- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“I’ve experienced John’s character firsthand. … We need a president who stands on principle.”

Plagued by scandals, overspending, an unpopular war and bruising losses during the 2006 midterm elections that led to two lost majorities, today’s Republican Party is in the middle of an identity crisis. Clawing its way through redefinition, Republicans may have found their redemption with the McCain-Palin ticket.

From refocusing on life to highlighting the importance of the judiciary and bashing the liberal establishment at every turn, a new energy has returned to the party of Lincoln. “Democrats present a history-making nominee for president - history-making in that he’s the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever run for president,” Mr. Thompson said.

The presidential question for the Republican Party seems to have more to do with judgment based on character than experience. Tuesday night, President Bush reminded delegates and the public: “Last year, John McCain’s independence and character helped changed this country. The Democrats had taken control of Congress and were threatening to cut off funding for out troops. … He told them he would rather lose an election, than see his country lose a war. … Americans will look closely at the judgment, the experience and the policies of the candidates and they will cast their ballots for the McCain-Palin ticket.”

The partisan rhetoric at the convention has been flying - from the man without a party (Joe Lieberman) to Fred Thompson and Sarah Palin. Refocusing on core principles is the priority; principles that until now have left the party faithful questioning Mr. McCain’s conservative credentials.

A sign of what is to come was the video that rolled after Mr. Bush’s speech, where the narrator said Ronald Reagan’s presidency “replaced indecision” with “conviction politics.” For all the rhetoric last night and that which has yet to come, at the very least it can be said that the Grand Old Party is back in fighting form.

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