Sometimes when you don’t watch a speech, you can better learn how it played than when you do watch it. Of course you can’t reach your own conclusion about the address, but, in this case, the speech wasn’t going to sway me one way or the other in the presidential contest.
Tonight’s speaker, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is far superior to the failed incumbent. And I didn’t need a speech to remind me of his qualities. So, I chose to dined with good friends who, like me, are in Carpinteria for a myth conference instead of breaking our plans and tuning in.
When I joined some other friends who had watched the speech, they instantly told me about its best lines, ones that nearly every commentator on FoxNews cited this:
President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.
My promise is to help you and your family.
“It was“, writes occasional Romney critic Philip Klein, “a great way to remind the audience of the grandiose promises that Obama made when he ran for president while also vowing to keep his eyes on the more important stuff if elected.”
Those lines resonated and Mitt Romney successfully turned his rhetorical disadvantage into a leadership advantage. Unlike Obama, he won’t promise you the moon, he’ll get the job done.
When we switched over to CNN, we caught Piers Morgan interviewing Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wassterman Schultz, she chose not to challenge to the talk show host’s praise for the Republican nominee’s speech as “solid” (or did he say “strong”?), but instead to make fun of Clint Eastwood’s dialogue with a chair. Seems a sign Democrats want to deflect attention away from the speech.
Later, when we turned back to FoxNews, where former Howard Dean’s former campaign chairman Joe Trippi praised the speech. Seems it was a successful address.
And Mitt Romney may well have set the tone for the coming campaign with the contrasting promises he offered. One man will offer lofty rhetoric, the other will roll up his sleeves and get to work. (more…)