Vice President Dick Cheney said a few days earlier that people ought to be allowed to live as they please. In a throwback to the Reagan years, Bush pledged to "continue to appoint federal judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law." He had better be praying for that 60-vote Senate super-majority or he'll face the same Democrat opposition that has stalled some of the judges he has already named.
The president was self-deprecating about his rhetorical skills (he avoided any stumbles Thursday night). He exuded confidence, character and credibility -- three qualities that should impress voters.
It was a good speech, combining many elements into one theme: George W. Bush is a better choice than John Kerry. It was shot through with references to his strength and Kerry's weakness. If any undecided voters remain, and if they were concerned about the president's resolve to fight terror and do all he can to protect the country, his speech should have put those fears to rest.
This convention began with delegates, pollsters and journalists saying it will be a tight race. It ended with some of them sensing a possible landslide. Some spoke of a possible 53-46 Bush blowout. Polls are now tracking in that direction, though the gap is not yet that wide. Some pundits are predicting a Bush "bounce" of perhaps eight points coming out of this convention. Kerry had no bounce out of Boston.
"This young century will be liberty's century," said the president with enthusiasm for this principle. But it is more than a principle. It is George W. Bush's "vision thing," and it is a vision that, if it comes true, can potentially liberate more people than the millions already set free by America in the last century and the first four years of this one.
That's a worthy agenda for four more years.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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