ST. PAUL (CNN) - Romney opens by bashing the East - he was the governor of Massachusetts! You can’t get much more East than that. This is an ancient conservative bias, dating back to the Goldwater era.
You have to acknowledge that Romney knows liberals; he was governor of probably the most liberal state in the country. Of course, listening to his speech, you’d never guess that George Bush – probably the most conservative president in history - has been president for the past eight years.
FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: For decades, the Washington sun has been rising in the east – Washington has been looking to the eastern elites, to the editorial pages of the Times and the Post, and to the broadcasters from the coast.
If America really wants change, it's time to look for the sun in the west, cause it's about to rise and shine fromArizona and Alaska!
Last week, the Democrats talked about change. But let me ask you - what do you think Washington is right now, liberal or conservative? Is a Supreme Court liberal or conservative that awards Guantanamo terrorists with constitution rights? It's liberal! Is a government liberal or conservative that puts the interests of the teachers union ahead of the needs of our children? - It's liberal!
Is a Congress liberal or conservative that stops nuclear power plants and off-shore drilling, making us more and more dependent on Middle East tyrants? - It's liberal!
Is government spending – excluding inflation – liberal or conservative if it doubles since 1980? - It's liberal!
We need change all right – change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington - throw out the big government liberals and elect John McCain!
(CNN) – Prominent Republican analysts Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy became the latest victims of an open microphone Wednesday, caught after a segment on MSNBC trashing John McCain's pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Noonan, a Wall Street Journal columnist and former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, and Murphy, a campaign strategist and onetime aide to John McCain, can both be heard expressing disbelief with the pick of Palin after they apparently thought they were in a commercial break.
“I come out of the blue swing-state governor world, Engler, Whitman, Thompson, Mitt Romney,” Murphy said during the mishap which has since been posted on YouTube. Murphy later flatly says of the pick, "It's not going to work."
Noonan is heard going even further, saying of the presidential race, "It's over."
"I think they went for this - excuse me– political bulls–t about narratives," Noonan also said. "Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it."
Murphy, who was a senior adviser to John McCain's 2000 presidential bid, also adds, "You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical."
UPDATE: Writing on the Wall Street Journal Web site, Noonan apologizes for using profanity and says she was not claiming McCain's campaign was "over."
"In our off-air conversation, I got on the subject of the leaders of the Republican party assuming, now, that whatever the base of the Republican party thinks is what America thinks. I made the case that this is no longer true, that party leaders seem to me stuck in the assumptions of 1988 and 1994, the assumptions that reigned when they were young and coming up," she writes. "The first lesson they learned is the one they remember," I said to [MSNBC's Chuck] Todd - and I'm pretty certain that is a direct quote. But, I argued, that's over, those assumptions are yesterday, the party can no longer assume that its base is utterly in line with the thinking of the American people. And when I said, "It's over!" - and I said it more than once - that is what I was referring to."
It's good to see that the Republicans tonight are featuring more women at the podium, starting with Meg Whitman of E-Bay and Carly Fiorina, who was portrayed as the most powerful woman in America while she was CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Later on, of course, we will hear from Sarah Palin in the second most important speech of the convention - a story for a bit later.
The Republicans have gotten less credit than they deserve for trying to recruit more women and minorities in recent years. Bob Dole, just on CNN, was one of those who promoted them. George W. Bush, unbeknownst to almost everyone, was the second president to have white males as a minority in his first cabinet - second to Bill Clinton.
Given that, it is surprising how women and minorities are such a smallish proportion of the GOP delegates here compared to the Democratic convention. According to a New York Times survey of all delegates, women represent about one-third of the GOP delegates while women were about half of all Democratic delegates. Minorities represent 9 percent of the delegates in St. Paul compared to about 37 percent in Denver.
Interesting. What do you think?
For the past five days, the media has pummeled Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on everything from her fitness as a mother to her fitness as a vice presidential running mate.
Lost in all of the media-generated heat has been very much light on Palin herself - who she is and what she's done.
Tonight, Palin gets to shine that light on her record and speak directly to the American people. Some have said this is a low risk environment for Governor Palin. Being introduced to millions of undecided viewers is never low risk. But the even higher risk may be for the media that has depicted the Governor as a small town country rube. She's never traveled to Europe! Or appeared on Meet the Press! She's only just recently acquired a Passport! Well, speaking French didn't end up being a particular election asset for John Kerry.
The good news for Palin is that the voters don't like the media choosing their politicians for them. This is a democracy, thank you very much, and we're all entitled to make up our minds.
The other good news is that Palin appears to be a woman who knows who she is. She's a woman of core values and strong convictions. That will hold her in very good steady in the media political storm.
Indeed, Al Gore's apparent personal insecurity plagued him throughout his 2000 presidential run. Earth tones, shirtsleeves, too much blush, too little personality. He's a fighter, he's a healer. Not only was it disconcerting to watch, it was unattractive.
Palin is nothing if not confident. And a confident performance tonight will help her connect with all of those voters who finally get to see her for themselves.
CARLY FIORINA: Good evening. Ladies and gentlemen, these are times of consequence.
As America steers her course into the 21st century, our choices have never mattered more.
Will we continue to compete and lead in the global economy? Will we create more jobs here at home?
Will we educate our children for the rigors of this new century and will we prepare our workers to remain the best and most productive in the world?
Will we power our economy and still protect our environment? Will we defeat our enemies and strengthen our alliances with other democracies?
Will we demand that government be both more efficient and more responsive? Will we demand that citizens keep more of their money and make more of their own choices, or will we decide that government bureaucracies know better than Americans and their families?
SARASOTA, Florida (CNN) – Joe Biden again refused to attack the experience of GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, hours before she was to deliver a speech sharply critical of the Democratic ticket.
At an event in Sarasota, a voter asked Biden how he would debate Palin when she “was not prepared to face an international crisis.”
Biden offered a strong rebuke.
“Well look, the answer is one word: with respect,” he said. “She is the governor of a state. She warrants respect.”
He told the crowded high school gymnasium he would debate Palin on the issues, not on her experience of governor of Alaska.
“It will be determined by what her positions are,” Biden said. “Our disagreements will be based upon how fundamentally, if it is fundamental, and I expect it's likely to be, her views on everything form the Supreme Court, protecting a woman's right, all the way up to ending the war in Iraq. That's what it's going to be based upon.”
ST. PAUL (CNN) – A 23-year-old man was plotting to set off bombs to coincide with the Republican National Convention, according to details federal prosecutors released Wednesday.
The suspect, Matthew DePalma of Flint, Michigan, is charged with possessing Molotov cocktails, a type of gasoline bomb.
DePalma was locked up on August 30.
The criminal complaint also alleges that in July 2008 DePalma told an FBI confidential source that he wanted to travel to the RNC to “make some bombs” and “blow s–t up.”
Read the criminal complaint
Later in August, FBI audio recorded DePalma telling the source he wanted to build a chemical bomb to cause a power outage at the RNC, according to the affidavit.
He also expressed his interest in Molotov cocktails.
The source apparently went with the defendant to buy gasoline and diesel fuel, and witnessed the suspect creating a "flammable gelatin" for the bomb.
The document indicated that the defendant implied his main purpose was to cause a power outage at the convention hall.
The complaint said there was cause to believe he had five Molotov cocktails in his possession when it was filed.
It's nowhere near a full house inside the stadium, but it will certainly fill up with delegates as "prime time" nears.
It doesn't look like they will be disappointed with the speech of John McCain's designated No. 2 Sarah Palin.
For sure, Sarah will not come quietly into this great convention hall. Excerpts include the following:
"Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change."
"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."
Team McCain has called this a night to "more sharply define the differences" - that's political speak for "go after the other team."
MEG WHITMAN: Good evening and thank you for your kind welcome.
It's an enormous privilege to speak to you tonight. As a young girl growing up on Long Island, as a wife and mother who raised two boys in my beautiful home state of California, and even as President and CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I never dreamed I'd have the honor of speaking to my fellow Americans at such a critical moment in our nation's history.
When I was growing up, opportunities for women were still limited.
When I went to college and graduate school, I lived in environments that had just recently admitted women, and were still getting used to having us around.
And when I began my business career, female executives were still a novelty.
Many of our male colleagues questioned whether we'd make it. But my parents, especially my mom, inspired me.
She'd constantly remind me that I could be anything I wanted to be, I just had to earn it.