The final evening of speeches at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa capped a solid three days of a pro-American, pro-free market, pro-opportunity political festival.  Hurricane Isaac forced the convention into a three-day affair, but in truth packing all the speeches and events into three days instead of four allowed the message to come across with much more focus and power.

The final day of the convention was devoted to Mitt Romney, the man.  Many people spoke but only a few stood out to me.  One was Pam Finlayson, one of Romney’s church members who was welcomed into town by the Romneys, later facing deep travails.  The Oparowski’s story was also a powerful one about Romney helping a 14 year old write a will.

A number of Olympians appeared yesterday to cheer Romney’s 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics achievements.  Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 US Olympic hockey team, as well as Derek Parra, participant in the 2002 games, were two stand-out speakers.  Also, dealing with education reform was Jeb Bush, who promoted school choice and even gave an unscripted tribute to his brother.

Then, the big speeches.

The “mystery speaker” turned out to be Clint Eastwood.  Well, what can I say?  It was too long, awkward, kind of strange, and also funny at points.  The empty seat schtick was fine, once I figured out there was an empty seat next to him.  With Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney next up, this was murder to watch at home and unfortunately is driving more of the conversation today than it should have.  Ad-libbing isn’t always the best route.

In contrast, Marco Rubio’s speech was great!  Like Paul Ryan, it was philosophical and critical of Obama in a powerful way, using real examples and a positive message about the possibilities of America sans Obama.  It was inspiring and heart-felt.  Though he obviously misspoke once towards the end, it was nonetheless a speech that the party will remember, reinforcing how deep the younger GOP bench truly is.  Here’s the full speech:

Then came the person whose speech we were all waiting for:  Mitt Romney.  He came out on a red carpet at the other end of the convention hall, shaking hands with the crowd before getting up on stage.  It looked to me just like the walk Presidents make down the aisle at a State of the Union address.  NBC, however, thought it looked like a wrestler on his way to grapple with the President.  It’s all about perspective, I suppose.

I liked the speech.  I didn’t love it, though.  It was classic Mitt Romney.  He looked good and delivered the speech well, even through a mild fascist disruption.  On the merits, it was a solid speech, even a presidential caliber speech.  He didn’t have to be Barack Obama reading TOTUS, he just had to be palatable as a Commander-in-Chief to the general public.  To that end, the speech was a resounding success in my opinion.

Where I have an issue is that while the speech aptly complimented the week-long dismantling of the Obama record, it didn’t balance that with what Romney would do beyond his five-point plan.  It was vague.  Like I said, classic Mitt Romney.  Politically, he’s a pleaser.  Luckily, he’s also a doer and has Paul Ryan by his side.  Here’s the entire speech:

Here’s the money line, which was a great swipe at Hopeandchange:

President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.

Ouch.  But so true.  Overall, the RNC was a success.  The evening speeches were solid, with a only few bumps here and there.  The Tea Party wasn’t mentioned in prime time, but through Ryan and Rubio its sentiments were articulated to the nation.

Too keep the momentum going and irk Obama once again, Romney left first thing this morning to go to New Orleans to survey the damage from Hurricane Isaac.  Apparently, Obama is visiting Texas today before going back to DC — he hasn’t visited the Gulf Coast yet.

A choice election indeed.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: