In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of BBC News Online users to share their views. Here, we asked them for their opinion on last week's Republican convention.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Neil Sherman
Lives: Germantown, Tennessee
Works: Retired naval officer, Presbyterian minister
Current voting intention: Undecided
In 10 words or less:
"Husband, father of six, grandfather of 17, soccer fan"
Quite a speech! This is certainly the best I have heard from George W Bush.
I was quite impressed. This speech exceeded my expectations.
Most impressive for me was the positive nature and the forward-looking aspect of his speech.
I liked the "world of tomorrow" ideas of less dependency on foreign energy (I haven't heard this since Jimmy Carter), tax code simplification (especially the bipartisan team he intends to put together) and increased funding for community colleges.
I also liked the idea of "American Opportunity Zones", ideas on healthcare plans for small firms (my wife liked this one since she is a small business owner), healthcare help to those of low income, medical liability reform, changes in outdated work rules and seven million homes for low income families.
He paid his dues to his conservative supporters with comments on marriage, abortion and religion.
Overall this was a very positive speech and it does make me more likely to vote for President Bush.
I liked his comments about the help our allies have given us in the effort to combat terrorism in the world.
Nice comment about Great Britain, too.
I think it will make the undecided and swing voters more likely to vote for President Bush.
Overall, this convention will have a positive impact on the Republican Party. For me, Senator John McCain's speech was important.
Now on to the debates! No final decision for me yet.
Send us your comments on Neil's views using the form below.
At least, here is a president and a politician who will not back down when confronted with terrorism. A war was declared on the US on 9/11 and when you're at war, you take all the necessary steps. And you don't negotiate with terrorists with the help of fundamentalists as France is doing at the moment in its attempt to have two journalists freed.
Patrick, Vienne, France
Neil, the speech was very well written indeed, but you can be sure Bush didn't write it! I also think most of it contained half truths. If I were you, I wouldn't entrust my taxes to Bush, who has so many conflicts of interest. Don't forget Bush has already spent $200 billion on the war in Iraq, a war that has not made your country safer. Whose interests does Bush really represent?
Jose Diego, Mexico City, Mexico
What I find frightening about these voter commentaries is that they show how dependent people are on the media for getting their information about candidates. And more often than not their voting opinions will be founded on stump speeches or on the sound bite of the day. For example Mr Sherman says "I liked the 'world of tomorrow' ideas of less dependency on foreign energy (I haven't heard this since Jimmy Carter)". Kerry has made a similar campaign promise, and because Mr Sherman has not read or heard this, his opinion is only that Bush is making this type of effort. The result is an incomplete perspective on extremely important issues. Lives are a stake and there is no sense of duty to make informed decisions.
Matt, Montreal, Canada
I agree! Quite a speech! This is certainly the best I have heard from George W Bush. But on a scale of one to 10 it rates a two. Get out his acceptance speech from four years ago and see how much came to fruition. His father should be able to tell him, nice words work the first time around but without follow-up they are hollow at best. I don't care for Kerry either but I do prefer a flip-flop to a flop!
Robert J Seeber, Windham, Maine, USA
I'm a small business owner too, and I wonder why Bush has done nothing for me these past four years. Neil seems to have been sleeping, and he expects great things from a re-elected GB. Pie in the sky promises are cheap!
John Mac Dougall, San Francisco, USA
Neil, you noticed that Bush "paid his dues to his conservative supporters". But this pandering to special interest groups is precisely what concerns me about George W Bush. He seems to forget that he needs to be responsive to all the people of our country as a whole, not just his conservative supporters. The sadly divided state of the US today is a testament that he has failed badly in doing so.
Bruce, Pearl City, Hawaii, USA
Neil seems to be unconcerned about Bush's record these past four years. As an ex-serviceman, he should be angry about Bush's plan to essentially cut pay for our servicemen and women.
Jan Matthews, Sacramento, CA, USA
I completely agree with Neil's assessment of the Republican convention, and particularly the president's speech, which to me was awe-inspiring. Neil says that he is waiting for the debates to make his final decision, which I have no doubt will be for President Bush, as Kerry will continue to speak inconsistently about his stand on issues!
Misty, NH, USA
If you believe that Bush himself wrote a word of that speech, you deserve to live under his clan for another four years.
Daniel, Paris, France
"I liked his comments about our allies." "Nice comment about Great Britain." What has this got do with Bush's fitness for office?
Robert Christopher, England
These liberal social policies are similar to what was proposed by Bush before the last election and quite the opposite to what was delivered.
Jim, London, UK
All I heard was his talk of an "ownership society" which boils down to everyone having a separate savings account for everything. If you have no money in your health account, too bad! No money in your retirement account, too bad! John Kerry has been talking about energy independence since day one. I am concerned that Neil may not have picked up on that.
Bobby, Boston, USA
George W Bush is certainly not the first person since Jimmy Carter to talk about energy self-reliance. John Kerry has been talking about it for quite a while now. You talk about the 'positive nature' of the Bush speech. Do you not see how he gets others to do the dirty work for him? It is important that the US voter thinks carefully and honestly about what Bush and Cheney truly stand for before they vote in November.
S Jayawardena, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Neil makes a good point about the text of Bush's speech being forward-looking and generally upbeat. But I'd urge undecided voters to ask themselves whether Bush actually means any of it. He was free to stress the positive because he'd already assigned his vice president and his keynote speaker (Zell Miller) to launch bitter attacks on John Kerry.
Jon, Chicago, USA
Well, Neil, given the lack of WMDs, the chaos that is Afghanistan and Iraq, the Abu Ghraib scandal, and so on, I can certainly understand why George made sure his speech had plenty of "forward-looking aspect!" As for us in GB, please remember that a lot of us are very embarrassed by Tony Blair's unquestioning support for your president's actions.
Jon G, Huddersfield, UK