To these ears, it sounded like a sophomoric line by, well, a sophomore seeking to impress classmates and perhaps his fuzzy-headed teacher. But MSNBC has proclaimed Mario Cuomo's call for a nuclear freeze because "peace is better than war and life is better than death" one of the greatest convention-speech lines ever.
In the run-up to this evening's keynote address by former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Hillary's much-anticipated speech, Hardball did a segment on some of the best Dem convention speeches of the past. Now, love it or hate it, it's hard to deny that the late Ann Richards' "born with a silver foot in his mouth" about George 41 was a pretty good zinger. And even Barack Obama's "there is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America" wasn't bad either. No beef with those being included. But try out the excerpt from Maria Cuomo's 1984 speech that MSNBC selected as one of the "best of the best."
View video here.
DAVID SHUSTER: Even if you put aside the people who've been on the ticket: put them aside. There have been some incredible, incredible Democratic speeches throughout the years, usually starting on the Tuesday night when the keynote speaker starts. We went back through, looked at all the best tapes from the last forty years. Here is the best of the best . . . In 1984, New York governor became a Democratic household name with this.
MARIO CUOMO: We proclaim as loudly as we can the utter insanity of nuclear proliferation and the need for a nuclear freeze, if only to affirm the simple truth that peace is better than war and life is better than death.
Right. And arms are for hugging. Fortunately, Ronald Reagan had the sense and the courage to ignore the calls of Cuomo and his ilk, and to pursue a military build-up that—just five years after Cuomo spoke—led to the end of the Soviet Union.