Our online series, "Conventional Wisdom," comes to a close today with the end of the Republican National Convention.
Guest blogger Princella Smith serves as Chief Advocate for the Platform of the American People at American Solutions, an organization founded by former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.
She wraps up the week's events with this final post.
Stand Up, Stand Up, Stand Up and Fight!
Experience and a real call for enacting change from a person who has proven that he is able to deliver on it. John McCain may not have soaring rhetoric in his speeches, but last night, the soldier's acceptance address packed a powerful punch. No matter how you slice it or dice it, John McCain has a PROVEN record for calling for change and actually fighting for it in Washington — something that is very rarely seen in the nation's capitol nowadays and something that he did even to the detriment of his standing in his own party.
McCain is a true soldier in more than one sense of the word, and in the crescendo of his speech, he called on all who were listening to "stand up, stand up, stand up, and fight!"
Commentators love to call it "red meat for the base," but it was more than that. I felt the energy in the Xcel Center, and viewers felt the energy in their living rooms. This warrior once again entrenched in a battle to save his country was now reaching out to his country to help him in the fight of his life.
Part of the electricity in the arena last night was the common resolve to cheer for Governor Palin each time her name was mentioned. Considering the current state of this country and this political environment, I cannot think of a better running mate.
Much of the media's scrutiny of her experience is unwarranted. As former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich said: "None of them want to look at the fact that Governor Palin heads a state whose budget is $11 billion with 15,000 employees, while the Obama and Biden offices have $4.6 million budgets and about 60 employees." This leads me to my next segment: "must see TV."
"Must See" TV — Convention Rewind
My boss, Newt Gingrich, proved once again why I am honored to work for him. Like it or not, he is a brilliant thinker, policy reformer, political analyst, and former professor, who has a gift for explaining the most complicated of situations. Tuesday night, Gingrich summed up this entire complex presidential race in one short interview on the convention floor. You simply MUST see this clip of his defense of Palin on MSNBC. (Watch it through to the very end!)
On a personal note, my week was very full! American Solutions did an event promoting education reform featuring our chairman, Newt Gingrich, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Gov. Roy Romer, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, and ... wait for it, wait for it ... AL SHARPTON. Yes, Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich agree on the need for education reform (despite their many disagreements on many issues). This supports the mantra we have at American Solutions: that we should push for a red, white, and blue revolution where we find issues that we can all agree upon and work towards a solution — an American solution.
I met some VIPs and celebrities and did lots of interviews ranging from Essence Magazine, FOX News, CBN News, and, of course, NPR to YouTube, XM Radio, Black Enterprise, and a host of other television and radio — many of them interested on an "on the ground" point of view while others were intrigued with the fact that I'm black and wait — a REPUBLICAN???
Even NPR's Youth Radio was one of a few stations to follow me around with cameras to get their take on "this young black Republican." The international press and media were interested, as well. Scandinavia, France, Denmark, and Sweden were among the international outlets who were interested in showing their constituency that African-Americans are not a monolithic group and that we cannot be judged solely by American media/press coverage.
Most of all, it was a great moment in my life to not only have attended both conventions but to have participated in them. I can only wish this kind of blessing on others.