I haven’t posted anything about the GOP convention, although I’ve watched as much as I could in the evenings. I wanted to post about some of the significant speeches that weren’t covered by the broadcast networks in their one hour per night, and which cable news networks like MSNBC, CNBC, and CNN cut away from in their coverage, but that takes a lot of work and I haven’t had time. Maybe tomorrow or the next day.
But I do want to offer a few thoughts about the Romney speech tonight. Stephen Green drunkblogged it (and my apologies to him and to you for not giving you a heads-up about that in advance). Reading it after the fact isn’t the same is following it live, but I still commend it to you, although I think he’s off-base on several counts.
Green was far too kind to Clint Eastwood, who had a few good lines, but was much too unfocused, rambling, and just plain weird.
Green was somewhat too kind to Marco Rubio, who gave a decent speech with some memorable lines — like noting that Obama’s ideas are what people “move to America to get away from” — but this certainly wasn’t one of Rubio’s best (search for “rubio” on YouTube to see what I mean). And Rubio flubbed one line big-time, saying future historians would say “we chose more government over more freedom” when he meant to say the exact opposite. [UPDATE: After seeing Rubio's speech a second time, I think I was too negative after the first viewing. It was more than decent, it was really very, very good. But that one flub was still a big one.]
And Green was too tough on Romney, arguing that the first half was “almost pitch-perfect,” but not happy with the second half’s “partisan attacks on Obama’s policies” and “laundry list of policty details.” Although Green loved the finish, which he thought “was big, it was rousing, and it was inspiring.”
I agree about the first half, but I think the policy attacks were just about perfect, and I have no problem with Romney spending two minutes summarizing his five-point plan (as he apparently does every time he speaks).
I thought the balance between lamenting the current state of affairs and painting an optimistic picture of our future (given a change in policies) was just about perfect. Almost — dare I say it — Reaganesque. That’s exactly what Ronaldus Magnus did in 1980: take a failed president to task issue by issue for his disastrous policies, while holding up the hope for a better future. Romney didn’t mention the “shining city on a hill” in so many words, but that’s what his speech reminded me of.
I thought Romney’s emphasis on women came close to pandering, but I can’t fault him for that, given all the blather by Socialist Democrats and their MSM sycophants about a “Republican war on women.” And I thought he nicely tied his mother’s contention that women should have an equal voice in “the great decisions facing our nation” with the fact that the women who addressed the convention included three governors, a senator, and a former secretary of state.
My two favorite parts of the speech:
… the centerpiece of the President’s entire re-election campaign is attacking success. Is it any wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression?
In America, we celebrate success, we don’t apologize for success.
President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans … [long pause][applause and laughter] … and to heal the planet. [another long pause][more applause and laughter] My promise is to help you and your family.
Bottom line: I was impressed and pleased. He addressed the Socialist Democrat attack on his history at Bain Capital head-on and turned it around on them, charging that they don’t understand “the genius of the free enterprise system.” The speech was all-in-all a powerful defense of capitalism, freedom, progress, and opportunity. Obama and the Socialist Democrats reject all those things. I think that come November, a significant majority of Americans will vote in favor of those things and against the Socialist Democrats.