Jan Weatherhead writes from Washington: I fell in love with a guy who looked like Paul Ryan. He knew I did. But he wasn’t gay so there was no future. I never fell for a guy who looked like Mitt Romney. Thought I should put that on the record. So let me tell you why Mitt and Paul don’t make the dream GOP ticket and why they won’t make it to the White House.
Let’s ignore all this smart polit-babble about Mitt’s best speech ever. Maybe it was, but it was also a crap speech. For goodness sake, it may have had them stomping in Tampa but it meant nothing really. That’s what conventions are for. You’re among friends at them and can say whatever you want.
So what do you do among Republican friends? You try to kid them that you’re really Ronald Reagan. The words sounded that way. The script read that way. Try this for one:
‘I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!’
You can just hear Reagan saying it because he was a believer. I knew Ron Reagan, Mr Romney, and you ain’t no Reagan.
I don’t believe the wishy-washy analysis after Romney’s speech. It should have been trashed and one of Clint Eastwood’s scriptwriter friends brought in for $500.
Yes, the convention people cheered. But you can forget the balloon blowers and please Mitt just touch my fingers and I’ll never wash again stuff. Forget the $5 weepy story of red roses by bedsides until the angels sing softly come-away, come-away Romney Senior.
The important people were not the streamer tossers. The importance that evening was the television audience. Four years ago, 40 million watched John McCain at his Republic acceptance. Mitt Romney? Romney got 30.3 million. And Paul Ryan (could have made a joint lead with a young Rock Hudson) got less than half that. Let’s be generous, the speech was tailored for an American audience not a cynical European lot.
Response from street Republicans was shrug-the-shoulders stuff. What was he saying? Nothing? That’s right although they say no one expects facts in a convention speech. But they do/did this time because they’re being asked to vote for a man who has a plan to get America back to work.
When Republicans ask for that you know it’s bad. Americans have not been so broke in half a century. And here we’re talking about Republicans – mainly white collar but some blue. Clinton is still right: It’s The Economy Stupid.
In theory, a Republican takes his or her shower in the morning. A Democrat showers in the evening. Maybe that settles something in the demographic image but this year of all years both Republicans and Democrats are watching the water and every other bill. So Mitt gives us make America strong again. Don’t mess with us Johnny Foreigner. Republicans kick foreign asses.
At home and on the sidewalks of this great nation, no one would have seen Romney as Top Man. He said nothing that would swing any voter. There’ll be a chance of that yet, but remember every study shows that Americans don’t leave voting decisions to the last moment. Most of them will make up their minds by mid-September. By then, Obama will have spoken in Charlotte. Romney’s speech will be forgotten because he said nothing that had any meaning to inspire – the acceptance speech of Miss World has more substance.
Incidentally, Ryan’s speech was infinitely better. But he, in spite of his Congressional budget experience, has no role to look forward to other than to hope to get to the best foreign dignitary funerals for four years.
There’s another thing to consider: George W. Bush got in because he looked a nice guy and maybe there was a local difficulty in the voting system that fell his way. But he still seemed a nice guy. The Romney-Ryan ticket is not a nice-guy thing. If they want to swing votes – and they need to – they’ve got to at least look and sound like something other than rich guys going for the flag. They didn’t look anything like that at Tampa and Romney especially, didn’t sound it.
So Mr Pundits, get off the fence. Get out there and say what you know: Romney’s speech even this far ahead of polling day was a turkey. Pity. Paul Ryan has nice teeth. Loved the tie. But that’s as far as it went.