After a quiet day at the convention yesterday, it seemed like the response to the hurricane had galvanized Republicans even more. Every delegate with a Gulf State delegate badge was the object of goodwill and well wishers, and all in the arena seemed relieved to gear up the real convention.
The speakers tonight, former presidential candidate Sen. Fred Thompson, and Independent McCain supporter Sen. Joe Lieberman, took the top in-person billing. President Bush, bumped from his live slot yesterday by the Hurricane, also addressed those assembled via satellite saying: "We need a president who understands the lessons of September 11, 2001: That to protect America, we must stay on the offense, stop attacks before they happen, and not wait to be hit again. The man we need is John McCain."
The job of the Senators tonight was to lay out the biography of the candidate — and given the scant mentions of his name yesterday out of reverence, it was nice to be reminded why everyone was there. To see how they did their job,
Joe Lieberman was an especially big hit calling McCain a "restless reformer," urging nonpartisan voting, and saying, "I'm here tonight because John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead our country forward. I'm here because 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." Sen. Fred Thompson was a rousing combination of vigor and strength saying, "This man, John McCain, is not intimidated by what the polls say or what is politically safe or popular."
Was it the right time for the Republicans to begin the ramp up? Was the emphasis of McCain's character from Thompson and Lieberman compelling? And Bush on the big screen — right move?