Cross-posted from McCainVictory08.com
The press won’t receive the text of Senator McCain’s speech for another couple of hours, probably around 6 pm Central time but I had the chance to speak with the lead speech writer, Marc Salter a few minutes ago and he gave me a general overview.
Given that Salter has been described as John McCain’s voice, it is interesting how he slips back and forth between first and second tense when describing the speech that Senator McCain will give in a few hours.
The first thing he talked about was what the speech won’t be. He characterized Obama’s speech as *”aggressively negative.” *He went on to characterize the tone of Senator McCain’s speech; “There will be no negativity about Senator Obama as there was suffused in Senator Obama’s acceptance speech. There will be straight forward contrasts. There will be contrasts based on this is what I am for and this is what he is for. In that section of the speech where he is dealing with specific issues, he’ll talk about the things he is for and why I am for them.”
Salter said that Senator McCain will run on his values and political values and his vision for the direction the country and the Republican Party. The speech will be forward looking.
Asked how Senator McCain would treat President Bush, Salter responded that Senator McCain will obviously be respectful and speak to the “systematic problems with the political culture in Washington.” Salter says there is no need for McCain to draw contrasts with President Bush as “people will draw their own contrasts.”
Salter also said that he didn’t feel there were “a whole lot of specific policy prescriptions in Obama’s speech” and that McCain will lay out his agenda and where he stands on the issues. Acknowledging that on certain issues, Senator McCain has not always been in sync with the party, Salter said that he isn’t going to back away from those positions but rather lay out what he believes is a winning agenda that will “take us back to our political principles that led to majorities in the past.”
Salter says he isn’t looking for people to take away from the speech the idea that Senator Obama is a “typical Democrat and John McCain is a typical Republican.” McCain is going to “run as the statesman he is.” Salter said McCain will also remind voters that “he is the candidate who has the history of reaching across the aisle to create actual change for the country.”
Asked if there would be a “shout out to New Hampshire” Salter said the speech would be “a shout out to the country.”