The third session of the 2008 Republican National Convention was called to order by Temporary Convention Chair Senator Mitch McConnell at 5:58 PM local time (6:58 PM Eastern Time US [2258 UTC]) on Wednesday 3 September 2008. The Presentation of Colors was by the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association and both Sharon Clahchischilliage and Mary Leavitt led the Pledge of Allegiance, after which John Shillington and Ruby Brown, together, sang America, the Beautiful. The Invocation was offered by Father Edward Reese, president of Brophy College Prep in Phoenix, Arizona.
Temporary Chairman McConnell then made a few remarks, among which he noted- of the presumptive vive-presidential nominee- Sarah Palin is a remarkable woman, whose record the American People have already come to respect and admire. This was followed by a video on 'Prosperity' narrated by the actor Robert Duvall.
The first scheduled speaker of the evening was Anne Beiler, founder of Auntie Anne's soft Pretzels, who talked about her Amish upbringing, from which she learned that God mends our broken spirits, and leads us on a path to spiritual and emotional wholeness... What I have learned from the pain of my loss, and from my journey from poverty to prosperity, is that this life is about others. It's not about money. Life is never about what you can accumulate- it's not about the pocketbook; true prosperity is a richness of heart and spirit... I began to live when I learned to give: giving is my purpose and I believe it is our responsibility to unleash this spirit in others and keep it the hallmark of our great country... Our spiritual richness was forged by our earliest endeavors to safeguard our liberty, and protect our families and our values. The spirit of prosperity that has engulfed my life is the spirit of America: under the leadership of John McCain and Sarah Palin this spirit will continue.
Minnesota U.S. Senator Norm Coleman returned to speak to the Convention a second time: Here in Minnesota (and referring to the presumptive vice-presidential nominee who would be the featured speaker later that night), we're always thrilled to welcome another 'hockey mom' to the State of Hockey; we also talk about the Norwegian husband who loved his wife so much he almost told her. In this election, and in Washington, we face leaders of the Democrat Party who care so much about working families that they almost do something, but don't...
Of Senator Obama, Coleman opined: he thinks he can grow the economy by raising taxes, which is like using 'Roundup' to grow your garden... Stephen Covey wrote the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing- and the main thing is jobs for the American people! And it's the main thing for John McCain: he'd rather spend his time creating 200,000 jobs in America than speaking to 200,000 Germans in Berlin... America needs to go 'all in' and gain our independence from foreign oil... and I don't want the folks who run the IRS to run my healthcare!
The next speaker was Renee Amoore- founder of Amoore Group- who opined that if you are sick and tired of all the DC yak-yak-yak and realize that every day action is delayed, problems just get worse- if you want action, John McCain's your man... I'm proud to be an African-American woman, I'm proud to be a Republican- and I'm proud to be voting for John McCain!
Next came State Senator Abel Maldonado of California, who- noting that his own father had been a sharecropper who now owned his own strawberry farm- opined: My father knows more about economics than Senator Obama does with his degrees from all those fancy schools... Senator Obama, come work on our farm- come get your hands dirty with real work- and, on your break sitting in the shade of my father's pickup truck, he will teach you about economics: I think you will be a very fast learner.
He was followed by Carolyn Dunn of St. John's, Kansas: I am a farm partner and community volunteer... as agenda-driven activists highlight the actions of a few bad players, I'm concerned about the threat of excessive regulation and the costs imposed on thoughtful, ethical producers like us... I am also concerned about depopulation of rural communities. I want to raise my children in an environment that cultivates a strong work ethic and a sense of personal responsibility. Small-town America continues to be the moral grounding of this country and it is a culture worth preserving... Rural America: you have the power to swing this election in key states. We need a Republican who shares our conservative principles and will take action to restore our communities. Please get out and vote for the one candidate who shares our values: John McCain.
Erie County, New York County Executive Michael Collins came forward to extol the virtues of Governor Palin having had local government-based experience; he was followed by Dr. Elena Rios, founder of the National Hispanic Medical Association and she, in turn, was followed at the dais by Ruth Lopez Novodor, CEO of an oncological imaging company, who said: Allow me to let you in on a little secret: although I am a Republican, I supported Hillary Clinton because I believe the glass ceiling needs to be shattered- but, once the excitement wore off, I realized this election is about choosing proven leaders with demonstrated competence in successful change and that's why I'm choosing John McCain and Sarah Palin: because they believe in the right kind of change and they believe in small business.
The next speaker was Christy Swanson, a FiltaFry franchise owner from Quinton, Virginia- a Democrat who once supported Barack Obama for President but now supports John McCain; she told the Convention: My family business filters vegetable oil for restaurants; we use the left-over/waste oil to produce B100 biodiesel fuel to power our small company fleet. Basically, we are using new technology to fuel cars and save the environment. And, that makes us an uncharted business in a world of high taxes and healthcare costs.
Three months ago, I thought I knew who I was voting for. Then I heard John McCain speak to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. His plan to help small businesses best addressed the problems we face and I learned quickly that John McCain is the only candidate with the leadership skills, courage, common sense, and right philosophy to keep the dreams of small business owners alive and fulfilled. And, quite frankly, higher taxes scare the biodiesel out of me!
She was followed by Michael Williams, the Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission. An African-American, Williams noted I am here with you in St. Paul, rather than being in Denver last week, because I believe values and ideas take precedence over the politics of demography and identity... Change is just a slogan when the ideas are as old as McGovern, Carter and, dare I say- here in St. Paul- Mondale, too.
He was followed by Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner (who serves as the island Commonwealth's non-voting Delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives) Luis Fortuno.
After a musical interlude, Meg Whitman, national co-Chair of McCain2008 and former president of E-bay, came forward to speak:
President McCain will put his country first- for John, putting country first is the calling of a lifetime. He lives by a code of honor unmatched by anyone in American politics and, on the most important duty we place on a President, John is more prepared to lead than any person in America...
Our Democratic opponents view raising taxes as the measure of their compassion and fairness: John understands the truth- higher taxes encourage wasteful spending, demonstrate government's inability to choose among competing priorities, and destroy your prosperity. As President, John McCain will be guided by the simple beliefs that, having worked long hours to earn your money, you should keep more of it- and that government shouldn't spend more than it takes in...
Now, Republicans know that John's solutions rest on a set of principles that are true and tested and enduring- foremost among them is his belief that there is no challenge that cannot be overcome by individual freedom. Government has a vital role to play in the life of our country and it should be effective and efficient in meeting those fundamental responsibilities- but Republicans understand that government does not create wealth or prosperity: individuals do.
America is all about the inspired individual- men and women who are free to pursue dreams and ambitions in a society that encourages creativity, industry, advancement, and risk taking. John McCain doesn't want to tax success and achievement, he wants to encourage it- he doesn't want to redistribute our national wealth, he wants to increase it; he doesn't want more big government, he wants much more self-government...
Make no mistake: Americans today face tough challenges. Sometimes, there is a temptation for us- having borne freedom's burden for so long- to grow tired, but when Americans have faced their greatest hardships, they have written history's greatest chapters. We're going to do so again.
This was followed by a video presentation of John McCain's Economic Plan. Then, after a musical interlude, Carly Fiorina, former Chairman of Hewlett-Packard and Chair of Republican Victory '08 came to the podium: These are times of consequence- as America steers her course into the 21st Century, our choices have never mattered more... The choice America makes this November doesn't just echo for four or eight years, but will reverberate for many years to come. In this historic election we have a clear choice between two very different governing philosophies- but we also have a choice between rhetoric and promises and a life-long commitment to service and reform... We must elect a leader with the courage and resolve to do the tough things and the character and wisdom to do the right things- that leader is John McCain.
You know, many people talk about changing Washington: John McCain has the knowledge, the guts, and now in Sarah Palin, the partner he needs to actually get it done... He will not negotiate with brutality and he will never shrink from calling evil and aggression by their names: John McCain has the courage of his convictions and the wisdom to act on them... I know John McCain- I am proud to support him... Most of all, I support him as an American- electing John McCain is the choice we must make.
After this, Bishop Thomas G. Wesnick of Orlando, Florida led the Convention in what he called "a prayer for our Nation", after which Michael Steele, the former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland and now Chairman of GOPAC came to the podium: I can see we're ready to party in this house tonight! Are we ready to party in this house tonight?...
Tonight, we gather not as Republicans, but as Americans: we are Americans prepared to reach out to each other for a cause greater than ourselves. We recognize that leadership is not often tested in good times, but rather during those times of uncertainty- when one's judgment, strength of character and experiences come together to reassure, to calm and to guide... In times such as these, we need a leader who understands the life lessons of those who sacrifice, who demonstrate the full measure of what it means to be an American; in times such as these, we need a leader who will work in the public's interest, not clamor for the public's applause, someone who will lead with the common sense of his neighbors and friends. In times such as these, we need John McCain.
Now, some folks just talk about change- but John McCain believes the resiliency of the American people is the real source of the change America needs: and that means putting country first. So, do you want to put your country first?... Then let's change our tax code to confiscate less of our hard earned paychecks so more and more families may actually know what it's like to save for the future. So, do you want to put your country first? Then let's reduce our dependency on foreign sources of oil and promote oil and gas production at home. Let's make this clear: drill, baby, drill!...
So, do you want to put your country first? Then let's make decisions about our security based on what keeps us safe and not on what's politically correct. So, do you want to put your country first? Then let's win the war on terrorism. So, do you want to put your country first? Then let's elect John McCain and Sarah Palin the next President and Vice President of the United States!
We have been reminded once again of what is best about America and its people. John McCain himself reminds us that in this hour the partisan labels must fall away because the only label that really matters is 'American'. That's appropriate- that's putting country first: that's John McCain!
The next speaker was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, erstwhile 2008 presidential contender: You know, for decades now, the Washington sun has been rising in the east: you see, Washington has been looking to the eastern elites- to the editorial pages of the Times and the Post and to the broadcasters from the coast. If America really wants change, it's time to look for the sun in the west- 'cause it's about to rise and shine from Arizona and Alaska!
What do you think Washington is right now- liberal or conservative? Is a Supreme Court liberal or conservative that rewards Guantanamo terrorists with constitutional rights?- it's liberal!... Is government spending, excluding inflation, liberal or conservative if it doubles since 1980?- it's liberal! We need change all right: change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington- throw out the big government liberals and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin!...
America cannot long lead the family of nations if we fail the family here at home. Liberals would replace opportunity with dependency on government largesse... It is time to stop the spread of government dependency and fight it like the poison it is! It's time for the Party of big ideas, not the Party of 'Big Brother'. Our economy is under attack!... This is no time for timid, liberal empty gestures... it's the same path Europe took a few decades ago- it leads to moribund growth and double-digit unemployment. The right course is the one championed by Ronald Reagan 30 years ago, and by John McCain and Sarah Palin today... and I have one more recommendation for energy conservation: let's keep Al Gore's private jet on the ground!
Last week, did you hear any Democrats talk about the threat from radical, violent Jihad? Republicans believe that there is good and evil in the world: Ronald Reagan called out the Evil Empire. George Bush labeled the terror-sponsor states exactly what they are: the Axis of Evil... People in our Party prefer straight talk to politically correct talk: Republicans, led by John McCain and Sarah Palin, will fight to preserve the values that have preserved the Nation... and we will never allow America to retreat in the face of evil extremism!
Just like you, there has never been a day when I was not proud to be an American... President McCain and Vice President Palin will keep America as it has always been- the hope of the earth.
After a musical interlude, the speaker at the podium was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, another erstwhile 2008 presidential contender. He referred to this when he started off: Let me say: as much as I appreciate the opportunity to speak tonight, I really was originally hoping for the slot on Thursday called the Acceptance Speech- but I want you to know that I am genuinely delighted to speak on behalf of my second choice for the Republican nomination for President, John McCain: John McCain is a man with the character and the stubborn kind of integrity that we need in a President...
I'd like to thank the elite media for doing something that, quite frankly, I wasn't sure could be done- and that is unifying the Republican Party and all of America to support Senator McCain and Governor Palin. The reporting in the past few days has proven tackier than a costume change at a Madonna concert!
I grew up at a time and in a place where the Civil Rights movement was fought and I witnessed first-hand the shameful evil of racism: I saw how ignorance and prejudice caused people to do the unthinkable to people of color and it wasn't so many years ago. I want to say- not as a Republican, but as an American- that I have great respect for Senator Obama's historic achievement to become his Party's nominee- not because of his color, but with indifference to it. Party or politics aside, as Americans we celebrate this milestone because it elevates our country- but the Presidency is not a symbolic job... Obama was right when he said this election is not about him, it's about you... you want something to change- but John McCain offers specific ideas to respond to this need for change.
But there are some things we never want to change: freedom, security, and the opportunity to prosper. Barack Obama's excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don't even vote or pay taxes here- but let me just say: it's not what he took there that concerns me- it's what he brought back: lots of ideas from Europe he'd like to see imported here...
Abraham Lincoln reminded us that a government that can do everything for us can also take everything from us. I really tire of hearing how the Democrats care about the working guy as if all Republicans grew up with silk stockings and silver spoons. In my little hometown of Hope, Arkansas, the three sacred heroes were Jesus, Elvis, and FDR- not necessarily in that order... Let me make something clear tonight: I'm not a Republican because I grew up rich: I'm a Republican because I didn't want to spend the rest of my life poor- waiting for the government to rescue me.
John McCain doesn't want the kind of change that allows the government to reach even deeper into your paycheck and pick your pocket... and he doesn't want to change the definition of Marriage and, unlike the Democratic ticket, Senator McCain and Governor Palin believe that every human life has intrinsic worth and value from the moment of conception. And, speaking of Governor Palin, I am so tired of hearing about her lack of experience- I want to tell you folks something: she got more votes running for Mayor of Wassilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for President of the United States!
John McCain is by far the most prepared, the most experienced and, truly, the most tested Presidential candidate- he is thoroughly tested... Most of us can lift our arms high in the air to signify that we want something: his arms can't even lift to shoulder level- a constant reminder that his life is marked not by what he wants to receive, but by what he's already given... I wish we all would remember that being American is not just about the freedom we have- it's about those who gave it to us... and let me remind you of something: John McCain is one of those people who helped buy the freedom that we enjoy.
The next speaker was Governor Linda Lingle of Hawaii: As a fellow Republican Governor, Lingle told the assembled, I have had the chance to get to know Governor Sarah Palin: she is a terrific individual and an outstanding Governor- Sarah is a person with proven leadership skills and strong moral character... More than just having a great personal story, Sarah is a great person: she is genuine and she's comfortable in her own skin- truly authentic. Sarah Palin will not try to reinvent herself during this campaign: Sarah has integrity and strong values, she is smart and she is a unique combination of toughness and grace.
All of these qualities contribute to making Sarah Palin a great leader. It comes naturally to her and people naturally gravitate toward her: she engenders trust in people and she lives up to that trust... She has taken on the Establishment... She took on the sitting Republican Governor with whom she disagreed and she won: in the General Election, she took on a former two-term Democratic Governor- and she won! Put simply: Sarah is a leader and a winner!
Before serving as Governor, Sarah was the Mayor of Wasilla for two terms: again, defeating the incumbent! Some have tried to diminish this experience by pointing out that Wasilla only has a population of nearly 10,000 people: this is the size of many cities all across our country- the size where everyone knows everyone and where, as Mayor, you are held personally accountable for your decisions.
I think being a mayor... is outstanding preparation for higher office. I find it especially amusing that the other Party says Governor Palin lacks experience when their own candidates for President and Vice President have no executive experience: zero! Neither Senator Obama nor Senator Biden has ever managed a multi- billion dollar budget, or been a chief executive of any city or state, of any size- or of anything for that matter.
As President Lyndon Johnson said, "When the burdens of the Presidency seem unusually heavy, I always remind myself it could be worse. I could be a mayor!" Mayors, like Sarah Palin, are CEOs; Governors, like Sarah Palin, are CEOs. That's why I think it is so beneficial to have a Governor on the ticket and Sarah is a great choice!... Sarah has broad appeal within our Party because she is a strong social conservative, an adherent to free market principles, and a fiscal hawk- and because she has the ability to expand our numbers by reaching out to independents, young people and women!
His decision to choose Sarah tells us a lot about Senator John McCain: it is a clear reminder that he truly is a maverick and that he will always do the right thing for the people of America... and Senator McCain showed his commitment to ending politics as usual in Washington by picking an outsider, a proven reformer, an experienced woman Governor. This choice is bold, historic and courageous-- just like John McCain and Sarah Palin!
After a musical interlude, the next speaker was former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, yet another erstwhile 2008 presidential contender who, of course, was best known for being the Mayor of his city at the time of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Every four years, Giuliani told the assembled, we are told that this Presidential Election is the most important election of our lifetime. This year - 2008 - is the most important and we'd better get it right... The American people realize this election represents a turning point: it's a decision to follow one path or another. ‘We the People' - the citizens of the United States - get to decide our next president: not the left-wing media, not Hollywood celebrities, not anyone else.
Of both Senators McCain and Obama, Giuliani opined that they're both good and patriotic men, with very different life experiences that have led them to this moment in History. Giuliani called Obama a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer (the reaction of the assembled suggested that they did not at all consider a "community organizer" to be at all "working") and immersed himself in Chicago machine politics (Boos now rained from the Convention), then he ran for the state legislature, where nearly 130 times he was unable to make a decision: he couldn't figure out whether to vote 'yes' or 'no'- it was too tough!- so he voted 'present'... When you're President of the United States, it's not good enough to just be 'present': you have to make a decision.
A few years later, he ran for the U.S. Senate... His rise is remarkable in its own right - it's the kind of thing that could happen only in America. But he's never run a city, he's never run a state, he's never run a business, he's never had to lead people in a crisis. This is not a personal attack- it's a statement of fact: Barack Obama has never led anything: nothing, nada.
The choice in this election comes down to substance over style: John has been tested- Barack Obama has not. Tough times require strong leadership and this is no time for 'on the job training'... no one can look at John McCain and say that he is not ready to be Commander in Chief... So, our opponents want to reframe the debate: they would have you believe that this election is about ‘change versus more of the same.' But that's really a false choice- because there's 'good change' and 'bad change'; because 'change' is not a destination, just as 'hope' is not a strategy. John McCain will bring about the change that will create jobs and prosperity...
John McCain will keep us on offense against terrorism at home and abroad. For 4 days in Denver, Democrats have been afraid to use the words 'Islamic Terrorism'... Who are they insulting if they use the words 'Islamic Terrorism'? They are insulting terrorists!... they rarely mentioned the attacks of September 11th, 2001; they are in a state of denial about the biggest threat that faces us now and in the future...
The Democratic Party had given up on Iraq and, I believe, ladies and gentlemen, that when they gave up on Iraq they were giving up on America. The Democratic leader in the Senate said- and I quote: "This war is lost". Well, if America lost, who won? Al Qa'eda? Bin Laden? In the single biggest policy decision of this election, John McCain got it right and Barack Obama got it wrong... John McCain said, "I'd rather lose an election than a war". Why? Because that's John McCain!
John McCain will enlarge our Party... In choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has chosen the future: the other guy looks back; John McCain looks forward. Governor Palin represents a new generation: she's already one of the most successful Governors in America - and the most popular and she already has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket combined! She's been a mayor- I love that! I'm sorry that Barack Obama doesn't feel that her hometown is cosmopolitan enough- that it's not flashy enough: maybe they cling to religion there!...
As a former U.S. Attorney, I'm very impressed with the way she took on corruption in Alaska, including corruption in the Republican Party. This is a woman who has no fear- this is a woman who stands up for what's right!... One more point: how dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be Vice President: how dare they do that! When do they ever ask a man that question?
The very next speaker was to be the final scheduled speaker of the evening and, of course, it was Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, the presumptive vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party in 2008, herself: I will be honored to accept your nomination for Vice President of the United States: I accept the call to help our nominee for President to serve and defend America and I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election against confident opponents at a crucial hour for our country- and I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions, and met far graver challenges, and knows how tough fights are won- the next President of the United States: John S. McCain.
It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves. With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost- there was no hope for this candidate, who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war. But the pollsters and the pundits, they overlooked just one thing when they wrote him off- they overlooked the caliber of the man himself: the determination, and resolve, and the sheer guts of Senator John McCain...
Our nominee for President is a true profile in courage- and people like that are hard to come by. He's a man who wore the uniform of his country for 22 years and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who now have brought victory within sight- and as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as Commander in Chief...
Before I became Governor of the great State of Alaska, I was Mayor of my hometown and, since our opponents in this Presidential Election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involved: I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that, in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they're listening and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening. No, we tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco. As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes and whoever is listening John McCain is the same man.
Well, I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment and I've learned quickly these last few days that, if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here's a little newsflash for those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion- I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this great country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reason and not just to mingle with the right people and politics isn't just a game of clashing parties and competing interests: the right reason is to challenge the status quo, to serve the common good and to leave this Nation better than we found it...
The stakes for our Nation could not be higher. When a hurricane strikes in the Gulf of Mexico, this country should not be so dependent on imported oil that we're forced to draw from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve- and families cannot spend more and more of their paychecks on gas and heating oil... Our opponents say again and again that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems, as if we didn't know that already- but the fact that drilling, though, won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all...
And now, I've noticed a pattern with our opponent, and maybe you have, too. We've all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers and there is much to like and admire about our opponent- but listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or even a reform, not even in the State Senate. This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting and never use the word "victory," except when he's talking about his own campaign- but when the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away, when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot: when that happens, what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?
The answer is to make government bigger, and take more of your money, and give you more orders from Washington, and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy- our opponent is against producing it. Victory in Iraq is finally in sight and he wants to forfeit. Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay- he wants to meet them without preconditions. Al Qa'eda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and he's worried that someone won't read them their rights...
Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election: In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers- and then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change: they are the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners or on self-designed presidential seals. Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speech-making, in which crowds are stirringly summoned to support great things- and then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things. They're the ones who are good for more than talk, the ones that we've always been able to count on to serve and to defend America... Our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd. He's a man who's there to serve his country and not just his Party- a leader who's not looking for a fight, but sure isn't afraid of one, either...
My fellow citizens, the American Presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery.This world of threats and dangers: it's not just a community and it doesn't just need an organizer- and though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they're always, quote, "fighting for you," let us face the matter squarely: there is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you. There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you in places where winning means survival and defeat means death- and that man is John McCain...
For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words- but for a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds. If 'character' is the measure in this election and 'hope' the theme- and 'change' the goal we share, then I ask you to join our cause. Join our cause and help America elect a great man as the next President of the United States.
After she had finished speaking, Governor Palin waved to the assembled and was soon joined by her family on stage; then the presumptive presidential nominee, Senator John McCain himself, joined them on the stage. Don't you think we made the right choice for Vice President of the United States? he asked the Convention and the delegates roared their approval.
The next item on the agenda was the Roll Call of the States re: the Presidential Nomination (which would make Senator McCain more than merely a presumptive nominee) but, first, there was a live musical performance by John Rich, Gretchen Wilson and Cowboy Troy. They started out by singing the National Anthem, preceded by words from both the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, with the lyrics of The Star Spangled Banner itself interspersed with lines from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Then Permanent Convention Chair Congressman John Boehner came forth to note that only one candidate was to be formally nominated for President of the United States at this Convention, after which U.S. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, John McCain's colleague in the Senate from Arizona, made a short nominating speech for Senator McCain and then a delegate from Texas moved the formal nomination of John McCain and proceeding to the Roll Call itself.
The Roll Call was to be conducted by Convention Secretary Jean Inman assisted by Assistant Secretaries Connie Nicholas and Rosie Tripp. Secretary Inman would call the name of the State (or equivalent jurisdiction) and the number of delegate votes to which that State (or equivalent) was entitled, the delegation would announce its vote aloud from the floor and then it would be repeated aloud from the dais by one or the other of the Assistant Secretaries.
|District of Columbia||19||19|
|After all the States in the Roll have been called, the States which have passed now get to vote.|
|Arizona puts John McCain over the top [1,191 needed] with 1,223 votes.|
1. The 5 Paul votes from Alaska were not announced aloud by the Chair.
2. After the Chair announced 12 votes for New Hampshire, the delegation announced that they cast 24 votes for McCain. At this point, the Chair announced 12 votes for McCain.
3. After the Chair announced 30 votes for Oregon, the delegation announced that they cast 26 votes for McCain and 4 votes for Paul. At this point, the Chair announced 26 votes for McCain. The 4 Paul votes were not announced aloud by the Chair.
4. After the Chair announced 74 votes for Pennsylvania, the delegation announced that they cast 73 votes for McCain. At this point, the Chair announced 74 votes for McCain.
5. The livestock auctioneer from Tennessee said "George S. McCain".
6. The Utah chairman originally called Mitt Romney "George Romney" then quickly corrected himself. The 2 Romney votes from Utah were announced aloud by the Chair.
7. After the Chair announced 40 votes for Washington, the delegation announced that they cast 36 votes for McCain and 4 votes for Paul. At this point, the Chair announced 36 votes for McCain. The Chair sounded like she was going to repeat the Paul vote but was cut off by Secretary Inman who immediately called for West Virginia.
8. After the Chair announced 30 votes for West Virginia, the delegation announced that they cast 28 votes for McCain and 2 votes for Paul. At this point, the Chair announced 30 votes for McCain. The repeating Secretary almost said "Ron McCain".
9. 21 September 2008 Update: During the roll call vote, Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe's microphone was turned off before he could announce Oklahoma's vote: Senator John McCain- 39, Congressman Ron Paul- 2. No votes were actually cast by Senator Inhofe and the convention staff assumed that all of the state's votes were being cast for McCain. Attempts to get the attention of the Chair were unsuccessful. On 19 September, the RNC informed the Oklahoma Republican Party that the Official Proceedings of the 2008 Convention, "The Green Book" would indicate McCain: 39, Paul: 2.
We get a total of 2,343 for McCain, 15 for Paul, and 2 for Romney as announced from the floor. If the 30 votes from West Virginia and the 74 votes from Pennsylvania are all counted for McCain: the total is 2,346 for McCain, 13 for Paul, and 2 for Romney.
The 5 Paul votes from Alaska, 4 from Oregon, 4 from Washington, and 2 from West Virginia were not at all announced aloud by the Chair, but the 2 for Romney from Utah were. Indeed, none of the votes for Paul were announced from the Chair and Paul lost 2 votes between the floor and the Chair (re: West Virginia).
The final tally as announced from the Chair was: McCain 2,372, Romney 2, and Paul 5. This totals to 2,379.
Once the Roll Call had been completed, Permanent Chair Boehner read the official results as tallied up at the dais:
John McCain: 2,372
Ron Paul: 5
Mitt Romney: 2
Although these totals did not quite match up mathematically with what had been stated from the floor, or at the dais, during the Roll Call itself, the most important thing- of course- was that Senator McCain had more delegate votes cast for him than what was necessary (a majority of the total delegates- that is: 1,191) to secure the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
A delegate from Virginia then moved to make the nomination of John McCain for President of the United States unanimous-- it was seconded and approved viva voce. Permanent Chair Boehner then announced the members of the traditional Escort Committee (a remnant of long ago days when the more likely presidential contenders wouldn't necessarily even be present at their Party's Convention [under the older concept- wisps of which still hang, at least a bit, over the presidential nomination process even today- that "the person doesn't seek the office; the office seeks the person"] and a committee of Party officials had to be appointed by the Convention to formally inform the nominee that he had been selected as his Party's presidential candidate [usually some time after the Convention had already adjourned!]-- obviously, considering that we just saw the nominee himself but moments before the Roll Call of the States, this is now solely honorary and altogether ceremonial).
The Benediction was delivered by the Rev. Eva Rodriguez of Sacramento, California, after which a delegate from New Mexico moved that the Convention temporarily adjourn, subject to the call of the Chair-- it was approved viva voce and the third day of the 2008 Republican Convention came to an end.