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Mark Curtis and Ross McGowan Dissect Sarah Palin's VP Speech

(St. Paul, Minnesota)

"Prime-time Palin" reads the headline in the "St. Paul Pioneer-Press" this morning!

Mark Curtis gives his opinions with Ross McGowan on KTVU's "Mornings on Two."

Check back at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

Republicans Circle the Wagons

Mark St. Paul Floor.JPG

(St. Paul, Minnesota)

The great political comedian Will Rogers used to say, “I’m not a member of any organized political party, I’m a Democrat!” It always got great laughs, and it has a certain ring of truth.

One thing you can say about Republicans is they know more about party unity. They know how to “circle the wagons” as the old saying goes. Democrats on the other hand, are better known for forming a “circular firing squad” and shooting their own.

A case in point last night: Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani all came to the stage in St. Paul and unequivocally endorsed the McCain-Palin ticket. Now this can’t be easy. All three men were beaten badly by John McCain in the primaries, and then all three were passed over for the Vice-presidential nomination. You could hardly blame them if they were bitter.

They weren’t. They were united, they were forceful and at times, even funny. In short, the GOP has them in the tent. Ronald Reagan would love this moment. He called Republicans the “big tent” party, letting anyone in. And he had his 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. Once again, the Reagan philosophy seems to have worked.

Mike Huckabee has assaulted the press corps the past few days for what he calls sexist coverage of Sarah Palin, and holding her to different standards than male candidates. Last night, he made the crowd laugh by saying, “The reporting these last few days has proven tackier than a costume change at a Madonna concert!”

Mitt Romney made an impassioned endorsement for McCain, of Arizona and Palin of Alaska, saying the “sun may soon rise in the West,” when it comes to American politics. You listen to this and it’s easy to forget all the bitter and nasty words between McCain and Romney at the height of the primary season.

Rudy Giuliani had more one-liners than a stand-up comedian, noting that polls indicate Palin is the most popular governor in America. “She’s got an 80 percent approval rating. You don’t get that in New York City!” Giuliani said as the crowd erupted in laughter.

The point is: they ran; they lost; but they honored and respected the outcome!

Democrats have always struggled with that. A week after their rousing convention speeches in Denver, people are still pondering the sincerity of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Do they really support Obama, or does Hillary have a better shot in 2012, if McCain wins this time? The political calculus never ends.

In 1980, challenger Ted Kennedy stood at the far end of the stage like a jilted prom date, after having his can kicked by Jimmy Carter. Have the two even spoken to this day?

The Democrats lost in 1968, with a party in chaos. Humphrey, McGovern, Muskie, the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson were hardly on speaking terms. The same scene and cast of characters held an encore in 1972.

In 1993, Sen. Bob Kerrey almost single handedly torpedoed Bill Clinton’s first budget, perhaps the fallout from some nasty barbs Clinton sent Kerrey during the primaries.

Democrats hold grudges; Republicans hold victory parties. This probably explains why the GOP has held the White House 20 of the last 28 years.

More blogs throughout the day as we await John McCain’s acceptance speech tonight. Check in at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

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