Friday, August 31, 2012

Clint, Marco And Mitt

Tonight was the big night at the Republican convention, with three major speeches, including the Big One, Governor Romney's acceptance speech.

Here's my initial reaction to all three.

Clint Eastwood only disappointed me once tonight, and it wasn't his fault. Somebody forgot to use the theme music from 'The Good, The Bad and the Ugly' to bring him onstage. It would have been perfect.

The speech itself was actually a pretty kinky brand of satire a lot of the left was too crazed to fully get. It featured Clint Eastwood in an imaginary conversation with Barack Obama, explaining to him exactly why he should get out of Dodge. Unscripted, a little rambling just like a real conversation, but effective as all get out, from someone who's a long time libertarian and old enough and successful enough not to give a damn what anyone thinks. Some money quotes:

..I just think that there is so much to be done, and I think that Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are two guys that can come along. See, I never thought it was a good idea for attorneys to the president, anyway. {...}

They are always devil’s advocating this and bifurcating this and bifurcating that. You know all that stuff. But, I think it is maybe time -- what do you think -- for maybe a businessman. How about that?

(APPLAUSE)A stellar businessman. Quote, unquote, “a stellar businessman.”

And I think it’s that time. And I think if you just step aside and Mr. Romney can kind of take over. You can maybe still use a plane.

(APPLAUSE)Though maybe a smaller one. Not that big gas guzzler you are going around to colleges and talking about student loans and stuff like that.{...}

I would just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen. Something that I think is very important. It is that, you, we -- we own this country.


We -- we own it. It is not you owning it, and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours.


And -- so -- they are just going to come around and beg for votes every few years. It is the same old deal. But I just think it is important that you realize , that you’re the best in the world. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or whether you’re libertarian or whatever, you are the best. And we should not ever forget that. And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go.

That last is a classic line that could have come from one of Clint Eastwood's films.Right up there with 'A man's got to know his limitations.'

Marco Rubio's speech was very much worth the price of admission. To my mind, it pretty much tied with Paul Ryan's last night as the best one out of the whole convention.

You see, Senator Rubio, like Mia Love, really gets America. He not only understands it's challenges but its possibilities. At one point in his speech, talking about the time he spent with his Cuban grandfather, he said. "For those of us who were born and raised in this country, it's easy to forget how special America is. But my grandfather understood how different America is from the rest of the world, because he knew what life was like outside America."

I couldn't agree more, and I've seen that more than once in immigrants to this country myself. And Americans who travel overseas and spend real time in a foreign country instead of just briefly hitting the tourist circuit frequently get that same appreciation.

Senator Rubio understands innately that one of the most insidious things the Obama regime is doing to America is eroding those possibilities. And with it, a great deal of what has traditionally made America a special place:

No matter how you feel about President Obama, this election is about your future, not his. And it's not simply a choice between a Democrat and a Republican.

It's a choice about what kind of country we want America to be.

As we prepare to make this choice, we should remember what made us special. For most of history almost everyone was poor. Power and wealth belonged to only a few.

Your rights were whatever your rulers allowed you to have. Your future was determined by your past.

If your parents were poor, so would you be. If you were born without opportunities, so were your children.

But America was founded on the principle that every person has God-given rights. That power belongs to the people. That government exists to protect our rights and serve our interests.

That we shouldn't be trapped in the circumstances of our birth. That we should be free to go as far as our talents and work can take us.

We are special because we've been united not by a common race or ethnicity. We're bound together by common values. That family is the most important institution in society. That almighty God is the source of all we have.

Special, because we've never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or our government.

Like Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio was unafraid to hit President Obama in his weakest spot...his abysmal record as president. And like Ryan, he did it with humor and verve.

We will be seeing more of Marco Rubio in national politics. Sin duda.

So now we get to the big event..Governor Mitt Romney's acceptance speech.

The Governor's speech had some wonderful moments, but overall I give it a A- to a B+. Although to be honest, that grade very much depends on what you felt this speech needed to do.You see, unlike the current occupant of the White House, Mitt Romney is far more concentrated on actually doing things than just spewing hot air about them.

if tonight's speech was intended to humanize Governor Romney to people who are undecided and that didn't know much about him aside from the caricature of him as a heartless plutocrat they've seen and heard about via the Obama media, I think it did so. Governor Romney essentially is simply a decent, public spirited and principled man, and that came across tonight. People are unused to that, because it's been a long time since we had that quality showing so obviously in our president. Mitt Romney has that in abundance.

He touched all the right bases...his plans for the economy, religious freedom,even President Obama's abysmal foreign policy.

And yet, to my mind, he failed in one important area. Look at this:

How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America?

Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I'd ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.

The President hasn’t disappointed you because he wanted to. The President has disappointed America because he hasn’t led America in the right direction. He took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have and one that was essential to his task. He had almost no experience working in a business. Jobs to him are about government.

'The President hasn’t disappointed you because he wanted to'? What idiot speechwriter stuck that in there?

President Obama has been quite deliberate about the direction he wanted America to go since day one. The problems we face now are entirely his responsibility. He was elected to solve problems and to govern, and instead what we got was a crooked, self-serving and dishonest Chicago style rape of law, our national principles. and the public treasury, rotten with crony capitalism and special interests.

It's about time someone had the stones to say so openly.

I have heard a number of clips of President Reagan in the 1980 election going after President Jimmy Carter's record and hammering him on it..and President Obama's record actually makes President Carter look halfway competent. Ronaldus Maximus knew how to hit Jimmy Carter hard, sometimes with humor, sometimes with a stiletto, sometimes with a Louisville slugger. But he never stopped pounding him.It worked well,because if any president deserved to be knocked around for his record, it was President Carter.

I'm disappointed that Governor Romney saw fit to buy into President Obama's number one alibi, repeated ad nauseum..that none of this was President Obama's fault.

Rest assured that when the Democrats meet in Charlotte next week, every other word out of their mouths will be used to demonize Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Republicans in general. All of their media lackeys will be mobilized to talk about how hard hitting and masterful these speeches are, and when President Obama gets up on stage and mouths the usual nonsense, the media will genuflect no matter what he says.

The Democrats will not care one whit about what looks presidential. They will simply pull out all the stops and do what they do.

I'm hoping that this was just a momentary lapse of reason on the Romney campaign's part, and that they will understand what kind of people they're dealing with.

They may still end up winning without doing so, but if they want the sort of electoral repudiation of Barack Obama and his party that their performance in office merits, they had better wake up and take some lessons from Ronald Reagan.


Independent Patriot/Elise said...

It had to be a good speech, because MSNBC was apoplectic. This morning all they talked about was how Romney didn't seal the deal and guaranteed Obama's reelection.

Personally I think internal WH polling shows Romney in alot better position than the public polls. Besides that these public polls are slanted, I think dems just aren't going to come out to vote.

B.Poster said...

The problem with Ronald Reagan is, while he was a great president for his time, he or someone like him is unelectable today. America is politically and socially a left of center nation today. Much more so than in 1980. As such, Ronald Reagan could not win a national election or even many local elections today.

"The President hasn't disappointed you because he wanted to. The President has disappointed America because he hasn't led America in the right direction." I think this is spot on and needs to be the approach that the Republicans should take. Team Romney and the RNC should refrain from personal attacks on the President or accusing him of having nefarious intentions towards the nation. They should focus strictly on his competence and leader and offer clear policy alternatives. As our first African-American president, there remains a vast resivour of good will among the American people towards this president even if they don't necessarily approve of his policies. If they percieve Mr. Obama is being attacked personally, they will likely close ranks around him very quickly. The idiot speech writer you mention very likely understands all of this.

A bit off topic but the only way this personal good will toward the current POTUS can likely be damaged is if America should end up in a war with Iran. The Aemrican people do not want this nor do they understand the threat from Iran or its Russian and Chinese allies and will likely turn on the President should this happen.

Anonymous said...

I heard the speech live on radio driving back & have just now re-listened to it at YouTube, jotting some notes whilst doing so. I think it was an excellent speech.

1st point : He emphasised that he was ' a classic Baby Boomer ' . God bless him for emphasising & taking pride in being a Baby Boomer American : the GOP must convert independents & disaffected Dems into GOP voters ( this was a point I tried to make to joshuapundit about a fortnight ago ; the Baby Boomers are now sexagenarians, & the GOP have to listen to this younger, politically speaking ! , pre-1959 generation. OK, JP ? ) We have just experienced our 1st post-Baby-Boomer prez with Owebama, thereby demonstrating that the Baby Boomers are comparatively sane ( please compare & contrast the last 2, both baby boomers, with this 1 ) .

2d point : he evoked the memory of the late, great Neil Armstrong, the great man on the Moon, & extolled him to the skies & heavens. Thrice, in fact, he mentioned the name of that great American & hero to millions of Baby Boomers & Americans alive at the time. The 1st step on the Moon on old monochrome telly on 21 ( where I was ) July 1969, about 3 or 4 in the morn, is the most spectacular sight of my life & moment : breathless. That's 1 small step for man ; one giant leap for mankind. ( Another point I made to jp then. )

He mentioned Jack Kennedy in the same paragraph, thereby evoking the memory of another hero to millions of Baby Boomers. ( Another name I broached to jp. )

He mentioned that his mum had run for the Senate, thereby demonstrating a personal connection with the aspirations of millions of American women, particularly & especially the Baby Boomers. He mentioned his gubernatorial record in the same vein.

He directly addressed the controversy about Bain by detailing the founding & by highlighting Staples & the Sports Authority & the Bright Horizons charity & the building of a new steel foundry ( or mill ) in Indiana. Very effective. He addressed the Mormon controversy with civility & politeness & humour.

He explicitly mentioned the out-sourcing of manufacturing jobs to Red China, aka, Mainland China, aka, Peking. ( Once again, I explicitly raised the issue of the danger of China with jp. ) This is very important. & he mentions Communist China once more in relation to borrowing.

& the core issue of the 716 billion dollar cut to Medicare & Medicare Advantage. THE issue that could cut the Dems to ribbons in the House & Senate contests across the country & nation. He explicitly promises to repeal & replace Obamacare.

He pokes gentle fun at Owebama's King Canute like pledge to lower the oceans ( does anyone recall the great Canute story about the king's rebuke of a sycophantic, flattering, toady courtier ? ) . He mentions Putin twice & the betrayal of Poland. & Iran.

Jp mocks & ridicules this line, quote : " ' The President hasn't disappointed you because he wanted to ' ? What idiot speechwriter stuck that in there ? " Oh, I don't know, jp. Could it be a speechwriter with the sense to understand that many Americans, including disaffected ones, still like him personally ? A speechwriter serious about converting voters to the GOP ticket come November ? A speechwriter serious about winning ?

I don't understand the personal love so many have for Obama, Reagan, Carter ( Carter : yech ! ), but it exists. I didn't vote for any of those candidates, but I ken that successful campaigns must needs convert people from supporting candidates which they personally like to ones which they agree with.

Personal attacks against Owebama will not work. But a campaign based on issues can, notwithstanding the demographic nightmare the GOP are facing. The 716 billion dollar cut to Medicare & Medicare Advantage : this is an open net ( or empty net ) in hockey terms. Score, Shred Betties ! [ mixed metaphor apology ]
[ part 1 ]

Anonymous said...

[ Part 2, apologies ]

Perhaps, maybe, I am being too harsh with jp, but I think he keeps losing the thread with his personal grudge fouette-ing. He mentions 1980, but he skips 1968 & the Spring of 1976. 1976 ? Wasn't there an incumbent Republican ? F o ... something ? If you play your cards right, we can all give the big O the Bronx cheer at 12.01 pm Eastern Time, on 20 January 2013.


Anonymous said...

To BPoster :

Excellent letter ! I have just now read it. It had not been printed at the time I composed & sent my letter yesterday. We were obviously thinking along identical lines. ( great minds think alike ? ;) )

Reagan would be a different politician in this era. He was for most of his life a Democrat, a New - Deal Democrat ! He was the head of the Screen Actors' Guild. As Governor of California, even though a Republican at this stage, he signed into law legislation which liberalised abortion. He raised taxes. He pardoned convicted murderers, including a cop-killer, a subject which was belatedly recalled in the 1988 Dukakis campaign ( if Dukakis had had any sense, he should have said that he had simply made the same mistake re Horton which another governor, 1 named Reagan, had made, but Dukakis dithered, dawdled, & stumbled ) .

Pre-Governor Reagan, Governor Reagan, & President Reagan were 3 very different people. There can be no doubt that he would have trimmed his sails to suit the current trade winds in politics.

Please keep leaning on jp ! This is a crucial election. Have to run ( even though this has been a week off for me, 2 of the girls from the office are insisting on taking me to see some band in a park play an updated version of a French surrealist song from 40 years ago (( Le temps est un bateau ; la terre est un gateau : time's a boat ; the Earth's a cake )) ? , but they mean well. Last year, they took me to the aquarium, & I later overheard the blond girl tell someone that she had chosen that trip for me because she had overheard me on the phone say that this was the age of aquariums ! ) Ciao !