:

CNN:

Fox News w/ Rush Limbaugh:

MSNBC:

Tomorrow I will have a complete wrap-up of both conventions and some comparing and contrasting of Obama and McCain’s respective speeches.

  • OBAMA_SUCKS

    GO JOHNNY GO..GO GO GO JOHNNY GO!!!!!!

    I felt proud during his POW tale, for it was his first time going into great detail about it on a national audience. I felt proud and a pure sense of joy in my heart when McCain finished his speech with that energy that he showed and his unrelenting finish! GOD BLESS JOHN McCAIN AND MY GLORIOUS GRAND OLD PARTY! THE PARTY OF LINCOLN, TEDDY, REAGAN, AND NOW McCAIN!

    WE ARE TRULY ENERGIZED!

  • I hope some keeps count on how many times he says “My Friends”

    Interesting you never mentioned Bush, (either of them) there O_S 😉

  • Dreadsen

    Speech was very, very good. He knocked it out of the park.
    And there were people who felt that Palin set the bar to high. He blew her speech out of the water.

    But it felt like a few of Obama’s earlier speeches. All inspiration and no meat.

    He also played the POW card almost to death. That took up a LOT of time.
    I also felt that some of his rhetoric was republican platform rhetoric.
    I also wonder why he didn’t talk about how Great of a President George Bush was? If the economy is better now after 8 years of Bush and he voted for him over 90% of the time why not mention how great he is?

  • Dreadsen

    Let me also add what a big lie is.

    The party of Lincoln, Teddy and Regan is WAAAAAY off from this neo con ideology. I think it is a tarnish on the legacy of those great presidents to link himself to them.

  • john w

    He also didn’t mention Ulysses Grant or any other Republican President. History will remember some presidents as great and some as terrible. Some history will forget. Bush as of now is not on the “Great” list.

  • OBAMA_SUCKS

    Are you trying to say McCain is a neocon?

  • IndiMinded

    It really was a great speech. Made me remember why I used to cross my fingers hoping he’d get this nomination

    I wonder if these elections ruin otherwise good candidates for us. It can’t be good for them

  • Todd

    O.S.

    This doesn’t kill you when I say it but none of today’s politicians are yesterday’s leaders.

    I did however actually tear up during his explanation of his war years (yes I did say that I teared up Pudding) and felt chills going down my spine at the end, the most energy and emotion he has caused to date.

    I thought He did what he could considering he was in front of the Republican convention. Just saying you will accept democrats ideas on some stuff is risky for McCAIN while standing in front of an arena full of lukewarm party members. I think he let the country know he would work across lines without actually deflating the base.

    Very good job !

  • paul

    very good job hero in every since of the word. In today world not many left and the charter he has is rare. I want a President that would do want is right when the door is close McCAIN will do just that.

  • I thought it was a wonderful speech as well. And I agreed with some commentators afterward concerning the POW story. It was very touching, hitting on points not made before. But the commentators were discussing the fact that up until now Obama and his camp has taken personal offense to the “Country First” theme of the campaign. They have believed that it was a jab at Obama’s patriotism. Now all can see that is not the case through his personal account last night of the very moment his own life changed from being about a cocky navy pilot to being about his country. I don’t think anyone could question the sincerity of his words last night or misunderstand the “moral” of the story. No doubt, the media will find a way around it, but the fact is John McCain made his case to the American people last night, and he did it as only McCain could. His declaration that he doesn’t work for any party was a bold statement to make in the midst of republican conservatives, and showed me that if the Maverick was ever gone, he’s back.

    Many are talking about whether or not he reached Democrats and Independents with his speech. I don’t know about all of them, but he sure reached me.

  • Pats

    The speech was perfect and excellently delivered, typical of Republicans. I just hope he meant every word he said. Well done!!!!!!!!!

  • Grady

    oh we can see mccain use his left hand to write.that’s weird.

  • Grey

    I think his speech reflects the strategy of the McCain-Palin campaign over these next few months. Palin will probably keep playing the role of the vicious attack dog while McCain will focus on the issues, strengthening his character in the eyes of the American people. It’s a brilliant strategy, and I’m even more impressed with McCain’s pick now.

    Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed his speech. It wasn’t focused on bashing the democrats (like 90% of the convention was) but on the issues. It was straightforward, honest, and heartwarming, the defining positive traits of McCain in this election.

  • Grey, I agree, it wasn’t focused on bashing, but I was even more impressed at his accolades for Obama. Even I didn’t expect that, though in hinesight it shouldn’t have surprised me. I didn’t know until last night that apparently one third of Obama’s speech was spent bashing McCain, but that’s what they said. McCain took the high road on that one, it would appear.

    I think you’re probably right on the strategy, at least partly. What I hear most is that Palin will keep the conservatives unified while McCain goes after the independents. Sounds like a good strategy, we’ll see if it works.

  • Stalin

    A very good speech. I think it was important to say how his POW experience changed him into a man for his country. Very moving. This man is a great hero.

    There is something that has become very obvious to me over the past 2 weeks. McCain’s background, family, achievements are all very well known. He has had people from his past and present speak glowingly on his behalf. He is a known quantity.

    Obama on the other hand is an unknown quantity. I haven’t heard anybody from his past speak on his behalf. It almost seems as if nobody knew him, other than his wife and some unsavory characters before 4 years ago. I want to hear from someone who he grew up with, went to school with. Anybody! This scares the hell out of me.

  • Andrew

    How many more times is McCain going to trot out the ole’ POW war story? Look how brave and patriotic I am? Surely that means I’ll be a great president! The logic is flawless and many dolts will buy it. Rah rah rah America – get fired up for that next invasion… wooo hooo!

  • Well, it’s pretty obvious you didn’t listen to the speech, Andrew, or you wouldn’t refer to it as the “same ole’ POw war story”. Maybe you should read a little, or watch the speech before pulling out the “same ole’ CodePink response”.

  • OBAMA_SUCKS

    People like you andrew make me sick. How dare you put down a man who served in the navy for over 20 years and 6 of those were in a POW camp. IT funny you would say this because you must not know this is the first time mccain has ever gone into detail about his POW experience to a national audience. HOW DARE YOU!

  • Stalin

    Andrew,

    Listen you little piece of garbage. If it weren’t for people like McCain you would be speaking German, Russian, or Japanese, and you certainly wouldn’t have the right to spout off your inane crap like you just did. Go take your meds.

  • PeoplePower

    Wow! Though I’m not a McCain supporter, I really liked his speech. Although, I do think the convention, in total, focused more on his heroism than it did on his record.

    I hadn’t known the details that were elaborated about his POW horrors. What did he mean when he said “they broke me”? Does anyone know what resulted? Or did he mean they broke his spirit?

    It shows tremendous courage to say that. I hope it isn’t jumped on too heavily. Frankly, they’d pr’ly have broken me a lot sooner…but then I was never able to learn the discipline, duty & honor of being a serviceman – allergies kept me out of the Nuclear Power Program and a change in direction kept me from pushing into the other branches.

    It also shows that he admits to weaknesses and learned an important lesson, which is a powerful message.

  • Stalin

    PP

    When he said “they broke me” he was referring to having to signing a piece of paper saying that he was a war criminal. McCain has used this experience to argue that torture does not work because the prisoner will eventually say or do anything to make the torture stop, regardless of whether it’s true of not.

  • PeoplePower

    Thanks Stalin. I thought it was something like that.

    Hmm, never thought I’d say “thanks Stalin.” Not because of you, but because of who Stalin was. Why did you choose such a screen name?

  • Andrew made a very good point. No one is questioning McCains heroism and bravery, but it does seem the POW stories are being touted as a credential for becoming President.

    So McCain was a POW, he had the chance of being released before he was beaten to a pulp, but he chose to stay. Is that bravery or stupidity? because my friends, if it was me I’d want to be released so I could hop back into a plane and carry on bombing the crap out of the enemy and maybe my actions of doing that could be a deciding factor on whether the war was won or lost. As history as shown, America lost the Vietnam war.

  • BTW: Did anyone tally up how many times McCain said “My Friends”? Perhaps we should have a sweepstake onhow many times he says “My Friends” in the debates and how many times Obama says “Change” and the winner gets a free hat.

  • Stalin

    The nickname was given to me in high school a long time ago. I got it because of my aggressive nature…which I have tried to temper over time. It still comes out every now and then, especially when people insult veterans.

  • Stalin

    nz

    You have got to be fu#cking kidding me. Stupidity!!! What is wrong with you. You obviously don’t know anything about courage and honor. He could never fly again, his body was broken. He was raising the hopes of his fellow men by staying. He wasn’t going to leave them. No one gets left behind! That’s what it means to be an American soldier! You are giving your fellow Kiwi’s a very bad name MY FRIEND!

  • PeoplePower

    NZ – 2 things:

    McCain was beaten down and very broken. It would be a long time before he could hop into a plane and bomb them into submission, if he would have been able to fly at all. This was *before* they made their first offer to leave.

    Also, there’s a tremendous amount of propaganda that can be had from releasing an admiral’s son. Doing so would have really hurt the morale of the many other POW’s that were there. And it would have hurt the morale of the other troops doing the fighting who aren’t the son of an admiral or general.

  • PeoplePower

    One other thing I really liked about McCain’s speech is when he said,

    “I hate war.”

    I think that’s a critically important policy stance. Wars should never be waged for small reasons. They should never be waged for dishonorable ones. We have an extraordinary country which has had its image tarnished by the bullying actions of the Neocons. They’ve tarnished the Republican Party and the country as a whole.

    We can’t be the bully on the playground. We need to be the bully’s opponent. The big guy who could beat the snot out of anyone on the playground, but doesn’t use his size and strength to intimidate everyone – only to put down others’ intimidation and aggression.

    Although I know some of you will hate this, but I really liked this from former President Clinton’s speech:

    “We should use the power of our example, not the example of our power.”

    I don’t know if I have the quote entirely correct, but the sentiment is there.

  • Todd

    Pudding you and Andrew are showing that you are young if you cannot understand what it means to be a hero.

    Entire cultures do and have based who their leader is based on the leadership provided by experiencing a warriors life.

    Being a warrior meant that they had been through alot of things. It meant they had developed a certain discipline a discipline that keeps one from just thinking about themselves. That is displayed in the fact he didn’t think of himself when given the chance.

    I am sure that means nothing to you after all you said you would have taken it, but it does mean something to me, and I am certain it meant something to the prisoner who did get to go home.

    Continue to support Obama I am sure he shares your sense of values and dedication.

    I am sure McCain shares mine.

  • OBAMA_SUCKS

    PP,

    You should also know when McCain says they broke me, he is also very much talking about the punishment he received. Wether it be from getting his arms and legs broken many a time or not recieving treatment for breaks, to the extreme of being tied up into a ball and not being able to move with the pain of having severely broken arms and legs is some of the worst torture out there.

    There were also mental aspects to this punishment and torture to as Stalin has already gotten into.

  • Some strong responses, very good to see 🙂

  • Dreadsen

    O.S.

    Yes he is a neocon

  • PeoplePower

    I have seen a few things now that make me want to recant my appreciation for his speech…sadly.

    Were he the trailblazing Maverick of his 2000 campaign, I’d be much, much more impressed by him and I would care less to bring these facts to light.

    His speech included aspects of change that sounded fantastic, but a side-by-side comparison between his acceptance speech and Bush’s 2000 acceptance speech shows his view of “change” to be identical to Bush’s talk of being a Washington outsider who would change Washington for the better.

    When I originally heard about George W. Bush and his “compassionate conservatism” I was impressed and interested to hear more about him. When I discovered more about him, I was horribly upset by the politics of image w/o the actions to back him up. I was rooting for McCain in 2000 – but he was push-polled out by a horrible campaign that asked, “If McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child, would that affect your vote?” Nice attack for a noble deed of adoption and extremely racist to boot.

    After all of this was said and done, McCain still stayed independent and a Maverick worthy of his rebel title, until sometime in 2006 when he turned his largely anti-Bush policy views into amazingly pro-Bush views. He was pro choice in 2000. He felt the tax cuts should not be made permanent. Where are the cries of “flip-flop” from the Republicans? Talk about supporting your party at whatever cost – the religious right were in open rebellion until he chose Sarah Palin to side with him.

    And although I know some of you think Bush has done well in office, I don’t believe that we need more of the same. I think Bush has trampled on the Constitution, funneled money to Haliburton and military contractors (where is the honor in Mercenaries – I sure as hell wouldn’t trust them over our military! Mercenaries of the Afghani Northen Alliance let bin Laden escape. NO WAY in hell would our soldiers have allowed that!!) and violated international law on torture – which, by the way, McCain was entirely opposed to until he changed his mind for political gain to soften his stance on it.

    Additionally, I also saw some comparisons to the treatment of two people who have both been heroes – certainly not in exactly the same way, but truthfully heroes despite what was a vile smear campaign tarnishing one’s service – a despicable display of dishonor by their party faithful:

    Both are Vietnam Vets with distinguished records of service.
    Both are married to very wealthy wives, although I think only one summarily dumped his faithful (but average) wife awaiting his return to “marry up”.
    Both received wounds in Vietnam, though one’s were much more severe and the hardships extremely nasty.
    One was honored for his service by both parties.
    One was horribly castigated by his opponent’s party and dragged through the mire and the mud.

    Please tell me why John McCain’s service and sacrifice for his country make him imminently more qualified than John Kerry.

    I’m sorry to turn on a dime (seemingly), but I was reminded this evening about some extraordinary contradictions that I had forgotten about in the excitement of the moment.

    Let the angry retorts begin… 🙁

  • Dreadsen

    When John Kerry was running there were huge attacks on his patriotism and war record. This was perfectly fine. Swiftboat was fully supported by the right. They even mocked him by handing out purple hearts at the convention for everyone to wear. Imagine if the left handed out something mocking his POW background! The unpatriotism would reign the wrath of hell.
    Wesley Clark just merely pointed out that his military experience has no relevance because it is not executive experience and he got attacked for allegedly attacking his patriotism. Now they are using this executive experience talking point to trump Obama’s 3 years as a community organizer. That is the only thing that disturbs me by a lot of the people on the right. They support some of the most cruel things but when it is done to them they completely ignore that it ever happened. But that is also what bothers me about the left. for many years they were so weak to allow them to do this every time never yelling across the rooftops about the blatant shameless Hypocrisy.
    It is nice to see that THIS time around they are actually getting the tires a little bit muddy and boy look at how angry the right is. The left was very angry about the same treatment but no one heard their voice. No one likes to see anyone get bullied. Even though two wrongs don’t make a right in this case more people i believe are getting a little comfortable with it being that it is coming from the school kid who has always been picked on.

  • Rayven

    Just wanted to share this with you guys.

    http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=184111

    I thought that the speech sucked.I am sick of the POW story. He should stick to that maverick lie it sounds better.
    He’s so heroic.

  • Rayven

    Stalin,Quit getting all sappy over that story that we have heard a hundred times. He just wants to impress you so you will vote for him.I think its pretty sick that he’s using this story in the why he is.

    http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=184113

    He has always made bad decisions before ,what makes you think that it’s going to be different. And now all he does make personal attacks and flip flop . so which part of this do you shares your sense of values and dedication .