RNC Releases "Full Program" (Or Is It?)

The RNC has released what they are calling their “Full Convention Program” this afternoon.  The release follows and then I have some thoughts and questions about it:  

“Country First”: 2008 Republican National
Convention Announces Full Program

Convention Announces Additional Speakers and Program Details

– The 2008 Republican National Convention today announced the names of additional speakers for the program of events that will run Sept. 1-4. The convention’s overall theme, “Country First,” reflects John McCain’s remarkable record of leadership and service to America. Each day of proceedings will center on a touchstone theme that has defined John McCain’s life and will be central to his vision for leading our nation forward as president.

“The 2008 Convention program will bring together Americans who will speak to John McCain’s vision for reforming our government, building prosperity and ensuring peace for future generations. We are excited about next week and we are looking forward to showcasing John McCain’s life-long record of putting his country first,” said Jill Hazelbaker, McCain 2008 communications director.

Among the new speakers announced today are Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio), U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist (Tenn.) and Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission Michael Williams. Their remarks will echo the themes that have been selected for each of the convention’s four days: service, reform, prosperity and peace.

“We are thrilled to announce our full program of speakers and program participants. We look forward to presenting a convention program that will share Senator McCain’s unparalleled record of experience and service with millions of Americans,” said Maria Cino, president and CEO of the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The program of events follows. Additions to the program appear with an asterisk (*).

Monday, Sept. 1

“Love of country, my friends, is another way of saying love of your fellow countryman.”
–Sen. John McCain

John McCain’s commitment to his fellow Americans, a commitment forged in service to his country, is one of the defining hallmarks of his life. Monday’s events will highlight John McCain’s record of service and sacrifice and reflect his commitment to serving a cause greater than one’s own self-interest.

Speakers will include:

  • President George W. Bush
  • Vice President Richard B. Cheney
  • First Lady Laura Bush
  • Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.)*
  • Gov. Rick Perry (Texas)*
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Calif.)
  • Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.)*
  • U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.)*
  • U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.)*
  • U.S. Sen. John Ensign (Nev.)*
  • U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah)*
  • U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.)
  • U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.)*
  • U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.)*
  • U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.)*
  • U.S. Rep. Thelma Drake (Va.)*
  • U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (Ill.)*
  • U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif)*
  • Maria Cino, President and CEO of the 2008 Republican National Convention*
  • Jo Ann Davidson, Chairman of the 2008 Republican National Convention Committee on Arrangements*
  • Tommy Espinoza*
  • Maj. Gen. Rick Goddard, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)*
  • Bill Gross*
  • Ashley Gunn*
  • Chris Hackett*
  • Doug Leatherdale*
  • Jay Love*
  • Cynthia Lummis*
  • Erik Paulsen*
  • Capt. Leslie Smith, U.S. Army (Ret.)*

Program participants will include:

  • Victoria Blackstone, Stars and Stripes Winner, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Boy Scout Troop 738 of St Louis Park, Minn. will serve as the Color Guard

Tuesday, Sept. 2

“If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you are disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and correct them.”
–Sen. John McCain

John McCain’s life is a testament to the fundamental truth that every American can be a force for change. A restless reformer who has dedicated his career to taking on special interests and the status quo, John McCain will deliver the right kind of change and reform to meet the great challenges of our time. On Tuesday, the convention program will underscore his vision of a government that is transparent, principled and worthy of the American people it serves.

Speakers will include :

  • Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani
  • Gov. Jon Huntsman (Utah)
  • Gov. Linda Lingle (Hawaii)
  • Gov. Sarah Palin (Alaska)
  • Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.)
  • Former Gov. Tom Ridge (Pa.)
  • Former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (Md.)
  • U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.)*
  • Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.)
  • House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio)*
  • U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.)*
  • U.S. Rep. Luis Fortuño (Puerto Rico)*
  • U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam (Fla.)*
  • State Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth (Calif.)*
  • Rosario Marin, California Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency and former Treasurer of the United States
  • Chris Collins*
  • Carolyn Dunn*
  • Phil Hayes*
  • Lisa Keegan*
  • Ruth Novodor*
  • Dr. Elena Rios *
  • Shirley Sadler*
  • Joe Watkins*

Program participants will include:

  • Mary Leavitt will lead the Pledge of Allegiance
  • The VFW of Red Lake, Minn. will serve as the Color Guard
  • Rabbi Ira Flax will lead the convention in prayer
  • Dr. Robert Certain will lead the convention in prayer

Wednesday, Sept. 3

“America’s best days are still to come.”
–Sen. John McCain

The American story is one of perseverance. Even in the face of tough times, the ingenuity and spirit of the American people has ushered in a new era of prosperity. Wednesday’s program will focus on John McCain’s plans to get our economy back on track and continue our long tradition of meeting the challenges we face and using our prosperity to help others. The day will conclude with an address by the vice presidential nominee.

Speakers will include:

  • Mrs. Cindy McCain
  • Republican Party’s Vice Presidential Nominee
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.)
  • Former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.)
  • U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.)
  • U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas)*
  • U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.)*
  • Mayor Mick Cornett (Okla.)*
  • State Sen. Abel Maldonado (Calif.)*
  • Carly Fiorina, Victory ‘08 Chairman for the Republican National Committee and former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co.
  • Meg Whitman, National Co-Chair for McCain 2008 and former President and CEO of eBay
  • Renee Amoore*
  • Anne Beiler*
  • Jessica Colon*
  • Christy Swanson*
  • Raul “Danny” Vargas*

Program participants will include:

  • Sharon Clahchischillage will lead the Pledge of Allegiance
  • The Law Enforcement Memorial Association of Minnesota will serve as the Color Guard
  • Father Edward Reese will lead the convention in prayer
  • Rev. Eva Rodriguez will lead the convention in prayer

Thursday, Sept. 4

“Our next president will have a mandate to build an enduring global peace on the foundations of freedom, security, opportunity, prosperity, and hope.”
–Sen. John McCain

John McCain understands the challenges that America faces in the world and the sacrifice necessary to defend our freedom in a way that few others can fathom. Thursday’s events will reflect his vision of an America in pursuit of peace and seen as a beacon of goodwill and hope throughout the world. The evening will close with John McCain accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for the Presidency of the United States.

  • John McCain
  • Gov. Charlie Crist (Fla.)
  • Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.)
  • U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.)
  • U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)*
  • U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.)
  • Former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist (Tenn.)*
  • U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin (Okla.)*
  • Michael Williams, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission*
  • David Flaum*
  • Christopher Fussner*
  • Lt. Gen. Carol Mutter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)*
  • Charlie Smith*

Program participants will include:

  • The 934th Airlift Wing Air Force Reserves Joint Color Guard of Minn.
  • Pastor Dan Yeary will lead the convention in prayer
  • Archbishop Demetrios will lead the convention in prayer

About the Republican National Convention
The 2008 Republican National Convention will be held at Saint Paul’s Xcel Energy Center from Sept. 1-4, 2008. Approximately 45,000 delegates, alternate delegates, volunteers, members of the media and other guests are expected to attend the convention. Minneapolis-Saint Paul is expected to receive an estimated $150-$160 million positive economic boost from the four-day event. For more information about the 2008 Republican National Convention, please visit our website at www.GOPConvention2008.com and join our social network sites on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

 Very interesting.  Just as the original list brought forth more questions than answers so does this so-called “Full Program list.”  

1.  Does the RNC have any clue as to who McCain’s Veep Choice will be?  It doesn’t look like it.  Nearly all of the possibilities are scheduled at some point during the week (and those who are not are very unlikely choices).  

2.  Again the next question is, Where’s Newt Gingrich?  Is he waiting in the wings to fill in for one of the speakers that gets the VP slot?  He would fit quite nicely in the “Reform” theme for Tuesday night.  Or is my first choice for President (late spring of 2007) possibly a surprise VP pick?  I’d sign on that ticket in a heartbeat!  What a shot in the arm that would be!  Picking Newt might have an even more positive impact on the Conservative base than choosing Mike Huckabee (because of the shock factor alone)!

3.  While this question is not brought forth by the schedule it has to deal with a subplot.  The sub plot has a name.  No, it’s not Ron Paul.  His name is Gustav, Hurricane Gustav to be more precise.  the forecast track is taking it into the Gulf as a Major Hurricane.  that will occur just as the Convention is ramping up.  Will Charlie Crist and Bobby Jindal have to go home to serve their respective states of Florida and Louisiana?  What effect will that have on all this?   


The Only Way McCain Can Win

I just finished reading an article on World Net Daily and I am convinced that if their advice is heeded that it is the only way John McCain will ever be elected this cycle. The article goes in depth about the economic problems we face from a global perspective. I won’t really repeat a lot of it here. I am going to analyze it.

The article recommends that Mike Huckabee be brought on as Vice President, Warren Buffett be brought on as Secretary of the Treasury and Ron Paul be brought on to be in charge of the federal budget. There are two “Change” movements within the Republican Party at present – A movement by Huckabee/Gingrich to create a national “Vertical” platform and Ron Paul’s Libertarian movement. The followers of both movements are at odds with McCain and if left unchecked the result will be a scattered conservative electorate. Bob Barr looms in the distance as a possible Perot/Nader spoiler and if the economy and the War tank bad enough he could play George Wallace (considering Barr is a very popular man down South, especially in my home state of Georgia).

The biggest issue in this election by far is and will continue to be the economy. The McCain/Huckabee/Paul/Buiffet “Dream Team” could be a very tough team to beat on economic policy. Each member of that team would come from a facet of the presently large Republican fold. Before this cycle the Republican party was like a wobbly chair with three legs – Social Conservatives, Fiscal Conservatives, and Foreign Policy Conservatives (the establishment). Now that Ron Paul has run for President in the GOP Primary he has brought a considerably large Libertarian wing of the party and the GOP is currently a four-legged table. However if Ron Paul and his supporters don’t find a seat at the table they will take their leg and go home. In addition without a Social Conservative as McCain’s running mate or part of his team one of the three legs of the chair will break and leave a big mess.

The advice in the article would be a perfect balance based on economic concerns. You have McCain from the establishment, Huckabee the anti-IRS Social Conservative, Buffett the fiscal conservative, and Ron Paul the Low-government, balanced budget Libertarian. It’s the only way McCain can unite his party (not to mention the Conservative movement) and equalize Bob Barr. It’s brilliant! There is no other way John McCain will win otherwise. Not only that but the ticket has the potential to reign over a period of the biggest economic growth this country has ever seen. The budgets would be balanced, taxes would be low and “Fair”, Our budget and trade deficits would disappear in the blink of an eye, and the Contract With America would finally be fulfilled.

Huck Tops McCain’s Short List!

BoldAccording to a blog post on the site of US News & World Report it appears that Mike Huckabee is at the top (or very near it) on John McCain’s short list for Vice-President. You can read the story here. I can tell you one thing. The moment McCain picks Huckabee is the moment I sign on with the ticket. Otherwise you can forget it! Not only would I support a McCain/Huckabee ticket but I would volunteer for the campaign and do the same things I did for Huck when he was running for the nomination outright. Without Huck on McCain’s ticket all I’d be doing by voting for him is voting for the lesser of two evils. I refuse to stoop to the level.

As of this moment I’d be writing in Huckabee’s name (if he is not on McCain’s ticket) this November. So why not Barr? Best of luck to Bob Barr but he is getting a little too cozy with the Paulites by trying to steal them away from the GOP. There’s nothing wrong with that except that Ron Paul brought lots of new voters into the GOP camp by running for President (Just as Huckabee did). The GOP needs a good scrub down and the best way to change the party is to get involved and make efforts to make changes instead of leaving it (as Bob Barr is suggesting). For the record Ron Paul would make an excellent Governor and I would support him. However he would not make a good President because of his isolationist policies. If you think the World looks at us like a Pariah now just wait until we bring all troops home, seal the borders, kick out the UN, and ignore the problems of the world. However I think Ron Paul has some great ideas domestically and we could use his supporters help to shape the new GOP platform.

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Our Prayers Have Been Answered – Mike Nails California Debate!

The big story revolving around this last debate of the cycle tonight was John McCain Vs Mitt Romney. McCain was endorsed by Giuliani before the debate and the rumors are that the Governator will do the same. NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!! The clear winner tonight was Mike Huckabee. While McCain and Romney went blow for blow against each other Mike (who was given little time comparatively) stayed above the Frey while giving the most intelligent answers and looking (and sounding) the most presidential.

This was Mike’s best performance in a debate in the last month and maybe ever. Mike hit grand slams on Pro-Life and the last question about Reagan. the question was to all of them tonight “Would Ronald Reagan endorse you and why?” While the others explained why, Mike Huckabee turned the tables and refused to use Reagan to his political gain. Instead Mike endorsed Reagan and explained why he does. What class! I stood up and applauded!

America is not interested in candidates that take cheap shots at each other. They are looking for positive change and a positive message. That’s Mike Huckabee to a Tee.

As for CNN they should be ashamed of themselves. Especially for how they treated Ron Paul tonight. they totally gave him the shaft tonight unfairly. I may not agree with him too much but at least give him a fair amount of time to speak. That was a disgrace!

I’ll have video and more reaction later on (probably tomorrow). However there is no question that the overwhelming winner tonight was Mike Huckabee hands down! and boy did he need it! the campaign is hitting the 7th inning and Mike is now bringing out the big bats. Way to go Huck!

Fox News Is Dead Wrong

There is quite a controversy over tonight’s Fox News GOP Debate in New Hampshire (BTW It appears I didn’t miss too much last night). Two candidates were excluded from the debate , Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul. I can completely understand Duncan Hunter because he is not really registering anywhere in the polls nationally or in New Hampshire. However I feel that excluding Ron Paul from the debate, no matter how much people think he is crazy or misguided (and I do), is wrong. Why? He got 10% of the vote in Iowa. While I expected a higher showing from Dr. Paul he still registers enough support to be included. The New Hampshire GOP rightfully rescinded its sponsorship of the debate tonight. Good for them.

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Wow! There sure is a lot going on today and it all sourrounds Huck. the following is from MSNBC’s First Read:

From NBC/NJ’s Adam Aigner-Treworgy
DES MOINES, Iowa — Peace protestors mixed with Ron Paul supporters prevented Huckabee from entering his Des Moines headquarters through the front door. Three people were arrested and then reporters were allowed back in to shoot footage of Huckabee glad-handing volunteers in his headquarters. This was immediately following his 2:00 p.m. ET news conference.

More info on this shortly…

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Three Days To Go

There are now three days left before Iowans go to Caucus. I don’t know if I will have fingernails or hair left but we’ll see what happens. It’s getting really heated out there as we reach the climax of what has been a six month buildup (it’s probably been longer) to the Nominating season. So what’s going to happen and how will it shape the race to come? Here are my guesses.

First up are the Dems. There is a three horse-race in Iowa between Clinton, Edwards, and Obama. The polls are showing a dead heat between the three of them. Whoever gets a better turnout may win. But there is a wrench in that statement. There are several second-tier candidates. Unlike the GOP Caucuses, Each candidate must have 15% of the people at their table or you have to mvoe to another candidates group. Who will these supporters go to. That’s what will ultimately decide who wins and loses. If Hillary wins than you can almost give her the nomination. However all bets are off if Edwards or Obamam wins. It is conceivable for Senator Clinton to finish 3rd. If that happens it may be all over for her. Between Obama and Edwards I think Obama has the much better shot to take a win in Iowa as a springboard for the nomination.

As for the GOP it is quite clear. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are fighting a very tough hard battle for 1st in Iowa. The candidate that doesn’t get 1st will come in 2nd. The big question is who will finish third. I think there are three candidates that could land that spot – Fred Thompson, John McCain, and Ron Paul. Who needs it more? Fred does. He is almost out of cash. He barely had enough to run ads in Iowa this week. He needs a 3rd place finish to fill his piggy bank or he is toast. He might drop out after Iowa if he doesn’t finish well. John McCain (the new National poll leader according to Rasmussen) isn’t really playing much in Iowa but he is starting to poll better. John’s main focus is New Hampshire (where he is today). A 3rd place finish in Iowa would pretty much sew up NH for John. but don’t underestimate the Paulites. Out of all the organizations I think Ron Paul has the biggest in Iowa from all around the country. They are going to fight for every vote. He won’t take votes away from any other candidate because I think their focus is college students and people who would stay home and don’t care otherwise. Don’t be surprised to see Ron Paul get a 3rd or 4th place finish when all is said and done.

I feel that Iowa could come down to a handful of votes on both sides. It’s sure going to be fun to watch. Pas the popcorn please!