The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Here's the full text of Edwards' speech.

By a wide margin, the absolute most important thing he said came in the middle of the speech:
And we, John and I, we will have one clear unmistakable message for Al Qaida and these terrorists: You cannot run. You cannot hide. We will destroy you.
And with that, came a monster round of applause.

Anyone familiar with Edwards' primary campaign knew that he would fire on all cyllinders in the domestic, economic aspects of his speech (the "two Americas" and such). But everyone wanted to know how the man who would be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office would address national security and the fight against terrorism. And John Edwards hit it out of the park.

To get the full effect of this, you need to see the video at C-SPAN, if you missed it live.

I was a bit concerned about how he would come off on national security. Edwards has an unbelievable oratory skill, honed from years of connecting with juries. The man built up a record mirroring that of Keanu Reeves' character in Devil's Advocate, and that was without the help of Satan! But those skills don't necessarily prepare someone to convey the demeanor of a Commander in Chief. But he did it. He slowed down, his youthful face brimming with intimidation and resolve, and delivered the line (from a speech he wrote and re-wrote 30 times, according to him) deliciously.

Yes, history buffs, "we will destroy you" might've reminded some a bit of Khrushchev, who once said of America "we will bury you". Of course, Nikita was talking about the Soviet economy, particularly the agricultural sector, outpacing that of the USA. Of course, poor Nikita didn't understand that well-known adage, "dude, some plants grow in some places, and, well, others don't".

Tomorrow, John Kerry gets his chance to speak. And let me say this: Nikita Khrushchev won't be the last person to underestimate a pro-choice Catholic politician from Massachusetts with good hair!


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