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Friday, August 31, 2012
Reflections on the GOP Convention
OK, Mitt Romney isn't Ronald Reagan--at least not when it
comes to speaking. But who is? Nevertheless, I thought Romney gave a good
account of himself Thursday night in laying out his vision for America.
So did his running mate Paul Ryan. And so did Sen. Marco
Rubio, and Gov. Susana Martinez, and former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice and
former Democrat congressman-turned Republican Artur Davis.
Each of these folks and many others gave good accounts of
themselves while standing at the podium.
Even 82-year-old Clint Eastwood--without using a
teleprompter--resonated with the crowd. His delivery may not have been on par
with his Dirty Harry roles, but he made the audience's day with his comments on
the failed policies of the Obama administration.
Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney
Perhaps the defining moment in Romney's speech came when he
said: "This president can ask us to be patient. This president can tell us
it was someone else’s fault..… But this president cannot tell us that you’re
better off today than when he took office." The
"excitement" of Obama’s election has subsided, Romney said, replaced
by doubt and uncertainty about the economy and the federal budget.
"If you felt that
excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, you should feel that way now that
he’s President Obama,' Romney said. "You know, there’s something wrong
with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you’ve had
was the day you voted for him."
"President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of
the oceans and to heal the planet," Romney continued. "My promise is to
help you and your family."
The Obama White House, meanwhile, derided Romney's speech
and the GOP convention in general as "angry and short on solutions."
You bet there was anger at the GOP convention. When you have
some 23 million Americans out of work and a president who has played something
like 125 rounds of golf you have to wonder who is more out of touch with this
Sen. Mitch McConnell said it best: "For four years,
Barack Obama has been running from the nation's problems. He hasn't been
working to earn reelection. He's been working to earn a spot on the PGA
I don't think anybody expected Romney or Ryan to lay out a
detailed strategy for dealing with the mammoth debt and other economic woes the
U.S. faces during the convention. That is something that will be disclosed
during the final two months of the campaign.
There is little doubt that Democrats were surprised by the
"bring it on" attitude of Paul Ryan when it comes to debating
Medicare--often considered the third rail for Republicans when it comes to
The idea that Ryan wants to jettison the elderly over the
cliff my slashing or ending Medicare is ludicrous. Voters--especially those
already retired or about to retire--should be more concerned about the $716
billion Obama swiped from Medicare to fund Obamacare.
Joe Biden: Gaffe-Mesiter
I am eagerly awaiting the debate on Medicare that Ryan will
have with Joe Biden down the road. Biden, America's #1
"gaffe-meister," will find Ryan a formidable opponent. And Biden will lose.
Romney vs. Obama will be a lot more competitive. I don't see
this as a repeat of the Reagan-Jimmy Carter debate which Reagan won handily
with his "there you go again" comment.
Obama can talk. That's about all he does. Romney is a doer, not a talker. We will see contrasting styles in these
debates. But one thing Romney has going for him is his laid back style.
Obama: "Callow, thin-skinned, arrogant"
Obama, on the other hand,
according to Ed Klein's New York Times best seller "The Amateur," is "a callow, thin-skinned, arrogant president with messianic dreams
of grandeur supported by a cast of true-believers, all of them united by
leftist politics and an amateurish understanding of executive leadership."
What Romney will have do in the debates is expose what Rep
Allen West (R-FL) says Obama is doing.
"Obama is basically feeding America a crap sandwich
with a smile...and it’s very important for us to win the image war in the
presidential race," West said. "Because a crap sandwich with a smile
is still a crap sandwich!"