Ending his speech to the American people with thundering applause as he promised, “I fight for you!” John McCain accepted his party’s nomination to become President of the United States. Positioning himself as a fighter, a reformer and a patriot, he told his personal story of dedication to country and his political story of pragmatic reaching across party lines to accomplish national goals. And he challenged the American people to “fight for what’s right for our country…the ideals and character of a free people.”

Portraying himself as an agent for change in Washington and a maverick not an insider in the beltway, McCain demonstrated his responsiveness to the people. “I don’t work for a party. I don’t work for a special interest. I don’t work for myself. I work for you.” He talked about creating energy independence, improving schools, lowering taxes and reducing big government. To achieve these, McCain said, “I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. My friends, I have that record and the scars to prove it… I’m not in the habit of breaking promises to my country. And when we tell you we’re going to change Washington, and stop leaving our country’s problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it.”

Earlier in the evening his wife, Cindy McCain, came onstage with their seven children and spoke about their family and her charitable and philanthropic efforts here and overseas. Reaffirming the theme of trust and straight talk, Cindy said “It’s going to take someone of unusual strength and character – someone exactly like my husband – to lead us through the reefs and currents that lie ahead. I know John. You can trust his hand at the wheel.”

Now that both parties have concluded their conventions, it’s off to the races. Let’s hope that the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates give us all facts to digest and plans to consider as we move toward making the important decision about whom to vote for in the historic election in November.

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