Bush, Kerry Head Party Conventions

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Held just a few miles from the ruins of the World Trade Center,
the sentiment of the Republican National Convention (RNC) staunchly
proclaimed George W. Bush as the resolute leader needed by a nation
at war.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sen. John McCain
(R-Ariz.) shared the night’s featured billing, both speaking
without reproach to the action taken in Iraq.

“It was between war and a graver threat. Don’t let anyone tell
you otherwise. Not our political opponents and certainly not a
disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe that Saddam’s Iraq
was an oasis of peace,” said McCain, former rival of Bush for the
2000 Republican candidacy.

The Filmmaker spoken of by McCain, Michael Moore, whom released
“Fahrenheit 9/11” to much Republican distaste, waved amusedly from
the press box causing a great eruption of boos and cheers, drowning
out McCain’s line which was repeated a second time.

Giuliani, Mayor of New York for eight years, recounted a piquant
moment of Bush’s presidency: his visit to the ruin of the World
Trade Center, whereupon he spoke through a bullhorn to the rescue
workers in declaration that those who “knocked these buildings
down” would soon answer to the United States.

“They heard from us in Afghanistan, and we removed the Taliban.
They heard from us in Iraq, and we ended Sadam Hussein’s rule of
terror,” said Giuliani.

Giuliani spoke of the inconsistencies of Kerry’s words and
actions taken, proposing the explanation of “John Edwards’ need for
two Americans,” a line spoken by Edwards, John Kerry’s selection
for running mate, of the differences between the affluent and
impoverished populous in America. “One where John Kerry can vote
for something and another one where he can vote against exactly the
same thing.”

In attempts to remove partisan adherence, focus was placed on
the quality of leadership without importance to ideology of the
candidate. “In choosing a president, we don’t really choose just a
Republican or a Democrat, a conservative or a liberal,” Giuliani
said. “We choose a leader. And in times of danger an war, as we are
now in, Americans should put leadership at the core of their

The resounding theme, to apotheosize yet humanize presidential
candidate John Kerry was repeated with much emphasis throughout the
four days of the Democratic National Convention (DNC). “[He] knows
the horrors of war and the responsibilities of leadership,” former
president Jimmy Carter said of the Massachusetts senator in a
speech on the first day of the convention held in Boston,
Massachusetts. Notwithstanding the intent of the DNC, voters from
both Republican and Democratic parties felt a stronger adherence to
their respective cause, without attracting new supporters,
according to a poll conducted Friday and Saturday, following
Kerry’s acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for

The prediction of the Democratic party was realized as the polls
did not indicate an increase in support for Kerry. As to the
purport of the lack of new support, the Democrats said Kerry had
already been enjoying an increase upon entering the convention.

The convention began with the official call to order by Terry
McAuliffe, chairman of the DNC followed by a string of high-profile
speakers including former Vice President Al Gore, former President
Jimmy Carter, and former President Bill Clinton.

Gore presented his speech in a quasi-comical manner, referring
to the 2000 election controversy. “You know the old saying: You win
some, you lose some,” he said. “I didn’t come here tonight to talk
about the past. After all, I don’t want you to think I lie awake at
night counting and recounting sheep.”

Carter was much more critical of Bush, repudiating the
“extremism”of his administration. “The United States has alienated
its allies, dismayed its friends, and inadvertently gratified its
enemies by proclaiming a confused and disturbing strategy of
preemptive war,” he said.

A standing ovation was given to Bill Clinton upon his entrance.
Clinton emphasized Kerry*s ability to be a scrupulous and prudent
leader, as displayed by his courage in the military and in life.
“During the Vietnam War, many young men, including the current
president, the vice president and me, could have gone to Vietnam
and didn’t,” he said. “John Kerry came from a privileged
background. He could have avoided going too, but instead, he said:
“Send me.”

Much importance has been placed on Kerry’s military service in
Vietnam by his campaign, to which Republican groups contested,
placing doubt upon the merit that warranted Kerry*s three purple
hearts. Kerry released his military and medical records as the
proof his wounds were substantial to be granted the purple

The second night of the convention brought Ted Kennedy, Howard
Dean, Barak Obama, Illinois senatorial candidate, Ron Reagan, son
of former President Ronald Reagon and Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of
Kerry, to the stage.

Obama delivered a speech with poignancy, marked by the sincerity
in his message of unity.”There is not a black America and white
America and Latino America and Asian America — there is the
United States of America,” he said.

John Kerry was formally nominated as the Democratic candidate
for the presidency with a speech given by Calif. Sen. Dianne
Feinstein (D-Calif.) on the third day of the DNC. “He understands
the urgent need to bring this country together, toward a common
purpose: a united America,” she said of Kerry.

On the final day of the convention, John Kerry*s fellow Vietnam
veterans were present, praising his leadership. “I’ve seen John
Kerry in action. I know his character. I’ve witnessed his bravery
and leadership under fire. And I know he will be a great commander
in chief,” said Jim Rassman, a man whom Kerry saved in Vietnam.

The final speech of the DNC was delivered by John Kerry, in
which he accepted the nomination for the Democratic candidacy.

Kerry spoke much of his upbringing and the qualities he
possesses, inculcated since early youth by his parents. “Their
example, their inspiration, their gift of open eyes, open mind, and
endless world are bigger and more lasting than any words,” Kerry
said of his parents, now deceased.

With the progression of his speech, he became critical of the
Bush administration. “I will be a commander in chief who will never
mislead us into war. I will have a vice president who will not
conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental

He addressed the American public naming this election “the most
important election of our lifetime,” urging the public to make a
decision to the benefit of the union.

Kerry closed speaking of the unity of a nation, without regard
to the differences of its populous. “It is time to reach for the
next dream. It is time to look to the next horizon. For America,
the hope is there. The sun is rising. Our best days are still to
come,” said Kerry.