GOP Convention Wrap-Up: The Good, the Bad, and the Absent

Convention introduced Romney well, but was light on policy

     

The Bad

 

RYAN’S SPEECH

Paul Ryan’s speech on Wednesday night, while well delivered, was truly one of the most inaccurate and misleading major speeches given in recent memory. From downplaying his own role in defeating Bowles-Simpson to lying about a GM plant in his district closing on Obama’s watch, the speech was so replete with deception that even Fox News called them out on it.

The problem for Romney and Ryan now is that the Democrats get their turn in the spotlight next week. Surely they will dismantle Ryan’s speech point by point and appear to be the grownups in the room.

EASTWOOD’S APPEARANCE

I cannot overstate the disaster that Clint Eastwood’s “surprise” appearance on stage last night was for the convention overall. His unscripted conversation with “Invisible Obama” was bizarre, threw the rhythm of the night off and has been sucking up media coverage that should be focusing on Romney.

The only positive thing to come from the Eastwood shenanigans is comic relief: www.twitter.com/InvisibleObama.

The Absent

 

POLICY

Although Eastwood’s empty chair is the talk of the town, what was actually missing from the RNC was policy. The speeches were filled with rhetoric about the disappointment of the Obama administration and how a Romney administration could get us back on track and suddenly create “jobs, lots of jobs.”

Although conventions are typically large pep rallies for the party faithful and do not focus much on specifics, it still would have been nice to come away with at least one concrete step Romney would take to achieve his goals. He talked generally about repealing Obamacare and getting government out of the way but did not connect the dots from those ideas to the goals of job creation, freedom and family that were central to his speech.

ROMNEY’S RECORD

Also notably invisible was reference to Romney’s legislative accomplishments while Governor of Massachusetts. These, presumably, are equally if not more important than his experience in the private sector in preparing him for the presidency. In his big debut on the national stage as a nominee, it was an odd omission. Of course, we knew that in the primaries he was playing to the far right wing of his party but his campaign surely could have figure out a way to package his governorship appropriately for the swing voters.

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

Despite Jeb Bush’s forceful defense of his brother and Condi Rice’s excellent speech, the Republicans went to great lengths to keep George W. Bush in the invisible chair throughout the convention. On that they succeeded.

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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