How would you rate President Bush's speech?
CNN analysts offer their assessments.
His agenda items were warmed-over, re-packaged ideas. I had no idea that Bush was such an environmentalist. On the contrast with Kerry, Bush misled on a couple of key issues. He was also flustered by the protesters in the arena. Overall, it was way too long and too ponderous a delivery.
Way too long. It got better as it went on, though. He could have cut out entire parts. The Secret Service had the place locked down and no one could go to the bathroom -- we had a lot of suffering delegates.
Slightly flustered after meeting skater Dorothy Hamill in the hall, Mo Rocca explained his tally this way: "I give them all 9/11 because that's all that matters. For contrast with Kerry because Kerry was not in office when 9/11 happened. 9.11 overall because a perfect 10 would just be too easy."
The domestic agenda presented was perfunctory --nothing exciting or bold. The international policy was pure neo-conservatism -- both bold and adventurous. The contrast with Kerry was the same one they were presenting all week: strength and resolve versus inconsistency. On personal style, one word -- likeable. Overall, the likeability is important, but the substance wasn't as good as the style.
The president was relaxed, confident and nimbly handled hot topics, including some of his own shortcomings. His highest poll numbers are on terrorism, so he did what he had to do in emphasizing that during his speech. He also laid out a detailed agenda. Bush may not have adequately addressed the failure to find WMDs in Iraq or Osama bin Laden, and many may find his reassertion of compassionate conservatism distressing. But with all that said, he gave a fairly effective speech.
September 2: How would you rate President Bush's speech?
September 1: How would you rate Vice President Dick Cheney's speech?
August 31: After the first two days, how would you rate the tone and themes of the convention?
August 30: How would you rate New York as a venue?
August 27: How would you rate the Bush team on convention preps?