Bob Schaffer began his acceptance speech with a tribute to his recently deceased grandmother, Mary Schaffer, born in 1914, an inspiration to his life and campaign.
Schaffer began the substance of his remarks by highlighting the need for reform within the Republican Party and his independent record of challenging GOP leadership, on No Child Left Behind and on earmarks.
But Democrat leadership is wrong more often, he correctly observed. Schaffer compared Democrat calls for "change" to putting lipstick on a pig. The zinger of the speech: What do you call a system of sustained, liberal, one-party rule? "In Colorado, we call it Boulder." Without mentioning his opponent by name, Schaffer reminded the party faithful of Dennis Kucinich's Boulder-like Department of Peace proposal. Subtle, but effective.
Bob Schaffer then focused on the expected philosophical themes that undergird his campaign and unite him with the Republican Party:
- His support of free markets
- Protecting individual rights
- Empowering families to make the most important decisions about health care & education (aka school choice)
- The need for energy independence
- Freedom-based health care, not government-run health care
In case you need a sense of the audience, Bob Schaffer's biggest applause came from his citation of the Declaration of Independence, that our inalienable rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" come from God.
Bob Schaffer closed on a personal note, honoring his wife Maureen, "another strong Schaffer woman" and each of his five kids: Mary, named for her great-grandmother; Sarah, with the best penmanship in America. His oldest three children are all military officers in training - Jenny, Emily, and Justin - which provided a springboard to credit those serving in our military overseas as an inspiration for those on the homefront: "Don't you think we owe them the same kind of courage here at home?"
The audience rose to its feet with the powerful conclusion that draws the clear contrast between Bob Schaffer and his opponent: "Freedom is better than bondage. Liberty is better than bureaucracy. Winning on the battlefield is better than losing."