Day 2: The Republican National Convention (Update)

Day 2 at the RNC should be a little more in line with the original schedule. President Bush is expected to speak tonight via satellite with the crowd as well as other scheduled speakers. Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson and current Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman are also scheduled to speak tonight during prime time.

Day 2 schedule:

President George W. Bush (via satellite) – 9:30 pm eastern
First Lady Laura Bush
U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) – 10:30 pm eastern
Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.) – 10:00 pm eastern
U.S. House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio)
U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.)
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
Robert M. “Mike” Duncan, Chairman of the Republican National Committee
Jo Ann Davidson, Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee and Chairman of the 2008 Republican National Convention Committee on Arrangements

A report from Yahoo News:

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Republicans swung their convention back on a political track Tuesday after a pause for Hurricane Gustav, giving President Bush an abbreviated slot for a televised address promoting John McCain’s candidacy for the White House. Former Democrat Joe Lieberman and TV star and former Sen. Fred Thompson got prominent roles.

The president will address the convention by satellite from the White House for about eight minutes, a condensed appearance worked out in negotiations between Bush and McCain aides. Bush originally had planned to speak for 15 minutes. The White House also left it up to McCain’s campaign as to whether Bush made his remarks in person or in a televised appearance from Washington, and it was decided he would speak from the White House.

There was a flurry of last-minute changes as Republicans tried to patch together a new schedule for the three remaining days of their convention. Monday’s opening session was abbreviated and stripped of sharp political rhetoric as the nation kept its focus on Gustav, once seen as a major threat to the Gulf Coast. The hurricane turned out to be less devastating than feared, allowing the GOP to lift the McCain-imposed ban on partisanship.

Bush had been in line to speak to the convention in person Monday night but instead went to Texas to be with disaster workers as Gustav threatened the Gulf. Some Republicans had breathed a sigh of relief to have the unpopular president out of the way and off the television screens. But Bush still was guaranteed a warm welcome from fellow Republicans in the convention hall.

We’ll have more updates later with all the important video from the major speeches..

Politico has an interesting story on 5 things to watch for tonight at the RNC, give it a read and comment here!

Stay tuned as it all develops..


A preview of Fred Thompson’s speech from the Weekly Standard:

Fred Thompson will forcefully defend the selection of Sarah Palin tonight in a speech Republicans are characterizing as “red meat.” He will argue that the feeding frenzy over Palin’s is the result of “panic” from the Democrat-friendly mainstream media.

“What a breath of fresh air Governor Sarah Palin is. She is from a small town, with small town values, but that’s not good enough for those folks who are attacking her and her family. Let’s be clear, the selection of Governor Palin has the other side and their friends in the media in a state of panic. She is a courageous, successful, reformer, who is not afraid to take on the establishment.”

Thompson will also criticize Barack Obama’s answer on abortion from his recent appearance at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. Warren had asked: “Now, let’s deal with abortion. 40 million abortions since Roe v. Wade. you know, as a pastor I have to deal with this all of the time. All of the pain and all of the conflicts. I know this is a very complex issue. 40 million abortions. At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?”

Obamas responded: “Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.”

Thompson will criticize Obama for dodging the issue: “We need a President, and Vice President, who will take the federal bureaucracy by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shaking. And we need a President who doesn’t think that the protection of the unborn or a newly born baby is above his pay grade.”

The bulk of Thompson’s speech will be a testimonial on behalf of John McCain, his character and his leadership. John McCain has “the kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of history have sought in their leaders.”

Thompson was a last minute addition when California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger backed out to deal with some budget issues back in his home state.

More to come with full videos later..


Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman:

RNC tribute video to George H. W. Bush:


Tribute to Ronald Reagan played at RNC:

President Bush addresses the convention via satellite from the White House:

Report on Bush’s address from Yahoo News:

ST. PAUL, Minn. – President Bush led a convention chorus of praise for John McCain Tuesday night, hailing him as a “ready to lead this nation” and a courageous candidate who risked his White House ambitions to support an unpopular Iraq war. Republicans rallied forcefully behind vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin in the face of fresh controversy.

Bush reprised the national security themes that propelled him to a second term as he spoke — briefly — from the White House. “We need a president who understands the lessons of Sept. 11, 2001,” he said in prepared remarks. “That to protect America, we must stay on offense, stop attacks before they happen and not wait to be hit again. The man we need is John McCain.”

Bush’s address was short and not aired during prime time on the networks. It was just enough for an appearance but it will not dominate the day.


Former Tennessee Senator and former 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Fred Thompson:

Report on Thompson’s speech from AOL News:

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Fred Thompson, the actor turned politician, recounted the harrowing story of John McCain’s captivity as a Vietnam prisoner of war to tout the presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention and criticized Democrat Barack Obama’s support for abortion rights.

“Now, being a POW certainly doesn’t qualify anyone to be president,” Thompson said Tuesday as images of McCain flashed behind him on a giant screen. “But it does reveal character.”

Thompson went into excruciating detail describing McCain’s 5 1/2 years in captivity in a Hanoi prison, describing how the Arizona senator’s captors cracked his ribs and broke his teeth off at the gums. He also described how McCain refused to go home when his captors offered to release him for propaganda purposes.

“We hear a lot of talk about hope these days,” Thompson said, a clear reference to one of Obama’s campaign themes. “John McCain knows about hope. That’s all he had.”

Thompson also used his speech to denounce Obama for declining to say when human life begins, although Thompson’s own record on abortion is mixed.

Fred’s speech was more powerful than anything he delivered on the campaign trail. More speeches like that and he probably would have been the nominee.

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman:

Report on Lieberman’s speech from MSNBC:

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee in 2000, urged Democrats to cross party lines Tuesday night and cast their votes for Sen. John McCain of Arizona, telling they they could “always count on him to be straight with you about where he stands and to stand for what he thinks is right regardless of politics.”

Lieberman, who is now officially an independent but continues to caucus with the Democrats, was addressing delegates at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., but he was really speaking to millions of Democrats watching at home on television.

“What, after all, is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this?” Lieberman asked.

His answer: “I’m here to support John McCain because country matters more than party.”

Lieberman, who was widely reported to have been a finalist to join McCain as his vice presidential running mate, returned to that theme over and over.

“John McCain’s whole life testifies to a great truth: Being a Democrat or a Republican is important. But it is not more important than being an American,” he said.

Lieberman praised McCain’s support for President Bush’s “troop surge” in Iraq, casting it as a principled stand in the face of widespread popular disagreement.

Overall it was a good kickoff night for the GOP. The collection of speeches was unique coupling Bush with Thompson and Lieberman. Probably as a strategic move, Bush will be shadowed by the other speakers.

Of course we’ll be awaiting Wednesday night when Gov. Palin may take the stage and accept the VP nomination, however, that schedule still isn’t set.

We’ll update tomorrow with the Day 3 activities and news.


C-SPAN has some nifty new video features which I’ve recently been made aware of. With the embed below you can watch the ENTIRE day 2 activities from beginning to end:

Wish I had discovered this during the DNC and I would have done the same..