Alexander's Column

2000 Republican Convention

Mark Alexander · Aug. 4, 2000

After giving away the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns to the Clintonistas, Republicans are poised to retake the White House. Delegates are demonstrating more energy than in the last two campaigns, the platform is sound, and the nominees are strong contenders.

This edition contains selected excerpts from the more notable convention speeches. While portions of those speeches are worth repeating, there are no excerpts from the party’s most articulate conservative, Alan Keyes, though he received wide marks during the primary debates. Nor are there excerpts from Steve Forbes or any of the key impeachment managers: Henry Hyde, James Rogan, Asa Hutchinson, Lindsey Graham, Bill McCollum and Bob Barr. There are no excerpts from them because, of course, none of them were invited to speak.

Bush spokeswoman Connie Hair explained, “It’s Governor Bush’s party and they choose what they want to represent. They have invited who they want there.”

The absence of these conservative protagonists is, to say the least, disturbing.

Dr. Keyes has been the subject of some criticism because he has not released his 21 delegates to vote for George Bush. For his part, Mr. Keyes notes that GOP officials have not given him access to his delegates. “For reasons I do not understand we were not given an opportunity to have access to the delegates so how could I release them?” asks Keyes.

Of course, the GOP’s “Big Tent” was large enough to extend a prime-time slot to moderates like General Colin Powell and openly homosexual Rep. Jim Kolbe, who generated little response from the delegates and who both used their subsequent media ops to assail the Republican platform’s position on quotas, homosexuality and killing babies before birth.

As for loyalty, when Powell was asked if he would take a cabinet post if Al Gore is elected, he said, “If he were the president, I would have to take it under serious consideration. …I’ve had conversations with President Clinton like this.” General Powell was a loyal soldier and a good leader in Desert Storm. He retired shortly thereafter, and it is time the GOP retired him from its lineup.