Mitt Romney accepted the nomination of his party on Thursday night at a boisterous and enthusiastic Republican Convention in Tampa Bay.
Prior to the acceptance speech, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) energized the crowd by speaking about being American and Barack Obama's failure to turn around the nation. Actually, Rubio was trying to prove that he should be the next Republican to be nominated for president, should Romney be defeated in November.
Even actor Clint Eastwood showed up to support Romney. Republican enthusiasts really appreciated his dry sense of humor. The highlight of his presentation was a mocking discussion with an imaginary Obama, who was supposedly sitting next to Clint in an empty chair. After all these years of spaghetti westerns and Dirty Harry films, Eastwood proved that he could also do comedy and political satire.
But none of the speakers stole Romney’s thunder, something many were concerned about. Although expectations were low in advance of his speech, the post-speech analyses were favorable. Romney accomplished the task of actually seeming human and caring of others.
Romney spoke about his family, beginning with his very successful father, who was CEO of American Motors (which became part of Chrysler Corporation) and ran for president himself. Ann Romney received a lot of attention; their loving and long-lasting relationship was front and center.
Romney spent time reviewing his business career, including his time at Bain Capital. During the campaign, Bain and the fortune Romney amassed at the company has been fodder for Democrats, who say Romney is a rich elitist. Romney attempted to show that his company did excellent work; the firm saved failing companiesand provided capital for good companies to grow. The end result was good for the economy and created more jobs.
Romney spoke about the real meat and potatoes of politics, being an American and the importance of our country as a world leader. The U.S is a melting pot of immigrants from all over the world. They came to America to escape oppression and religious discrimination. Being successful was heavy on their minds as they came across the ocean to ports of entry.
By the end of the first half of the speech, Romney showed that he is more than a stone-faced workaholic. He successfully built a business, managed the Olympics in Los Angeles, and governed a state. And, he is imminently qualified to be president of the United States, and will be responsive to both the wealthy and the needy in the country.
The speech was chock full of emotion and passion, two things exhibited rarely by the candidate. His presentation offset the complaints of both supporters and critics that he is an automaton.
Other significant points he made included an all-out attempt to elevate the status of women in the country and in politics. Using his very attractive wife and other powerful women in the Republican Party, Romney gave women their due. This was an obvious attempt to counter arguments that the party is anti-women relating to social issues.
The second half of the speech was directed at his opponent. Romney asked several times: Are we better off now than four years ago? The resounding response from the crowd was no. The query originally posed by Ronald Reagan in his race against Jimmy Carter still has a lot of punch. And, the comparison of Obama to Carter was inescapable.
Obama wants to lower the ocean and save the planet. Romney wants to find jobs for Americans out of work. Obama has been a failed president who has been unable to rectify problems and has not kept his promises. Eastwood set this table and Romney delivered the killing blow.
Mitt provided a five-part program that was filled with absolutely no details, yet the crowd was receptive and appreciative. The most significant item was revamping Obamacare. The crowd went wild at this suggestion.
Most of the talking heads thought the speech presented the real Mitt Romney; thankfully, more people now think he is a real person. He showed a lot of heart and maybe not quite enough soul.
The critics said his speech was like a power point presentation with little or no new information. It was too analytical and scripted. Interestingly, he barely mentioned the housing crisis.
Supporters were exuberant. They said the voters wanted to see passion, and they got it. He laid out a plan for the future. Mitt connected the generations. The candidate has officially introduced himself to America. Mitt cares about the middle class. Undecided voters were definitely swayed by the speech. The game is on and the Democrats will now try to undo everything accomplished in Tampa starting next week.