I don't know how much of John Kerry's acceptance speech the candidate penned himself. I don't know who suggested which lines, how many drafts there were, or who edited them. But I can tell you who wrote the speech: George W. Bush.
The power of the speech, reflected in a deafening series of ovations that consumed the FleetCenter tonight, came not from Kerry's biography or the themes he brought to the campaign two years ago. It came from his expression of widespread, pent-up outrage at the offenses of the Bush administration.
First Kerry released the outrage at America's disrepute around the world. Recalling his boyhood days in West Berlin, he said, "I saw the gratitude of people toward the United States. … I am determined now to restore that pride to all who look to America."
Explosion of applause.
He released the outrage at the debunked and shifting rationales for the Iraq war. America must be "true to our ideals," he said. "And that starts by telling the truth to the American people."
He released the outrage at abuses of executive power. "I will have a vice president who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to write our environmental laws," he said. "And I will appoint an attorney general who will uphold the Constitution.'
He released the outrage at corporate scandal. "Next January," he said, "Americans will be proud to have a fighter for the middle class to succeed Dick Cheney as vice president."