There's no question that any bad feelings from the primaries are forgotten. Unlike the Democratic National Convention, there have been no appeals to party "unity." The Republican party, from the grass roots to the former candidates is intent on unifying America by welcoming disaffected Democrats and Independents.
All of three of the major GOP candidates -- Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney -- are here working for John McCain. Each is scheduled to speak tonight.
Excerpts from Romney's prepared remarks to tonight's convention:
Flipping Barack Obama's change for the sake of change theme, Romney said,
"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."
On the different political philosophies of the two men,
The right course is the one championed by Ronald Reagan 30 years ago, and by John McCain today. It is to rein in government spending and lower taxes, for taking a weed-whacker to excessive regulation and mandates, for putting a stop to tort windfalls, and to stand up to the Tyrannosaurus appetite of government unions. "
And at Saddleback, after Barack Obama dodged and ducked every direct question, John McCain hit the nail on the head: radical Islam is evil, and he will defeat it! Republicans prefer straight talk to politically correct talk!" . . . .
Liberals would replace opportunity with dependency on government largess. They would grow government and raise taxes to put more people on Medicaid, to work requirements out of welfare, and to grow the ranks of those who pay no taxes at all. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. It's time to stop the spread of government dependency to fight it like the poison it is! It's time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother!"
Sounding very Reaganesque, Romney's prepared remarks articulate a vision of America, that despite our challenges, the best days of our country are before us. It was an entirely different vision of our country than Obama-Biden, who daily tell us that we should be gloomy and worried. As Romney put it,
"Just like you, there has never been a day when I was not proud to be an American. We inherited the greatest nation in the history of the earth. It is our burden and privilege to preserve it, to renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future. To this we are all dedicated and I firmly believe by the providence of the Almighty, that we will succeed. President McCain and Vice President Palin will keep America as it has always been - the hope of the world."