Lies, self promotion, one great speech and one pretty good one. That was the verdict on the just concluded RNC convention in Tampa.
Tuesday Night brought us Ann Romney. The wife of Republican Presidential candidate and perhaps Mr. Romeny’s most important campaign asset. After the speech she gave on Tuesday night, It could be said, she may be the most important campaign asset in the history of presidential politics. Yes, her speech was that good. She humanized her husband and told America a story of a family who loved each other, and a wife who loved her husband. It was the most basic aspect of married life, but Ann Romney’s delivery and storytelling style made it seem like more. Much more.
After Ann’s great speech, it became Chris Christie’s shameless self promotion act. Christie spent the better part of his speech talking about himself and saving a, by the way, vote Romney line at the end. Observers rightly criticized the self promotional nature of the speech, however it seemed other speakers hadn’t listened or just didn’t care. If they had listened, it wouldn’t have continued, but it did and it wouldn’t stop. Susana Martinez and Marco Rubio, just to name a few.
The self promotion seemed like small potatoes compared to what happened the next day. On Wednesday night, Paul Ryan delivered perhaps the most jaw dropping, holy cow speech in modern American history. Here’s a list of the holy cow moments and the scale of holy cowness from 1 to 5. (1 for just holy cow and you get the idea).
1. Mr. Ryan claimed that Obama was responsible for shutting down a plant in Wisconsin, which had shut down before Obama was president. (Holy cowness scale: 1)
Mr Ryan first of all you are a congressman from Wisconsin, maybe you should have kept the plant opened and not ask the President to save your plant if its your job to do so. I think that’s why people elect representatives. Second, Mr. Ryan, You can’t save that which was already dead. The president cannot be held responsible for closing a plant that closed before he was elected. Common sense tells us that.
2. Mr Ryan claimed that Obama put together a debt commission, the debt commission produced their recommendations and Obama did nothing. (Holy cowness scale: 2)
Mr Ryan failed to mention that he sat on that same commission. He failed to mention that he voted against the commission’s report and thus the commission didn’t have enough votes to bring the plan to congress.
3. Mr. Ryan claimed that Obama raided medicare to pay for Obama care by taking out 716 billion dollars out of Medicare. (Holy cowness scale: 3 pushing 4)
Mr. Ryan failed to mention that in his budget, he took out the same $716 billion. Personally I find it funny and somewhat amusing that after over 50 years of trying to kill Medicare and Social Security among other things, Republicans are now going around the country telling people they are the champions of Medicare. But then again, why not, Americans will believe anything these days.
4. This was the whopper. Mr. Ryan claimed the president was responsible for the lowering of the U.S. credit rating. (Hoy cowness scale: 5)
Holy freaking cow! Does Ryan think the public has suddenly developed widespread amnesia and somehow forgot that the Republican House of Representatives held the economy hostage, refused to negotiate, refused the grand bargain, refused to raise taxes on the wealthy and refused to budge from their rigid position. But then again, why not, Americans will believe anything these days.
Thursday night brought us Clint Eastwood and the ridiculous act that will go down as one of the biggest political misses of convention history. Convention planners decided to put Clint Eastwood on air around and into the prime time spot of 10pm. The time most Americans are tuning in to network news. What they saw was probably the more bizarre things ever seen on television. Clint Eastwood spoke to an empty chair. A chair he imagined that Mr. Obama was in. He imagined Mr. Obama telling him to shut up and he imagined Mr. Obama telling him to go bleep himself. He rambled from one topic to the other. Afghanistan, Gitmo and whatever the other mumbles were. The whole thing was just an unmitigated disaster. Even worse, maybe one of the best candidate videos ever made was shown before 10pm and before the Eastwood debacle. The video should have been the first thing people saw when they tuned in at 10pm but instead they got Clint. A truly legendary miss.
Alas, finally Mitt Romney came to the stage bringing The Good to save us from The Bad and The Ugly. The Republican Robot delivered the speech of his life on thursday night. For the first time since Mr. Romney began campaigning, he gave a speech that made him a human being, a father, a husband and most importantly, a valid choice for president.
Two words came to mind during Romney’s speech. “Turnaround Specialist”. This is Romney’s brand. He had done it at Bain Capital, Winter Olympics but not so much in Massachusetts. He had done it after his quick flame out in the 2008 primaries to receiving the presidential nomination after the 2012 primaries. If there is one thing Romey can do, its turn things around and he let America know about it last night.
The speech at its later stages took a more sharp tone. Laying attack after attack on the president. I am not sure if it was necessary, because I have always been of the opinion that people have their minds made up about the president, but not so much Romney. Romney had to show he was electable and he showed it last night, even with all the unnecessary attacks.
Perhaps the most memorable part about the speech was when Romney said. “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and heal our planet. I promise to help you and your family.”
The line was as basic as it gets. It cut to the core of what the public is feeling and exposes the silent idea that the public doesn’t think Obama is doing things that directly affect their progress. They think Obama focused to much on healthcare reform, when it was jobs that were needed. They think he focused too much on renewable energy when gas prices were approaching 5 bucks a gallon. Whether or not Mr. Romey will be helped by all this waits to be seen. The public will want more specifics from Mr. Romney. The public will demand that Romney tell them how his policies would be different from what Bush did. If Mr. Romney fails to answer these questions from now until election day, he will not be president. Period.