Sen. John Kerry (search) officially accepted his party's nomination on Thursday night, weaving national security themes heavily into his speech in an effort to prove to voters that although Bush is enjoying more favorable ratings in the polls in this area, the Massachusetts senator has what it takes to be a great commander-in-chief.

"Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. And I will build a stronger American military," the Vietnam veteran told 4,353 delegates, thousands of media personnel and millions of Americans at home via national television.

With slightly more than three months until the election, Kerry is virtually tied with Bush and likely to enjoy a bounce in the polls from this week's convention.

Kerry's acceptance speech: What's your grade?

A sample of your responses:

What happened to his Senate experience? Should be ashamed for "borrowing without prior appoval" from President Bush's speech without giving credit. "Reporting for duty" guess he must have been AWOL.
Lester S.

It was an electrifying speech focussing on real issues that matter to America and its people in the very near future. It's high time America got alianated with lies and cheating of the public and I sincerely hope the American people will give Kerry the chance in November.
Tilak F.
London, England

I am tired of hearing about John Kerry's few years of military service and time served in Vietnam.  My husband is an Army Officer and served 1 year in Iraq, but I don't  feel that he is now qualified to run for President.
K. Mitchell
Heidelberg, Germany

I was very impressed by John Kerry's speech. When I hear Republicans talking about how Kerry occasionally "flip flops," I can only say that I would never want a president who isn't intelligent enough to know when it's appropriate to change your mind. In President Bush's administration, you're either with him, or you're left behind.
Brian E.
Las Vegas, NV

I think Kerry's speech was ridiculous. What has this man done? He was in Vietnam, and? We have heard that 10,000 times already. My next door neighbor did three tours in Nam. I nominate my next door neighbor for president. 
Bettina J.

Delivery: C, adequate delivery, but with a heavy reliance on catch phrases to solicit audience response
Content: B, the B stands for "Bush", because 90% of his content was borrowed from either Bush or Cheney
Effectiveness: D, for disappointing
Overall score: F, for a Frustratingly misleading lack of originality, specificity, and his flip flop to the right side of the military agenda.
Roy H.

I was underwhelmed by John Kerry's acceptance speech. I believe the time spent describing his 4 months in Viet Nam was not proportional to the time he spent on his Senatorial career. I think one can find four months of selfless sacrifice even in Brian Kilmeades career, but I
still don't want him leading me...
He DID however deliver his speech reasonably well, although he rushed at the end, and stepped on some of his applause lines. I agree with Susan Estrich that he could have read the phone book and done well...
Grade: C+
Mark D.

Once again Kerry has to sell himself to America by explaining who he is. I think by now we know who he is. All the things he said he was going to do is all ready being done, so why change?
Todd and Gail B.

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