I don't blame the GOP for not wanting to shout their names from the rafters of the Xcel Center, but come on, no-shows? To be fair, they did take time out to acknowledge their sitting President (although not their sitting VP).
On Sarah's big night, there were speeches by Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, and of course Sarah Palin herself. Between the four of them, there was one reference to President Bush. It came from Romney and was delivered well before the prime-time audience tuned in. Romney praised Bush for labeling “the terror-sponsor states the axis of evil.” (apparently, Bush's only compliment-worthy action in 8 years).
And Bush really delivered! Hitting the lead-off run to what would become a grand slam of insults and innuendos from every speaker to follow, Bush said:
Did he just liken those who disagree with McCain to war criminals? Moving on...of course, it didn't take long before Bush threw in a reference to 9/11:
Those fear-mongering tactics have served the Republicans well for the last 8 years so why not parade them out again? You can also deduce from Bush's statement that McCain is willing and able to thrust us into yet another "pre-emptive" war.
It's a bit puzzling why McCain was running so scared of Bush at the convention. He has embraced him (literally) and his policies for the last 18 months while pandering to the conservative base. At the same time though, he has slammed Obama for pointing out the similarities. In McCain's own words:
Maybe McCain didn't think he needed Bush at the convention since he sounded a lot like him during his acceptance speech. Take a look (the whole clip is great but the comparisons to Bush start at 4:20 into the clip).
My conclusion: McCain and Bush are actually one and the same, that's why Bush wasn't needed at the convention.