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McCain, Palin Speeches Shift Tone of Election

More than 42 million people tuned in Thursday to see John McCain's acceptance speech, matching the number who watched Barack Obama's speech last week. A panel of editors and columnists weigh how the GOP event was received across the country.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Next, the Republicans as seen from beyond Minnesota. John McCain ended the convention last night with a speech to about 25,000 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Here's part of what he said.

    SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), Arizona: And let me just offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second crowd: Change is coming.

    I'm not — I'm not in the habit of breaking my promises to my country, and neither is Gov. Palin. 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. And we've…

    We've got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment, and backbone to keep our word to you.

    I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us. We lost — we lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption.

    We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger. We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties — and Sen. Obama — passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies.

    We lost their trust when we valued our power over our principles. We're going to change that.

    Again and again — again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as president. 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. Sen. Obama does not.

    We face many dangerous threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them.

    I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it shouldn't do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't.

    I know how to secure the peace. I hate war. It's terrible beyond imagination. I'm running for president to keep the country I love safe and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has.

    I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal — diplomatic, economic, military, and the power of our ideals — to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.

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