I uploaded just a little bit of Tony Snow's speech from the National Review Summit. Thought you might like. Almost got kicked off the front row by an event-planner while I was trying to get this vide, too, so enjoy.
Sadly, I missed the most intereresting part because I ran out of batteries for the little video camera. I was lucky enough to choose a seat next to Debra Burlingame, the sister of Flight 77 pilot Charles Burlingame, who died at the Pentagon on Sept. 11. Burlingame, who you'll probably remember from righty blogs, is the activist who led the fight against that Hate America Museum at Ground Zero. She brought up this point for Tony Snow during Q&A:
"My family was sustained by the incredible resilience this country showed on that day. And, I am deeply grateful for the President never forgetting... I think people forget that al Qaeda was energized by the Soviet Union's defeat in Afghanistan...All 19 of those hijackers were inspired by the defeat of a superpower. They were in Afghanistan training by slitting the throats of sheep to prepare for storming those cockpits...I'm deeply worried that if we dont follow through... that there are gonna be more training in the wilds of Iraq...We are losing the propaganda war in this country."
She asked for him to react to the fact that half of Congress sat in their seats when President Bush mentioned victory in Iraq during the SOTU.
Snow thanked Burlingame for being an inspiration to everyone and for staying vigilant on 9/11 issues.
"When the president mentions victory, you'd think all of the room would stand. I was a little puzzled as to that behavior...The U.S. government is gonna contine doing everything we can do. A lot of people question putting in 2,1500 troops, yet no one questioned the hiring of David Petraeus who said he needs that many to pull this off...People don't like this war. They shouldn't. Nobody likes a war...We've taken the handcuffs off our own forces fighting in Iraq, and that was a big part of it."
I missed Saturday, as I was at a Young Life conference that day, but K-Lo tells me Jeb Bush was the highlight:
Introducing Bush, former Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie noted the obvious presumption that if his name were Jeb Smith, Governor Bush would likely be in Des Moines this weekend (like former First Lady Hillary Clinton happens to be). Asked about whether or not he’d consider a vice-presidential slot, Governor Bush was noncommittal, citing a need to “pause” and consider if he has such a thing in his DNA. Bush cited his dismay with “tenor of politics” as a demotivator.
The remarks about his future came after a vigorous defense of his brother. Bush, at the beginning of his lunch speech, directed comments to the press gathered, noting emphatically: "I'm not going to criticize the president of the United States." Among other accomplishments, Bush noted, “I like Justice Roberts. I like Justice Alito…" and tax cuts. He would also go on to defend the president’s immigration policy.
But he lost the crowd on immigration:
“He touched plenty of third rails, just to show that you can and still succeed. His comments about abortion and right and wrong reminded everyone of his principled support of life from Schiavo to parental notification and consent. He relished telling the tale of his move to dismantle racial preferences. And he stuck to his guns through several tough questions about immigration even though he knew it wouldn't please some of his audience.”
If there was one issue that dampened enthusiasm for Bush among those gathered, it was immigration, where the former governor seemed to criticize conservative assimilation-policy tendencies. “He lost half the room on immigration,” one Beltwayer noted.
Link to video of the speech, here.
Update: Video of the Ladies' Night panel on Friday at Vent today. That was a good one.