Recently, the NAACP's 103rd annual convention was held in Houston. Among the many speakers were Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Vice President Joe Biden. As I watched both men deliver their speeches, I couldn’t help but notice how different both speeches were. Not just because of the content of and delivery, but also because of how the audience's feedback. Though I am a Democrat, I’m more focused on who will be a good choice for our country and not just who looks more politically correct in the Oval Office.
First was Mitt Romney, who seemed very uncomfortable. Though both men stated facts and figures, it seemed that Romney was all about facts and figures instead of the American people. He spoke about how the unemployment rate for African-Americans rose in June from 13.6% to 14.4% while the national average is only 8.2%. He also spoke about how 17% of the students in the country are African-American, yet 42% of the students in low performing schools are African-American students. I agreed with him when he quoted Frederick Douglass, “It’s easier to raise a strong child than to repair a broken man,” but Romney doesn’t truly care about repairing broken kids or fix the American people's problems at all. He claims to care about charter schools, backing them 100%, but if he focused on fixing the schools that are already in place -- instead of shipping children to other schools -- then there would be no need for charter schools.
Romney was booed three times during his 25-minute speech. His delivery didn’t sound heartfelt and sincere, it sounded necessary. The speech wasn’t a bad speech, but it really sounded like he was just trying to get on the good side of African-Americans (and it didn’t work). The audience clapped here and there, but you could tell that they weren’t really into him. They showed respect for who was speaking, but it was noticeable that they didn’t care too much for him.
Then came Vice President Joe Biden who was received with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Vice President Biden came to the microphone like he owned it and talked to the audience like he belonged there. He didn’t sound or feel like he was giving a speech; it felt like he was just having a talk with his family. He even gave shouts out to Delaware and others who fought the good fight with him and helped make him into the man he is today.
Vice President Biden reminded us of the many decisions that President Obama has made, over the last 4 years, that haven’t always been popular but were most definitely needed for our country and its people. He said that being President is about character and putting country before politics. He mentioned that -- according to a book written by Robert Draper -- on President Obama’s inauguration night, some Republicans had a meeting sharing their views on President Obama and other related topics. In the book, Republican Mitch McConnell plainly says that they want Obama to be a one-term president. Vice President Biden received cheers and standing ovations throughout his speech not just because he is the Vice President of the United States, but also because he was real and honest.
I agree with Vice President Biden when he said that Romney may be a good family man, but his vision for America isn’t built on the foundation of what’s truly needed for the American people. Romney says as president he would do all he could to help middle-class America because the rich are going to be rich whether he’s in office or not. If you voluntarily tell people that you don’t have a hidden agenda, chances are you probably do. How can the education of children be your focus when you would consider Bobby Jindal as your running mate or do anything else that’s not going to help our youth?
Romney said he believes it’s unfair to expect excellence from kids when we send them to mediocre schools, but Obama is the only one focused on actually fixing our schools and helping our teachers. Though President Obama’s decisions may not always be popular, they are needed for our country. Whether you believe it or not, the Obama Administration is actually trying to help America though it’s not a quick and easy task.