The Washington Times - September 3, 2008, 08:56PM

ST. PAUL, MN | All three of the main speakers leading up to Sarah Palin tonight wanted to be president this year, and likely want to run in 2012.

But Mitt Romney‘s speech is by far the most obvious attempt to further solidify his reputation among the GOP hardcore conservative base as their standard-bearer.


The speech can only be called nakedly partisan, and it talks minimally about John McCain. Instead, it is a fire and brimstone screed of conservative vs. liberal.

“What do you think Washington is right now, liberal or conservative? Is a Supreme Court liberal or conservative that awards Guantanamo terrorists with constitution rights? It’s liberal! Is a government liberal or conservative that puts the interests of the teachers union ahead of the needs of our children? It’s liberal!” Mr. Romney’s prepared remarks read.

“Liberals don’t have a clue,” his speech reads. “We need change all right - change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington!”

Mr. Romney’s speech also hits one of the main themes of all three speeches: Democrats are the party of big government and Barack Obama has no experience and is not ready to lead

Oddly though, neither Mr. Romey or Mike Huckabee talk about Mrs. Palin, whose own experience and readiness to lead has been questioned.

And even more odd, when you consider the controversy over the pregnancy of Mrs. Palin’s 17-year old unwed daughter, is a section in Mr. Romney’s speech where he says that American homes should remain free of “promiscuity.”

“America cannot long lead the family of nations if we fail the family here at home,” the speech reads.

Mr. Huckabee will hit Mr. Obama as a European-style fan of big and intrusive government, and also try to paint the Democrat as naive in his foreign policy outlook.

“Maybe the most dangerous threat of an Obama presidency is that he would continue to give madmen the benefit of the doubt. If he’s wrong just once, we will pay a heavy price,” Mr. Huckabee’s remarks say. “John McCain will follow the fanatics to their caves in Pakistan or to the gates of hell. What Obama wants to do is give them a place setting at the table.”

Finally, Mr. Giuliani will go hard after Mr. Obama as well with a section that will no doubt do the most to raise the Democrat’s blood pressure if he happens to be watching.

The former New York mayor will call Mr. Obama a “celebrity senator” with “no leadership or major legislation to speak of.”

“He’s never run a city, never run a state, never run a business. He’s never had to lead people in crisis. This is not a personal attack. It’s a statement of fact - Barack Obama has never led anything. Nothing. Nada.”

Mr. Giuliani also ridicules Mr. Obama’s response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia, which mirrored Mr. McCain’s.

“Here’s some free advice: Sen. Obama, next time just call John McCain,” he’ll say.

Mr. Giuliani will say that Mrs. Palin, the governor of Alaska for two years, “already has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket.”

“She’s led a city and a state. She’s reduced taxes and government spending,” he’ll say.

But it’s striking that the strongest defenses of Mrs. Palin, who the McCain campaign angrily argues has been attacked unfairly the last few days, has come already today, in a press conference by female Republican leaders, and by speeches just now by a few of the same women.