Alaskans warm to Bush; praise keynote speech

Posted: Friday, August 04, 2000

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- George W. Bush validated his presidential credentials in a keynote speech that exuded sincerity and vision, Alaska delegations to the Republican National Convention say.

The Texas governor accepted the GOP nomination Thursday night, pledging in his speech to provide strong leadership where he said the Clinton-Gore administration had failed in strengthening the military, improving education, protecting Social Security and Medicare.

Bush also took a clear anti-abortion stand, including support for a ban on partial-birth abortions, and promised to cut taxes.

The Alaska delegates said they were most impressed by Bush's sincerity.

''He hit on the issues that I care about,'' said delegate Chris Jay of Anchorage. ''It was direct, it was straightforward, it was honest.''

Rob Shipley, also from Anchorage, said he was impressed with Bush's emphasis on unity and thought the Texas governor did a masterful job of articulating a vision that should have appeal across the political spectrum.

''He's got a positive message. There's nothing phony about the way he presented what he believes in. He was very strong and positive, something that has been missing in the White House for eight years,'' Shipley said. ''He can present a can-do attitude and a spirit of cooperation to get things done.''

Bush painted himself as a Washington outsider unencumbered by the partisan wars that have marked many of the Clinton years.

''More than anything, I can go home and tell my family that the next president is someone that we can be proud of,'' said Debbie Joslyn from Delta Junction, Alaska's new national Republican committeewoman.

''I'm excited about having a president that I feel like I can trust. He hit on the major themes of the Republican party platform, and I just feel confidence that he believes the things he said,'' Joslyn said.

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