Along with about 7,000 others, I listened to the remarks last evening that reportedly represented the President’s new and improved stump speech. I thought, and have since learned many others agree, that it needs more improvement–and editing. It was unfocused and so drifted down every policy by-way imaginable. It sounded like a State of the Union address intended to buck up the bureaucrats by mentioning every conceivable initiative. There were some good zingers for those few still paying attention. Paraphrased from sketchy notes on the back of my program: You can’t be pro-business and pro-trial lawyer at the same time. You have to choose and my opponent made a choice and put him on the ticket. Another line about “junk lawsuits” got plenty of applause as did a pledge to stand up for marriage and the family. “There is nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat,” received a standing ovation. Hopefully, people didn’t just take the opportunity for a seventh inning stretch to relieve the tedium.
Although the speech had been hyped as an opportunity to talk about the President’s second term agenda, there was only an oblique reference to ushering in a new era of ownership. The President noted that John Edwards won a mention as one of our “sexiest politician,” and said that one of his goals for the second term was to get Dick Cheney on that list. It was the only concrete agenda item of the night.