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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Upbeat Republicans Revive Bush Theme of Compassion

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Upbeat Republicans Revive Bush Theme of Compassion: "September 1, 2004
Upbeat Republicans Revive Bush Theme of Compassion
By TODD S. PURDUM

Facing perhaps three times the television audience that saw its sharp-edged speakers on Monday, the Republican National Convention circled back last night to President Bush's winning 2000 campaign theme of 'compassionate conservatism,' portraying him as not only hardheaded but also bighearted enough to lead 'the most historic struggle my generation has ever known,' as his wife, Laura, put it in a prime-time speech.
On the first night the major broadcast networks carried live coverage of the proceedings, the party offered up glowing testimonials from Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator turned popular Republican governor of California; prominent black Republicans like Education Secretary Rod Paige and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele of Maryland; the president's telegenic nephew George P. Bush, who is Hispanic; and a variety of Republican women, chief among them Mrs. Bush herself.
'No American president ever wants to go to war,' said Mrs. Bush, who was presented to the delegates via satellite by her husband from the campaign trail in Pennsylvania, after their twin 22-year-old daughters introduced him to the hall in a goofily affectionate tribute that amounted to their national political debut.
'Abraham Lincoln didn't want to go to war,'' Mrs. Bush said, 'but he knew that saving the union required it. Franklin Roosevelt didn't want to go to war, but he knew that defeating tyranny demanded it. And my husband didn't want to go to war, but he knew the safety and security of America and th"

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