I don’t have as much to say about the VP convention speeches as I do their Presidential counterparts, so I’m just gonna combine these into two big posts, ranked in order of my favorite to least favorite. Unfortunately, not every VP speech from the modern “TV era” survives in full, so the ’48 and ’56 speeches could only be found in fragments.
Earl Warren (1948)
Sadly, like the head of the ticket, Dewey, not much survives of this speech. He gets in a little self-deprecating joke and that’s all we’ve got. I cannot believe that Presidential candidates’ speeches were not preserved in full somewhere. That still just blows my mind.
Richard Nixon (1956)
This is another fragment, unfortunately. Nixon, for all his faults, was always a great speaker. So it’d be cool to see this early example of his oration in full. The Checkers speech has greatly overshadowed both of his VP addresses. This one, from what we have, is a little more by the books than Checkers, or his 60s speeches. Pretty forgettable to be honest, but keep in mind it’s only a fragment.
Sarah Palin (2008)
Yes, that’s right. This is #1. Hear me out for a second.
Sarah Palin is certainly the most infamous VP selection of the 21st Century. While probably not as disastrous as Eagleton was to McGovern, I think she comes in second overall as the pick which hurt the campaign the most. There are some significant differences between the two that arguably makes Palin’s selection a greater, unforced error however. In the first place, McGovern had no choice but to pick Tom due to the party bigwigs spurning him en masse with the deadline for announcement only an hour away. In 2008, the McCain team could have picked anyone they wanted, and in fact John himself originally preferred Joe Lieberman as the first cross-party ticket in history, in order to demonstrate his ability to work across the aisle. Instead of this stratagem, McCain’s team ultimately gambled on the “exciting!” choice and went for a woman to pander to disillusioned Hillary supporters. The gambit failed because Palin proved to be very empty headed and vastly unqualified for the task at hand. In contrast, you can say what you will about Eagleton but he was certainly as qualified to run as anyone–his detrimental effect was more due to outdated cultural perceptions towards mental illness than any fault of his own.
ASIDE: Of course, Lieberman is basically a Republican anyway, so I think this would have come off as the empty symbolic gesture it was and tarnish Joe rather than strengthen John.
I remember back in the day, there was an initial wave of excitement when Palin was first announced. Then, after the SNL skits and Katie Curic, it was quickly downhill with no reprieve. Still, at the time of this first speech, she seemed to be a home run success for the Republicans. I think going for a woman was the smart thing to do, as 2008 for better or worse was absolutely dominated by the historical appeal of the first black or woman President in the primaries and the GOP had been frozen out of that enthusiasm. The Democratic primary had left scores of disaffected Hillary supporters who pledged they would never vote for Obama (funny how they turned around and called the Bernie supporters sore losers then, eh?) and it made strategic sense to go after that voting block. With the right woman, I think McCain could have turned it around and won or at least gave a stronger showing.
To all the ridiculous Clinton-Apologists claiming that all of America is sexist because she lost in ’08 and ’16, I’d ask you to look at the excitement and endless applause Palin gets here. This is coming from the GOP. It’s not sexism when women happen to fail. Both parties have proven they will accept women on the ticket and vote for them. And I would say Palin is an interesting counterpoint to the east coast Clinton and Ferraro. This is the first time that we can see what a western, rural, “folksy” woman candidate is like as opposed to the city-dwelling intellectual archetype they embodied.
I like opening by talking about the nominee for President (in this case, McCain). I’m noticing that the Republicans, for all their other faults, don’t do the hokey openings where they tell us how much they love their wives and how hard their fathers worked in non-glamorous jobs. Palin does get into introducing her family, but only after getting the crowd sufficiently fired up by talking about who they’re voting for, and I’ve always felt that’s more effective. I like the jokes, the folksy charm, supporting renewable energy (wow! how far we’ve fallen in eight years…) and attacking the Democrats without calling them out by name to be booed and hated. And much as you may hate Palin and what she stands for, her criticism of Obama here was spot on and very effective…at least at first. As she goes on it kind of gets into the usual platitudes and misleading smears.
I don’t have much else to say about it, but this is a really good speech. It’s surprisingly well written and delivered, hits all the right notes, and served as a very effective introduction to someone who briefly seemed like a great choice. Its only flaw is that it goes on for a little too long. I think 30 minutes, give or take, is the sweet spot especially for a VP speech. Too much longer than that and you start to lose the audience no matter how good of a speaker you are. I don’t think Palin crossed that line here, but she came dangerously close to it.
Bob Dole (1976)
There is mention of Reagan apparently being denied a chance to speak by the commentators, and of delegates sitting back “wanting no part in this.” I recall this was a divisive primary because many wanted Reagan, and after his impromptu speech later at the convention where he upstaged Ford, many delegates felt buyers remorse. Personally, I feel it’s always smart to offer a hand to the runner up in contentious primaries like this one, something like the VP or a cabinet position. I vastly prefer Dole to Reagan personally, but I’m talking for the sake of victory here. It appears based off his remarks that Dole was also selected haphazardly at the last minute, so this seems to be another rushed speech. I’m surprised this practice seems to have been so common in the 70s—I was led to believe, reading about McGovern’s selection of Eagleton that such occurrences were rare. I’m assuming that nowadays it’s all carefully scripted and controlled further in advance, especially after the Eagleton disaster. But I bring this up because it’s just one more reason Reagan should have been offered VP.
“Dole is not a household word…but it is a four letter word you can get used to.” Interesting line—I dig it. Unfortunately, Dole then awkwardly stops to ask if they can hear him in the back. He does an admirable job trying to build up Ford, but talking about how he came into office during such a troubled time is pretty laughable considering it was the actions of this party which caused it in the first place. Again, we get some interesting rhetoric about “America was not built by those with low expectations” which sounds more progressive than the rhetoric of the Clinton Democrats these past two elections.
My admiration soon comes crashing down, however, when Dole makes the bizarre claim that all tyranny is the source of big government. I guess the child labor, worker exploitation, slave wages, feudalism and literal slavery all caused by capitalism and proto-capitalist systems (like the East India Company) past and present don’t count. This is just a completely untrue statement and I’m sure deep down Dole and other Republicans knew it then and now, yet the ignorant masses swallow it up. Personally, I feel there’s no reason government cannot do good itself is used properly and held in check. Furthermore, just as our three branches keep power in check politically, so too should government itself, labor unions and corporations hold each other in check economically. Government controlling everything is not the answer, but neither is neutering it completely and leaving us to the mercy of undemocratic, unaccountable, bottom-line obsessed corporations. Extremism on either side is bad, it’s that simple.
If this speech truly was written in a day as it would seem, then I’m very impressed. It’s better than either of Spiro’s speeches, both the prepared and the improvised. I disagree with nearly everything Dole’s saying, but it’s captivating and therefore succeeds as a speech. I do feel sorry for Dole too, overall. He did not deserve to be thrown into what everyone surely knew was a losing ticket, or a hostile crowd that wanted Reagan. But he’s a team player who took one for the greater good (as the GOP would see it.) I strongly dislike the idea of the Presidency being someone’s “turn” but he really paid his dues and I would have loved to see him as President if it had to be a Republican—certainly he would have been better than Reagan, the Bushes or Trump. I will say though, he comes off as unflinching right-wing here to a degree I don’t believe he was in the 80s or 90s. This kind of over the top Government-bashing is Reagan/neoliberal rhetoric, not Paleoconservative and/or Rockefeller rhetoric which is what Dole seemed to be in the other material I’ve watched. Whatever. Overall, it wasn’t just Reagan himself who overshadowed Ford at his own convention—Dole did too as far as I’m concerned.
Henry Cabot Lodge (1960)
It’s always cool to see in these VP speeches who went somewhere after the fact and who didn’t. It looks like Lodge ran for the top spot in 1964, but only after being prodded to as a compromise candidate against Goldwater and Rockefeller. I love the humbleness in the beginning of the speech, where Lodge even says that the other nominees deserve the honor more than he does. It’s a quality sorely lacking in the cycle of Trump’s narcissism and Hillary’s hubris.
Lodge rails against Communism, and says its a cult that wants to take over the world—maybe a little extreme for my tastes, but after all it was the Cold War. He talks about the two scenarios America could lose the Cold War: all at once through nuclear war or gradually through isolation abroad. Gotta love that Cold War hawk mentality, invade everyone or we’ll be surrounded by commies! I can get that this was the prevailing attitude of the time but I don’t think it’s aged well, is all. In fact, I’d say the ultimate irony is that there was a third way we lost our country, and it began with the paranoia, destruction of the left wing, and overextending ourselves abroad which Lodge is advocating.
There’s a lot of sucking up to the previous Eisenhower administration, which is to be expected by the incumbent party. I love how Lodge brings up the fact that America is not currently at war, and that the UN is actively keeping the peace, as positives in this speech. Again, compare that to BOTH parties today, who seem to be looking for the slightest provocation to throw American lives and money into the meat grinder. Of course, he still wants to strengthen the military, so something of a hallow point in his favor. Especially considering Eisenhower’s warning the same year, this is very ironic to see how it fell on death ears even to his immediate successors in the GOP. But Lodge does give a strong shoutout to Civil Rights too, which is another point I’ll give him, and very forward thinking. He talks about protecting the purchasing power of the dollar, again ironic considering the minimum wage they made this decade is about double what it is now in the 2010s. Not Lodge’s fault but it’s always depressing to go back to old speeches and see that the things we were promised, sometimes every single cycle like tax reform, never quite come to pass.
I love his rhetorical question and answer: “Can we do all that? Of course we can!” This is what President and VP candidates are supposed to do—inspire us. Lead the way, spur us on, and push us to heights we never thought we could ever achieve. Compare that to Hillary Clinton’s “meh, things are already good enough” and “Single payer will never ever happen” and the difference is staggering. It says a lot that the Conservative party of 50 years ago was more optimistic and inspiring than the supposedly progressive party of today. It’s outright shameful is what it is.
It’s towards the end where Lodge takes the conversation into Nixon and hypes him up. I expect this will be a common theme among all subsequent VP speeches. After all, the whole point is to shore up support for the nominee. The VP exists to toot their horn for them. This is where Lodge’s oration starts to fall apart, however. He starts tripping over his words very frequently to where it’s slightly cringe-inducing. I believe his story of Nixon meeting with foreign leaders and demonstrating to them that he knew their countries’ struggles, however the anecdote is botched by poor oration. Nixon would later put that foreign policy knowledge to good use bridging the gap with China. Another great irony here is that Trump has now seriously damaged that relationship with his Taiwan call. [And, more recently, the trade war and “Chinese virus” shtick.]
Overall, a pretty good speech. Somewhat carbon-copy 60s Republican, but not in a bad way. Well delivered, though not exactly an earth-shattering performance either. Nothing unexpected was said. The greatest source of interest here by far are the many sources of irony which I’ve been keeping track of.
Spiro Agnew (1972)
This one is far longer than the previous outing by Agnew, probably because he had time to actually write an official speech. We get to see Ford banging the gavel for a minute here, little did he know then that he would be replacing Agnew and then Nixon himself in quick succession. Here, Agnew’s wife stands by his side which is much more natural and dignified than the way she and her daughters were paraded out to be whistled at four years prior.
It’s interesting how Agnew frames the VP as a series of contradictory positions: an honor and a challenge, as wll as an opportunity to serve and learn from the President. I think it’s very strange why he feels the need to clarify that the VP is “the President’s man, and not a competing political identity.” With the exception of the old Whig VPs, Eagleton, and maybe Bush Snr, I have no idea what precedents there would be for such a misconception and therefore why he would need to spell it out. Perhaps there were rumors of discord in the Nixon administration, or rumors Agnew was just using it as a springboard to a future run? If so, I certainly never heard about that. This is the beginning of an awkward “Webster’s dictionary defines Vice President as…” type of opening. Oh boy. Nobody cares how overlooked the VP is, man. We care about the administration and its goals. This is supposed to be a pep rally, not a lecture on what a VP does. You might get away with this kind of approach if talking about the President, but not the VP. It’s be like giving a convention speech on how hard-working and overlooked the head of the Department of Education is—who cares? (Plus, the VP doesn’t even have a constitutionally mandated job–they exist as a placeholder unless the President personally decides to delegate more responsibility to them.)
He begins to rebound when he condemns “those who would divide us into partisan blocks.” One of many great ironies if the old GOP could see the new one, and the hyper-partisan nature of politics today. (To be fair, the Democrats can be just as guilty of this.) Again he talks about an education and decent living for all regardless of race, background or religion. Tragically, once again, this gets very little applause. This was the election where the Southern Strategy really took effect, with Wallace out of the race, and I’d argue is the true realigning election that heralded in the Sixth Party system founded on racism and sowing division.
Then we pivot into talking up Nixon, which is par for the course. What seems new (I’m only going by 3 full predecessor speeches) is blaming all the problems on the previous administration. A very bad precedent, and what would lead to the very thing he condemned earlier, if Agnew really did start this trend. I ought to point out too, that while Agnew’s rhetoric about making all Americans better off is nice, the Nixon administration did a lot to push back against black rights with the aforementioned Southern Strategy and new Drug War. This then is the beginning of another disgusting trend of the GOP, lying to the people about what their real agendas are.
This election did end up becoming a crossroads, but not the one Agnew talks about. This was the last time an economic liberal was ever nominated, or a Paleoconservative ever elected by either major party. After this, it’s all downhill. 1972 I say again is one of the most important, pivotal elections in US history yet almost no one talks about it. It’s disgusting seeing Agnew intentionally misrepresent McGovern’s positions in a series of questions to the audience “shall we do ABC thing Nixon wants? (audience says yes) or do we do XYZ thing McGovern wants? (audience says no).”
Overall, another average speech in terms of oration. Not too terribly superior to his previous one even with added time to prepare. He speaks well enough, but doesn’t inflect his voice enough so it comes off like he’s just droning on and on. He doesn’t move his arms to accentuate his points like many other politicians do. He keeps coming back to the same points about quotas and forced divisions the Democrats put us in, which is a valid criticism (especially today against Hillary’s campaign). However, it further exacerbates the repetitive feeling of the speech itself. If there really were some rumors Agnew was gunning for the top spot or something, I don’t think he ever would have had a chance based on this level of speaking ability.
Spiro Agnew (1968)
I admit I’m still fuzzy on details, but I understand Spiro was LOATHED by the Democrats, perhaps as much as Cheney is today. He would eventually get thrown out of office even before Nixon did, which is why Ford was appointed specially without an election and then by chance became the first (and hopefully only) unelected President in our history.
In a bizarre first, Agnew trots out his wife and two daughters on stage, and all of them are dressed in near matching outfits with nearly the exact same haircut. It’s really, really odd and frankly a little creepy. They almost remind me of the Ronnettes, and some joker or two even wolf whistles at them a couple times which is incredibly disrespectful especially given the context. I’m not sure what Agnew was doing with that move, considering neither they nor he even says anything in the moment. They just come, stand there awkwardly (I’m sure the whistling had something to do with their discomfort) and then walk off without a word. Then Agnew proceeds as if it never happened.
Agnew claims he had no time to prepare a message. Talks about Nixon and the Party a bit, and then talks about what he feels he brings to the ticket. I will say, his condemnation of the current Democratic administration, while I don’t necessarily agree, is just. His remarks about 4 minutes in are what real true economic Conservatism is all about—not attacking government necessarily, just curtailing unnecessary spending and wanting to trim the fat to get better results with the same or less money. The word Conservatism has changed its meaning since Reagan; what Agnew is talking about here is what would now be called “Paleoconservative” and I would argue this is what Republicans need to embrace again for the good of the country. The new way is to demonize ANY government that isn’t the military, as well as demonizing Democrats by virtue of being Democrats. It’s unproductive, unrealistic, and dangerous.
To get back to Agnew, he even talks about leveling the playing field for all people here—how about that? Compare that to the modern “if you’re poor, you’re lazy and stupid and on drugs” rhetoric of the GOP. He goes on to talk about fighting poverty in the cities for crying out loud, something that would be blasphemy to the “party of God” today. He stands up for black Americans specifically as well. To my shock and displeasure, these remarks get almost no applause whatsoever—a sure sign of the GOP to come. This election is considered by some to be realigning, because it was the beginning of the Southern Strategy, and only one election removed from the former Dixiecrats jumping ship to the GOP in protest of the Civil Rights act. You can really feel that in this moment.
After that Agnew’s speech begins to drone on and on before it mercifully trails off. It wasn’t a bad speech by any means until the end—and if he really did make it up on short notice, I’m very impressed. It’s not necessarily a good example of oration, though a big step up from Miller, but this speech is a great testament to how much more tolerant and even liberal the Republicans used to be. Goldwater and later Reagan completely transformed the Party and by extension the whole political spectrum. I hope Bernie and some yet unknown successor can do the same to the Democrats, but I’m fast losing hope of that.
Jack Kemp (1996)
I really liked Jack Kemp in his debate performance as VP nominee this cycle. I wasn’t a big fan of his during the 1988 primary, especially when it was revealed he personally had written the code of Reaganomics. It’s funny—the exact opposite happened for me with his running mate, Dole. (That is to say, I hated Dole’s debate performance in ’96 but loved his rhetoric in his earlier runs for President.)
I dig the opening line, about how the greatest title a man can have is “Dad.” Shows a decent amount of humble pride in the beginning, though I’m sure it’s also meant to be an appeal to “family values” as well. Kemp quotes Abe Lincoln, which is preferable to the constant Reagan-worshiping of today…however I don’t like the segue into “the best way to serve your country…is to elect Bob Dole!” That was a forced and cheesy line. Then he just talks in a lot of stupid platitudes “a new American century”, “insure freedom, equality and justice for all” which you hear a lot of when listening to so many political speeches. But he claims these principles as REPUBLICAN principles only, and not American ones. Again, I see this as another step towards the hyper-partisanship and demonizing of the enemy which has become so commonplace now. Then, paradoxically, he mentions taking the campaign coast to coast and not leaving anyone out.
It’s interesting that Kemp neither officially accepts the nomination at the beginning nor the end of the speech. The former is by far the most common. Instead, he gives an “opening statement” of sorts and then officially accepts. I kinda like this strategy, but I think he didn’t utilize it right. I could see maybe opening your speech with some words about the nominee and how great they are and then maybe coming in to say “and that’s why I heartily accept your nomination to serve with them!” and then focusing the rest of the speech on the campaign itself, the platform, and yourself. Kemp’s opening statement was kinda “meh” and there’s no reason it had to be separated by his acceptance like that. It just felt like the various subjects and platitudes were thrown together here, as opposed to weaving them all together seamlessly in a way that builds the momentum towards accepting. He even goes on to continue his previous train of thought about having better ideas than the Democrats after accepting. It makes me wonder if he forget to say he accepted the nomination earlier and then threw it in as an afterthought.
When Kemp starts talking about how “there’s another hero with us tonight […] he’s in all of our hearts” I knew exactly what was coming. The little preamble went on a lot longer than that, but there can only be one person for whom so much fanfare is drawn out. Yep, Ronald Reagan. This would mark the beginning of the deification of this senile old man who did everything he claimed to be against in office, and remodeled Conservatism into Neoliberalism. That line “Thanks, Ronald Reagan” is delivered so stiltedly, and with such an insincere look to the camera that part of me wonders if even Kemp knew that the legend was built on lies. Either way, the amount of adulation placed on Reagan is a creepy cult of personality and the fact that it was still being utilized in some of the ’16 primary debates shows how desperately far the Republicans have to look back for a popular president from their party. Democrats mentioned Kennedy and Roosevelt in prior decades too, but it’s never in the same over the top manner.
It is kinda cool having a Republican reference MLK—you dont see that every day. Certainly not now. That moment is a gem in a sea of typical empty platitudes about how Democrats raise taxes, are evil, want government to control everything, and are elitist. The lies about the economy suffering are laughable considering this was the tech boom.
In terms of oration, I think Kemp stumbles a little with his hand gestures. There’s one moment where he thrusts his hand and leans forward and it looks like he’s being pulled along by a fish. His constant asking “and guess what?” over the audience applause to get them to simmer down is annoying and leads to them asking “what?” and him responding “no, that’s rhetorical—you don’t have to answer that.” Just stay silent, put up your hands, and if you must, say “thank you.” That’s the proper way to quell applause and it’s been done by speakers immemorial. Most politicians would revel in ongoing applause, but Kemp always seems to want to shut them up again ASAP.
Overall, a pretty by the numbers post-Reagan GOP speech, for better or worse. And that’s really all there is to say about it. Kemp is a competent speaker, nothing more. He seemed to think this weird “Reagan was the last lion of the 20th Century”/”Bob Dole will be the first lion of the 21st century” line would be these great call to arms moments, but they’re not. To me, I hear that and I just think “whats a lion in this context? What does that even mean?” Is a lion a proud noble beast—if so, is that really the best thing to call them? Or is it a ferocious, wild animal—I’d agree with respect to Reagan, but then why is that a good thing to call your champion?
George Bush (1984)
Here he is, back for more. Unfortunately, this one is a lot longer as well. A lot of the plastic flag flyers shown in the audience are upside down—a perfect visual metaphor for this election and everything it meant to America. It’s disgusting how Bush credits Ronald “Tax breaks to the 1%” Reagan with “strengthening the grass roots.” Absolute joke. Here again we see the beginnings of the hyper-partisanship which plagues our country today as Bush calls the DNC “that Temple of Doom.” I’m sure it’s also an awkward name-drop to the then-new movie…but dear god what an over the top, fear mongering description of the other party. I have harsh words for the modern GOP, but I would never say something like that in an official speech to the nation like this. That’s just so unprofessional and again, the kind of talk that would lead to our situation now where both sides see each other as mortal enemies and not fellow Americans with some friendly disagreements on the best path forward. If/when the situation in America finally boils over, as I expect it to, I blame the Bush and Reagan years for starting the decline.
There’s another really weird, awkward namedrop to something currently going on when Bush calls Mondale “a gold medal winner in raising taxes.” Bush is no wordsmith, that’s for damn sure, and all these references in his speeches date them pretty badly in my opinion. I remember the reference to “spotting Elvis” in one of his Presidential acceptance speeches. Imagine that going down in the history books 200 years from now next to the immortal words of the founders, or the far more eloquent and timeless words of Kennedy, Roosevelt and even Goldwater. In a way, it’s almost symbolic of the short-sighted gains at the expense of real progress that the modern Right stands for. Cut taxes now…deal with the huge deficit later. Focus on short-term profits…dump the consequences on your successor (and society.) This is the attitude of the “Me generation” of the 80s—this is what our parents, the Boomers, sold out for. And they left us to clean up their mess, unironically calling us spoiled and lazy all the way.
I’m not totally against the balanced budget amendment and line item veto Bush is so gung-ho about here and in his later Presidential speeches. I think when possible we should keep a balanced budget, though there would need to be exceptions of course. A line item veto could be helpful in getting rid of dangerous hidden pork in otherwise good bills…or it could get rid of the good parts and keep the dangerous hidden pork. Anyway, the first demand is rich coming from a member of the administration that ran up a then-unprecedented debt, and whose son managed to surpass even that, and all with nothing to show for it. Bush likes movie references? Try fucking Chinatown—he’s Noah Cross down to a tee.
Again, we see both an unprecedented amount of aggression as well as the beginnings of the right dominating the conversation in the next part of the speech. The way Bush calls out the Democrats for adopting family values and turning their backs on Carter, I mean. Notice how “family values” had never been a talking point before, but it would become the Right’s favorite newspeak euphemism for “fucking over anyone that’s different (LGBT, rock music, even D&D players) and ruining lives for weed possession.” Notice how the Right is successfully holding the Democrats to their standards, as well as tying them to the unpopular Carter (Bush himself would throw McGovern under the bus in ’92 as well, twenty years after the man even ran.) You don’t see the Democrats try to do the same thing, or throw the Republicans under the bus for Nixon during this time. This was the beginning of the Republicans fighting dirty and the Democrats losing their backbones completely. Even in 2016, as the GOP called Obama every slanderous insult in the book, Hillary was bending over backwards to appeal to “moderate” Republicans and crediting Nancy Reagan with “starting a dialogue on AIDS” (WHICH SHE NEVER DID) rather than attack and disprove the cult of personality built around this awful administration who is primarily responsible for the suffering of the working class today. “Republicans have no brains, Democrats have no balls” this is the time when that saying came to be true.
Total laugh when Bush promises to focus more on the victims and less on the criminals. That’s why “tough on crime” became their mantra all through the next 20 years, they punished countless drug users for a victimless crime, and that infamous “we’ll build more prisons” speech. Overall, this is very similar to Reagan’s own “A Time for Choosing” speech from 20 years ago—on its own pure rhetorical merits, it’s very good and effective. However, it’s tampered by the fact that so much of it is baldfaced lies, sleazy attacks, projection and hypocrisy. Sadly, unless you’re very informed, you’d never know that, and admittedly a lot of this knowledge comes from hindsight. All the same though, it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny or the test of time.
In the subsequent celebration, Bush awkwardly waves by flailing his arms around as if he were trying to fly, the camera holds on some random woman awkwardly dancing by pumping her arms, and those stupid whistles make duck sounds. A sad, sorry scene for all of America.