My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Speeches I Hope To Hear 

From John McCain:

My opponent in this election has a compelling personal story. Born to interracial parents at a time when interracial marriages were rare, he was raised in a family of divorce, at a time when that was also rare. Happily, his extended family was there to lend support and structure.

Raised in Indonesia and Hawaii, he then proceeded to college in Los Angeles, and then in 1981 he transferred to Columbia University. From there, four years in New York working, then on to Chicago for three years as a community organizer. On to Harvard in the late 80s, where he became the first African-American editor of the Law Review. From there, back to Chicago, with a brief stint in Bali to write a book, and then into public service as a state legislator, senator in 2004, and then Presidential candidate.

My opponent has had an extraordinary life, a testimony to talent and opportunity. Opportunities, I would add, that are only available in America; opportunities that mark the greatness of this country I love so much; opportunities that are only available when Americans work together, without regard for party or politics, to make the world better for the people around them.

My life, on the other hand, has not been particularly about talent. Never a great student at the Naval Academy, I somehow managed to graduate and enter into the finest organization any man could ever wish to be a part of--the United States Navy. I am, and have always been, very proud to have worn the same uniform my father and my grandfather wore; the same uniform the John F. Kennedy wore; the same uniform that Farragut, Halsey, and Rickover wore, as well as countless millions others whose names are not so familiar.

After the Service, I then followed the lead of another great American, Ronald Reagan, and entered into the political service of my country.

You see, my friends, I was taught at an early age the wisdom of "The greatest among you must be your servant." My family lived the value of service, and ingrained it deep into the fiber of my being.

So, while we have taken very different routes to this place in history, Senator Obama and myself now stand at a critical juncture in America's history. The American people have a duty and a responsibility in this historic election--to learn the ideas of both candidates, to make an informed judgment about the quality of their service to their country, to take the measure of the character of these two men, and to decide which man has the ability to bring about change in this country.

Ladies and gentleman, there are many issues on which Senator Obama and I differ--but on one point we agree: Washington is broken. This past session Congress only managed to pass one of thirteen [I'll stipulate this may need editing] appropriations bills; Congress never managed to tackle the difficulties with our immigration system, in spite of my efforts; and, when the country was being strangled by the price of a gallon of gasoline, Congress went skulking away on their five-week vacation, refusing to deal with the pain of the American people.

Congress went skulking away because the party in charge of Congress is so beholden to its extreme wing that they would rather run from a problem than be faced with the possibility of taking a difficult vote.

This is the system that, sadly, governs this country. I have been, for my entire career, somewhat outside that system--sometimes taking politically difficult positions or advancing ideas that shake up the Washington status quo because the American people deserve--and should demand--that their leaders SERVE their interests. Pretty speeches and dramatic stagecraft do very little to make the lives of ordinary Americans better. Work, hard decisions, self-sacrifice: these are what make the lives of ordinary Americans better.

That is why I am so honored and proud that an "ordinary American" of great courage and great accomplishment has agreed to join me on the ticket. Sarah Palin is a remarkable woman who has not sought the spotlight but, rather, has sought to clean up a cesspool of corruption and make lives better for Alaskans.

Mrs. Palin, I am humbled that you have joined me in doing just that in Washington. Ladies and gentlemen, if you really want Washington cleaned up, who better to do it than a wife and a mother who has run the largest state in the union and who brings to the table an unimpeachable record of character and service?

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