PHILADELPHIA -- Texas Gov. George W. Bush, building on a political dynasty spanning three generations, claims the Republican presidential nomination Thursday night declaring that America needs a change of leadership to solve the tough problems that President Clinton and Al Gore failed to fix.
"We are all a little weary of the Clinton-Gore routine," running mate Dick Cheney told the confetti-filled GOP convention Wednesday night. "But the wheel has turned. And it is time, it is time for them to go."
"Send them home," delegates shouted back, taking off their hats and waving goodbye. Cheney's speech provided the partisan bite that had been missing in a convention programmed to present a softer, more moderate face.
Bush said he would deliver a closing speech that "speaks from my heart. I'm going to lift the spirit of the country."
Born to one of America's most prestigious political families, Bush begins his quest just eight years after his father was forced from the Oval Office. His grandfather was a U.S. senator from Connecticut. His brother is the governor of Florida.
In his own prime-time televised address, Bush will share his disappointment about what he believes is the Clinton-Gore administration's failure over eight years to improve schools, reform Social Security, overhaul taxes, beef up the military and attach some form of prescription drug benefit to Medicare.
"He will talk about the current administration's failure to get anything done," said spokeswoman Karen Hughes. "The tone will be regretful rather than critical."
Bush, 54, seeks to become the first presidential son to win the White House since John Quincy Adams in 1824. Bush enters the race ahead in the polls and leading a party more united than it's been in 16 years.
Cheney said "big changes are coming to Washington" if Bush wins in November. He promised Bush "will repair what has been damaged" and "restore decency and integrity to the Oval Office."
Bush and Cheney officially won their nominations in a tumultuous convention gala. Bush watched from his hotel suite a few miles away. He described himself as "a tough competitor" and said, "I'm going to give it my best shot."
"What are we to make of the past eight years?" Cheney questioned in his acceptance speech, taking aim at Clinton and Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting. "I look at them," Cheney said, "and see opportunities squandered. The wheel has turned. And it is time. It is time for them to go."
Cheney's time-for-them-to-go barb was borrowed from Al Gore's vice presidential speech before the Democratic convention in 1992, aimed at then-President George Bush.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.