FORMER PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR TOM RIDGE: Thank you. Tonight I speak to you with a grateful heart and enormous pride.
I speak to you as one friend about another.
About a proven leader... a world statesman... an untiring and effective public servant. I speak to you about a warrior...who has sometimes stood alone... or shown the way... in fighting for the most vulnerable of our citizens... for the country he so dearly loves... and for the founding principles we all so deeply cherish.
I speak to you about a friend – who was first pointed out to me – in the same way he is proudly pointed out wherever he goes today – "That's John McCain."
John and I have been friends for 26 years.
Both of us got elected to Congress in 1982 and both of us are Vietnam veterans.
Some might say that is our common bond. For certainly the Vietnam experience is a uniting one.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Comedian Eugene Mirman would have arrived at the “CNN Grill” earlier had he not been detained by the U.S. Secret Service for his pants – apparently puffs of smoke were pouring out of one of his pockets.
“I was wearing a helmet and some goggles, and then I had some instant food that when you pulled the cord, the food heated up. What I didn’t know about the food I bought, which is my fault, is that it starts smoking,” he explained.
Mirman is at the Republican convention producing a series of funny, original videos for a Web site. If you’re trying to place the face: think the landlord in HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords.”
The comedian had rave reviews for the Secret Service, however, who he described as “extremely polite.”
The helmet and goggles are still a mystery.
(CNN) – Barack Obama's campaign for president has raised $10 million since Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin spoke Wednesday night, the campaign announced, calling it a "one-day record."
Palin, the governor of Alaska, launched harsh attacks on Obama, accusing him of being two-faced and a political lightweight with no significant legislative accomplishments.
"Coverage of the Palin attacks on the news this evening just pushed us over $10 million," Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in an e-mail to reporters Wednesday night.
The Republican Party announced earlier in the day it had raised $1 million in the wake of Palin's speech.
(Update with new fundraising total)
(CNN)– I'm trying so hard to care about what Lindsey Graham has to say.
"Thank God," he said, "for Joe Lieberman." Well, okay. Sure, Lindsey. You can have him. But I love the notion that the Republicans would cheer for a pro-choice (including supporting so-called "partial birth abortion"), pro-gay-rights, anti-tax cut member of the eastern elite.
Graham is a pleasant man, but he should leave the rough stuff to folks like Governor Palin. Poor Lindsey is miscast as an attack dog, more like a pit puppy. Even McCain calls him "Lindsey-boy." But nice try Senator Graham.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty addressed the Republican convention Thursday night, but it was a far cry from the VP address that many once thought he would give.
His address Thursday came early - around 7 p.m. local time. Delegates were still filing in as he was speaking, and many inside the Xcel Center talked throughout his speech.
The delegations seated close to the stage were paying attention and chanting "John McCain," but in other parts of the room, it was hard to hear what he was saying over all of the chatter.
Pawlenty was considered one of the top contenders for John McCain's VP slot on the GOP ticket.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin came out swinging Wednesday night, but it's going to take more than just fighting words to win over the independent and undecided voters who hold the election in their hands.
Palin's speech at the Republican National Convention marked her first major address as the Republican vice presidential candidate.
The Alaska governor tore into Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as two-faced, arrogant and unable to lead while she painted Republican candidate John McCain as courageous reformer who is ready to take charge.
Her prime time address was full of humor and sarcasm. Her tone was a hit with delegates watching in St. Paul, Minnesota, but it didn't resonate well with everyone outside of the Republican circle.
"She came across as angry and overconfident," said Kuntal Warwick, an independent voter from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Palin had little to say about policy, and her speech was full "of smugness and mockery," Warwick said.
Independents like Warwick, combined with voters who have yet to make up their mind, are the ones who could decide who ends up in the White House.
"The base of the Democratic and Republican parties - their votes are predictable," said John Avlon, author of "Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics." "It's the swing voters who decide who's going to carry the balance of power, who will ultimately win that election state-by-state and even nationwide."
Avlon didn't have a problem with Palin's tone. He said her humor and confidence will probably appeal to the independents, but it's the lack of substance that will leave that group in search of something more.
Watch: Sen. Graham's entire speech.
U.S. SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: By every measure, the surge of troops into Iraq has worked.
Sectarian violence and coalition casualties are at record lows.
15 of the 18 political benchmarks have been met.
The Iraqi's have a larger, more capable Army. Oil production is dramatically increasing.
This week, Anbar Province, once an Al Qaeda stronghold, was turned over to the Iraqis. And all American combat brigades who made up the surge have returned home.
We know the surge has worked. Our men and women in uniform know it has worked.
I promise you - above all others - Al Qaeda knows it has worked.
The only people who deny it are Barack Obama and his buddies at MoveOn.org.
Why won't they admit it?
Because Barack Obama's campaign is built around us losing in Iraq. Without John McCain's courageous leadership there would be no surge.
(CNN) – Barack Obama's campaign says it has raised more than $8 million from over 130,000 donors following Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin's speech Wednesday night.
The campaign also says it is on track to raise $10 million before John McCain takes the podium at the Republican National Convention tonight.
Gov. Palin waved to the crowd, that greeted her with a long standing ovation, before she spoke at the GOP convention Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Republicans nominated Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be their vice-presidential candidate, making her the first woman ever to run for the office as a Republican.
Palin was nominated on a voice vote which Sen. Mitch McConnell recognized as unanimous approval, prompting chants of "Sarah! Sarah!"
Watch: The GOP officially nominates Palin as VP
Palin thrilled the convention Wednesday night with a barnstorming speech attacking Democratic nominee Barack Obama, touting her credentials as a reformer, and praising her running mate, Sen. John McCain.
Outside the convention hall, reactions to her speech have been mixed, if generally powerful.
The Republican National Committee said Thursday it had raised $1 million since the speech. The Obama campaign said it had raised $8 million in the same period.
(CNN) – The Republican National committee has released excperts of Cindy McCain's speech Thursday night:
On Americans' duty to their country:
"That duty is what brings me before you tonight. And it's much larger and more important than just me or John or any of us: It's the work of this great country calling us together – and there is no greater duty than that, no more essential task for our generation - right now."
On John McCain's character:
"It's going to take someone of unusual strength and character – someone exactly like my husband – to lead us through the reefs and currents that lie ahead. I know John. You can trust his hand at the wheel."