First night reflections - Mark Kennedy
During the nomination for Mark Kennedy, the campaign played a video that you know will be cut into numerous 30 and 60 second commercials. A very slick, well produced touchy feely spot, guaranteed to resonate with the soccer moms and anyone who ever grew up on or near a farm! His acceptance speech was short and sweet (maybe 5 minutes maximum) with a couple of memorable moments.
He said that we need to bring Minnesota values and common sense to Washington DC. He also said that the next 160 days were crucial to determine whether we sent another "do nothing Senator or one that will do what needs to be done". The line that got the biggest applause was "A Senate seat is a terrible thing to waste" an obvious dig at the legacy that is Mark Dayton!
The acceptance speech was more of what was expected. He came out with the "Senator Kennedy you can be proud of line" (those of us who have heard Congressman Kennedy speak prior to this are well versed with this line) early in the speech. He talked about how he learned the value of work from his parents, that he was the first boy in their family to go to college, he gave the obligatory mentions to his wife and children.
Then he got into the meat of the speech. He talked about "two paths....one forward and one backward" and how he would work hard to get us going down the forward moving path. He said that politicized special investigations and partisan impeachment proceedings would not move the country forward. He got a big cheer from the crowd when he talked about how the tax code needed to be changed and that the tax code was "seven times larger than the Bible" and that there was no good news in the tax code!
He hit on tax cuts, job growth, earmark reform and line item vetos - all red meat issues for Republicans. He reminded the faithful that the economy was growing (5% last quarter, 5 million new jobs added, unemployment under 5% and home ownership at an all time high) and reminded them that it took leadership and action to get there and it will take leadership and action to stay there!
He hit a sour note with some delegates when he boasted that he voted against the No Child Left Behind act (a cornerstone of the first 4 years of the Bush Administration). However, he made up for it with his remarks on "universal health care" when he said "The government already hasn't controlled our borders and didn't respond promptly to a major disaster, and now they think it should be in charge of every single aspect of healthcare in America? What color is the sky in their world? Their ideas are backwards."
Hugh Hewitt must have inspired this line - "I will vote to confirm judges who are ethical, qualified, and faithful to our Constitution. No ifs, ands, or buts. No more partisan obstruction!"
Then he took this swipe at his presumed opponent, Amy Klobuchar - "A revolving door justice system doesn't work any better stopping illegal immigration along the border than it does stopping crime in Minneapolis. " Given what is going on in Minneapolis, it was a well deserved swipe, but that won't stop the DFL from complaining loudly!
I personally loved this line (when talking about the Global War on Terror) "Mistakes have been made, so have corrections, but the fundamental fact remains that John F. Kennedy's words have never been more true: "If men and women are in chains anywhere in the world, then freedom is endangered everywhere." He then said "cutting and running is one path....it is the wrong path."
All in all it was an excellent speech....a speech that you can hear over at KvM.