First night reflections - Harold Shudlick
The convention rules state that each candidate has 30 minutes for their nomination, seconding and acceptance speeches. Congressman Kennedy (more on him later) barely used 10 of his allotted 30 minutes. The Shudlick campaign, on the other hand, used every minute available to him. The nominating and seconding speeches probably only went 5-7 minutes, so the candidate got the rest - and it was needed.
Mr. Shudlick started off dedicating the message to the delegates, those of us who took time on a lovely early summer evening to come to do the party's business. You can hear the entire speech over at Residual Forces (Triple A video taped ALL of the speeches and loaded them to his site - what a trooper!) Rather than quote him word for word, I am going to pull out a few things that struck me as important.
Mr. Shudlick spent a lot of time talking about his Viet Nam service (he mentioned his Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge at least 3 times during the speech), his ordination as a pastor and his work as an Army Reserve Chaplain. He spent the majority of the speech talking about these "credentials" for the Senate as if this was all a Senator needed. About halfway through the speech I had this weird sense of deja vu. I had heard this speech before, but where???? It was nice to get an idea of where he came from but here is a memo to the all candidates.....service in the military, while very noble, is not the SOLE qualification for election to serve in Washington DC!!!! You need to have solutions to the issues facing the country.
When he finally DID get to issues he did hit some the right notes:
On immigration - we need to close the borders and hold people who employ illegals responsible for violating the law (a common theme this weekend). He was not for amnesty of any kind or for allowing illegals to "confiscate" our benefits (a clear reference to free health care and social security benefits). He said that entering the country illegally showed a disrespect for the country because they did not "respect our laws" (I really liked that line). He stressed that we needed to enforce our laws!
On Marriage and Abortion - He is pro-marriage amendment and against public funding of abortion! Not much to add there....the delegation ate that up! It was well needed red meat!
On Iraq - we should seek out the insurgents and find out what they are fighting for (HUH?????). He then said that we should let the Iraqi government set the timetable for withdrawal but that we should not leave until the job is done (again...HUH?????)
On Energy - we should allow energy companies to direct their "excess" profits toward drilling and refinery and to the development hydro-electric power.
By and large, he started getting the delegation on his side, I have to admit I was starting to think he had a shot, and then he started attacking Mark Kennedy. The line that lost it for him though was when he accused Congressman Kennedy of "hiding under a Bush" for the last 6 years. You could hear the air coming out of his support with that ill-advised line! The Logical Husband spoke to a couple of Shudlick supporters after the speech and even they knew he was on a roll until he made that remark. They all cringed when they heard the "Bush" crack.
I would say that he probably lost at least 100 votes in the last 5 minutes of the speech, which is a bad thing. There are many in the grass roots, like myself and the Logical Husband, who would have loved to have put a little fear of the base, back into the candidates so that they remember just who it is that put them in office in the first place!