Friday, August 31, 2012

RNC: Retrospective

As I indicated in yesterday's post, I was not present at last night's festivities.  I needed to be home in Easton today, and so I never intended to be in Tampa for the big night.  I was glad to be home watching it on TV, but I'm sure it was a hoot to be in the Forum.  One of the things that was good about being in front of the TV was the opportunity to hear the reviews/thoughts of the media, rather than see them displayed on Twitter.  I watched on PBS, starting on FOX and then switching when I realized that I actually wanted to hear what the speakers were saying, rather than what Bill O'Reilly wanted to say. PBS' coverage was pretty good, with Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill, and Shields/Brooks.  What was best about it was the amount of time they spent actually focusing on speakers, rather than interviewing other members of the media.

I thought last night was particularly effective political theater.  Clearly the theme was to "get to know" Mitt Romney better, and I believe that goal was attained.  Some thoughts on the speakers that I saw (was traveling home from the Airport for the start):

1.  The people from his church in Belmont, MA.  Powerful, effective, necessary.  David Brooks called the fact that it took until now for the campaign to trot these stories out "political malpractice" and I don't disagree.  I read "The Real Romney" on the trip to South Africa, and it is clear that this is no ordinary man when it comes to a sense of service to others--active, personal services.   Mr. Obama talks about being his brother's keeper, Mr. Romney lives it.

2.  The guy from Staples.  Pretty good--in fact the whole effort to explain Bain with real-live people who benefited from it (including the drugstore owner) was effective and again, necessary.

3.  The Olympians.  I have to admit to being made a little uneasy by this segment--though I thought Derek Parra's testimonial was pitch perfect and very powerful.  I may be wrong on this, but if felt a little oogey politicizing the Olympics like that.  I have no problem with Mitt and his surrogates rightly pointing to his turnaround of the 2002 Salt Lake City Games....and I don't have any problem with Olympic Athletes expressing their preference...but this segment was not my favorite.

4.  Clint Eastwood.  Genuine, sometimes funny, sometimes effective, but probably not a great idea.  I'm sure it was much more appreciated by some than others.

5.  Newt and Callista Gingirch.  I did not see this, but I have to tell you, I'm getting sick of Newt trying to force his wife down our throats on his coattails. 

6.  Marco Rubio--nearly perfect.  An incredibly effective job.  "My Dad worked at the bar in the back of the room, so I could stand behind a podium in the front of the room".  Doesn't get any better than that.

7.  Mitt Romney--a lot of pressure,  a lot of expectation, and he delivered.  Not a great speech,but very, very good.  His line about "he promised to heal the earth, I promise to help you and your family" was genius.  It was hard not to get choked up when he talked about "what Ann and I wouldn't give to break up one more fight among the five boys"....that was a Dad talking....a loving, caring, Dad.

And so it is over.  Now it is onto wherever it is in North Carolina that the political Star Wars Bar known as the Democratic Party will have their convention.  Doubtful that the press will give credentials/passes to protesters like it is suspected occurred last night--and doubtless the coverage will be much more breathless and admiring.  I will do my best to watch portions of the proceedings in which serious people talk, but from the looks of the speaker list, I do not plan to watch much.

My main thought as I end this week is this:  the GOP has a very, very deep bench.  Just think about the people we saw this week, the leaders in the Party who may someday run for President.  Think about how difficult a primary would be if Christie, Ryan, Rubio, Rice, Bush, Haley, Thune, and Martinez (to name but a few) were running.


Tom de Plume said...

At the DNC, how will we be able to tell the Code Pinkies in giant vagina costumes from Sandra Fluke in heat?

Anonymous said...

I watched some of the coverage via Comedy Central. They had the speakers on the left side of the screen and a live scolling feed of assorted tweets going on the right side. It was kind of interesting seeing the near-live reactions, but it wasn't someone talking over the speeches.

Sally said...

I thought PBS' coverage was good too. I think CSPAN did it the best though.

Talk about squandering a timeslot...a Newt speech (by HIMSELF) could have been very effective.

I thought Jeb was great. Loved his opening comments.

I wonder if the intrepid fact checkers will be working next week's convention as feverishly as they've worked this one.

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