[editor’s note: please excuse the whimsical grammar and silly sentence fragments. it’s been a long day, and I’d rather post these thoughts as is than make this a beautifully constructed polemic]
[[editor’s note to the note: polemic… good word.]]
[[[editor’s note to the note note: yes… i had to google it to make sure it meant what i thought it did]]]
The Republican National Convention came to a close last week with a stirring closing night. The Democratic Convention kicks off tonight at the Time Warner Cable Arena and finishes up on Friday night at the Bank of America Stadium. (These jokes write themselves, folks).
It should come as no real surprise that I enjoyed the Republican Convention. It was upbeat and positive, but tough when it needed to be. The best summary of the convention that I can come up with would be this: The country has many problems right now, but our greatest one is a crisis of leadership.
There is a mischievous side to my lovable nature which hopes that the advance word is correct and the Democrats move forward with their plans to turn their convention into Abortion-palooza. You see, contrasted with the serious-minded optimism of the RNC, the Democrats may very well have two main themes. First, the standard: Republicans Hate Women and Minorities (just pay no attention to Mia Love, Kelly Ayotte, Brian Sandoval, Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Artur Davis, Bobby Jindal, Condoleezza Rice, Susana Martinez, Marco Rubio…just to name a few ‘exceptions to the rule’). The second theme may apparently be their favorite philosophical approach to life – No Baby Left Alive (NBLA).
But, though I may evilly wish for the Democrats to move forward with such a tone deaf and out of touch program…simply for the marvelous absurdity of it (and also the train-wreck aspects of watching an incumbent who can’t run on his record try to come up with a reason to vote for him again)… I also don’t think that anything the Democrats could put together would be as effective as the convention the Republicans had.
Great speakers, powerful personal stories, fun, energetic, positive.
Republicans own those descriptors this time around.
A note on Clint Eastwood’s performance. Yes… performance. It was clearly a sketch…and, I have come to see it as pretty brilliant. The empty chair is such a potent symbol of the presidency of Barack Obama. And, though it may just be my interpretation, I think Clint’s stuttered delivery was an impersonation of Obama off a teleprompter. It was lighthearted… but also incredibly (deservedly) harsh. Eastwood was Everyman… a known Republican, to be sure, but never partisan. He brought what was perhaps the strongest message of the convention: ‘it was a wonderful national moment when this country elected Barack Obama to the highest office in the land. But, he hasn’t done the job that we needed him to do. So it is not only alright for us to do so, but we must let him go. Let go of the feelings and the emotions that so many people rode so high on four years ago. Let Obama go. We are allowed… and it will be better for the country if we do’.
Ann Romney was priceless and classy. Chris Christie was understated (for him) but passionate at the same time. Ryan served up some good criticisms of the administration. Condi knocked ’em dead. Rubio is going to be President one day.
Mitt Romney’s speech was perhaps the best I have ever heard him give. Truly great lines, including making the point that Obama is not a bad man… he is just a bad President. Another one poking fun at Obama’s rhetorical flights of fancy (and unmistakable hubris): “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”
In the end, Mitt did his job at the convention. He presented himself as a superior alternative to the Obama status quo. His pick for VP is a vibrant, policy-focused young leader. Mitt himself is a proven leader with a knack for fixing things.
If ever there was a time for real leadership, it is now. Believe in America.