Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his mark at Republican convention 

California governor and former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger made an appearance yesterday at the Republican national convention.

Republicans can best “terminate terrorism,” says Schwarzenegger
Action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger brought down the house at the Republican national convention, boosting President George W. Bush’s bid for re-election as the best bet to “terminate terrorism.” The California governor was greeted with thunderous applause as he made his bow on the national political stage to lend his Hollywood star power to Bush’s campaign against Democrat John Kerry...

“Ladies and gentlemen, America is back,” the Austrian-born former Mr. Universe said. “Back from the attack on our homeland, back from the attack on our economy, back from the attack on our way of life. We’re back because of the perseverance, character and leadership of the 43rd president of the United States -- George W. Bush,” Schwarzenegger told the wildly cheering delegates in New York’s Madison Square Garden. He urged Americans to vote for his party to combat terror: “If you believe we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism, then you are a Republican,” he said.
I caught parts of his speech live on television and was very impressed with his eloquence and poise, his strong accent notwithstanding. A pity that it lacked meaningful substance, though. But considering the attendees, I guess there’s no need to preach to the converted.

It also highlights the fact that the US presidency — and most other political leadership positions for that matter — is, to a very large extent, about rhetoric and public image.


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