ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - We’re going to see a ferocious defensiveness about Sarah Palin, and fierce attacks on the media — one issue that can unite the Republican base.
Palin has run a municipality, and “the biggest” state in the union? Population-wise, both are tiny. More of Palin’s qualifications from Thompson — and exactly what we need in a vice president: someone who can field dress a moose.
And Thompson’s stressing John McCain’s rebellious past — exactly what Americans are looking for in a commander-in-chief.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - I want to raise a question: if Hollywood is a nest of liberals and Democrats, why is it that virtually every Hollywood celebrity-turned politician has been a Republican. I give you: Ronald Reagan, Fred Thompson, George Murphy, Sonny Bono, Fred Grandy, Arnold Schwarzenegger. How can this be?
The one exception I can think of: Cooter from the Dukes of Hazzard, Ben Jones.*
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Thompson gave a considerably better speech than he ever delivered on his own behalf during the primary season. He was certainly a lot more animated.
His attack on Obama – that he delivered a “teleprompter speech designed to appeal to America’s critics” abroad – brought the crowd to its feet.
The themes they’re stressing are character, judgment, leadership – all personal qualities. Republicans believe they can win the election on McCain’s personal qualities – because they’re not going to win on policy.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Thompson asked rhetorical questions about John McCain: Who is this man? And can we trust him with the presidency?
Unstated: those are the big questions that people have asked about Barack Obama.
More and more Americans do believe we’re winning in Iraq, but the issue has now receded in importance in the public mind – and they now believe Barack Obama can handle the war just as well as John McCain.
Enter Sen. Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate at the 2008 Republican Convention.
"I'm here because country matters more than party," he said to a standing ovation.
Fred Thompson, the actor and former presidential contender, is now performing the way people expected he would when he ran for president last year: relaxed, eloquent, and good pacing.
Definitely not the Fred Thompson that showed up on the campaign trail last fall - His heart seems more into this ode to John McCain than any speech he ever gave running for president.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Thompson said that “we need a President who doesn't think that the protection of the unborn or a newly born baby is above his pay grade.” That’s a dig at the recent Obama statement at the recent faith forum, when Rick Warren asked when life begins – he responded that it was above his pay grade.
There was more energy in Fred Thompson’s speech tonight than there was in his whole campaign.
When Fred Thompson asked whether Sen. John McCain was ready to be president the crowd started chanting the Obama campaign's trademark chant "yes we can!"
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/02/art.rnc.bush.gi.jpg caption="President George W. Bush address the convention via satellite."]
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - For the Republicans, Bush’s speech was mercifully short. There was no opportunity for McCain and Bush to raise arms and give the Democrats another photo-op. And still no mention of the economy.
Memories of campaigns past: The camera just caught the first President Bush looking at his watch, just as he famously did during a presidential debate in 1992.
On to some pleasant memories for the crowd here: No Republican convention is complete without a Ronald Reagan ceremony of some kind, just as no Democratic convention is complete without a Kennedy ceremony. For the Republicans, 1980 is Year 1: the date history truly began.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - President Bush is giving a wonderful speech for 2004, when the central issue was terrorism. But so far he hasn’t addressed the central issue of this election: the economy. You’re probably not going to hear much about that. One of the ironies about the war is, Americans think the war is going better - but it’s receding as an issue.
An interesting reference from Bush: the angry left. You used to hear a lot about angry white men back in the 90s, and about how they were at the center of politics. Now you’ll hear Republicans try to paint their opponents as angry.