McCain Sticks by VP Pick; Calls Palin 'Spectacular,' Ready to Lead

President Bush addressed the crowd via satellite, praising McCain's service and ability to lead.

"We live in a dangerous world. And we need a president who understands the lessons of Sept. 11, 2001: that, to protect America, we must stay on the offense, stop attacks before they happen and not wait to be hit again," Bush said. "The man we need is John McCain."

McCain on Offense

The McCain campaign is set to release a new television ad today entitled "Alaska Maverick," spotlighting Palin's commitment to reform and taking on the special interests in Alaska. The ad contrasts Obama's promise of change with what the campaign says is Palin's record of change.

Palin's highly anticipated speech tonight is her first on the national stage, and McCain said he was confident that she was up to the challenge.

"I believe … tonight's performance will convince a lot of Americans and a lot of this other stuff will go away immediately."

In addition to the presumptive vice presidential nominee, tonight's convention schedule also includes speeches by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, McCain's competitors from the primary season.

The convention's theme today is set as "prosperity," but Palin's remarks will largely be focused on "reform," McCain campaign officials said.

On the eve of his acceptance, McCain said that he is trying to appreciate the moment.

"I've had so much good fortune in my life that it's incredible to come to this stage of a journey that's been full of opportunities to serve."

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