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Republican Convention Officially Nominates President Bush for Second Term - 2004-08-31

The Republican National Convention goes into its second of four nights at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The president won the nomination Tuesday night when the Pennsylvania delegation put Mr. Bush over the necessary 1,255 delegate votes.

Pennsylvania was the state chosen to put Mr. Bush over the top of the delegate count to secure the nomination because it is crucial to his re-election prospects.

The race between Mr. Bush and his challenger, Democratic Senator John Kerry is a tight one in Pennsylvania, a state rich in electoral votes, 21 in all.

Among the speakers Tuesday evening will be California Governor and former movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will discuss his experience as an immigrant, and talk about what the United States does for the rest of the world.

In excerpts of his speech released to the media, Governor Schwarzenegger says, in his words, "We are the America that gives more than any other country, to fight AIDS in Africa and the developing world. And we are the America that fights not for imperialism but for human rights and democracy."

The president's wife, Laura Bush, will also speak. Mrs. Bush offered a preview in a CBS television interview Tuesday morning, praising her husband's handling of the economy.

"The unemployment rate in the United States right now is, the average rate around the U.S. is 5.5, which is lower than it was in the '90's or the 80's or the 70's," she said. "So the economy is rebounding, but absolutely we all need to work to make sure that everybody who wants a job in the United States has one. I've had a really great time talking about women entrepreneurs and meeting women around the country who have started businesses."

Education Secretary Rod Paige is another speaker Tuesday evening. He spoke to reporters earlier about the remarks he will make.

"This is no time for us to go to sleep on education," he said. "Great nations are required to have great education systems. And for those who argue about the status quo, who argue against what we are talking about the underpinning assumption appears to be that we are o.k. I don't think everything is fine, I think part of it may have even reached the point where you could even call it a crisis. I look forward to have a few minutes to say to our nation, let us put our shoulder together and move forward on education."

Democrats have been criticizing Mr. Bush's handling of education and the economy. They say he has not adequately funded education, and say his tax cut policies benefit only wealthy Americans.

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