Republicans have gathered in St Paul, Minnesota for their national convention. Party supporters have been hearing a chorus of praise for John McCain.
President George W Bush speaking via video-link from the White House told the faithful John McCain deserved to succeed him.
“I’ve sat at the resolute desk and reviewed the daily intelligence briefings, the threat assessments and reports from our commanders on the front lines,” he said.
“I’ve stood in the ruins of buildings knocked down by killers and promised the survivors I would never let them down. I know the hard choices that fall solely to a president. John McCain’s life has prepared him to make those choices. He is ready to lead this nation.”
The on-screen address was designed to put some distance between Bush and McCain who, tomorrow, is due to be nominated as the Republican presidential candidate for the November election.
The keynote speech came from Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in the year 2000, who is now an independent senator.
“What, after all, is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this,” he said. “The answer is simple . I’m here to support John McCain because country matters more than party.”
Now the convention awaits a speech from McCain’s surprise number two Sarah Palin. Her prime-time address will be her first chance to directly tell American voters her life story and philosophy.
Her selection as vice-presidential candidate has caused a media storm with questions raised about her unmarried daughter’s pregnancy and the relevance of her political experience as Governor of Alaska.