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Bush to Accept Nomination, Cheney Blasts Clinton-Gore

Philadelphia, August 3, 2000 -- George W. Bush takes center stage tonight at the Republican National Convention for what could be the most important speech of his short political career when he accepts the Republican nomination to the the party's presidential candidate.

A Preview for Tonight
Appearing today in Philadelphia at a GOP luncheon honoring Bush's wife, Laura, the Texas Governor appealed to his supporters, saying: "Just give us a chance to work with people to get it done so America's promise can ... spread its wings throughout all our society."

He then joked: "If you want to hear more of that, tune in at 10 o'clock tonight."

Aides say that tonight's speech will reach out to broaden the Republican candidate's appeal to independent voters, must-win swing states, young voters and those demographic groups that frequently vote for Democratic voters -- minorities and women.

audio buttonHear NPR's Steve Inskeep report for All Things Consideredon the Laura Bush luncheon sponsored by the National Federation of Republican Women, a group that says the Texas governor can end the Democrat's two-decade dominance among women voters.

Tonight, Bush may also give some "lighthearted" jabbing to Democratic candidate, Vice President Al Gore, according to Bush spokeswoman Karen Hughes, but Bush plans to focus more on his own "leadership" qualities.

audio buttonListen as All Things Considered host Robert Siegel talk with convention delegates about what they hope to hear. Some look forward to hearing to Bush talking about faith-based organizations and appointing future Supreme Court justices, while others hope that he refrains from addressing hot button issues like like abortion and the Republican effort to impeach President Clinton.

Many predict some talk about Bush's main campaign mantra and political vision: "Compassionate conservatism." audio buttonHear All Things Considered host Robert Siegel talk with Marvin Olasky, an informal Bush advisor who coined the phrase that is now the title of Olasky's new book. Olasky shares his thoughts with about how Bush's Christianity could infuse his presidency and his policies.

Cheney Slams Clinton and Gore
On Wednesday night, Bush's hand-picked running mate, Dick Cheney took the spotlight at the convention. The former defense secretary and Wyoming congressman wasted no time in delivering a hard-hitting speech slamming the Clinton and Gore administration for turning Washington into "a scene of bitterness and ill will and partisan strife."

Now is the time to restore decency and integrity to the Oval Office and rid the country of the Clinton-Gore years, he said. "The wheel has turned. It is time. It is time for them to go."

The phrase echoed Vice President Al Gore's words from the 1992 Democratic convention when he said the same thing about the Reagan and Bush administration.

The GOP vice presidential candidate said that if elected, Bush will immediately repair "what has been damaged. He's a man without pretense, without cynicism, a man of principle, a man of honor."

audio button Listen as NPR's Mara Liasson reports for Morning Edition on Cheney's pointed, partisan attack against the Clinton-Gore administration.

Low Profile of Christian Conservatives
While Cheney's speech may have been a harsh attack on the current administration, most of the messages coming from the GOP convention this year have been more centrist in nature. Missing are the conservative firebrands like Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich. Republican consultant Frank Luntz worked for Gingrich in the early 1990s. audio buttonListen as he speaks with Morning Edition host Madeleine Brand about how the Republican Party is trying to offer a message of compassionate conservatism.

Opportunity for All
Many vendors have set up booths at a separate convention center in the city's downtown area, far from the actual GOP convention at the First Union Center in South Philadelphia. They are hawking everything from buttons to a $200 audio buttonpanorama photo of the 2,000-plus delegates on the convention floor. Listen as NPR's Madeleine Brand introduces us to some of the vendors.

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