Mitt Romney accepted the Republican Nomination tonight before a packed Tampa Bay Times Arena and a worldwide TV audience. Before taking the stage, a number of Romney’s friends told stories of Romney’s kindness and generosity. Ted and Pat Oparowski told how Romney developed a friendship with their son David before his death from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Pam Finlayson talked about the kindness the Romney family showed her after the premature birth of their daughter Kate, helping them through their struggles. These stories were powerful and showed a side of the candidate you rarely get to see.
Other speakers took to the stage to praise Romney’s business acumen and excellent work with the Salt Lake City Olympics. I absolutely love that they embraced his time at Bain Capital and highlighted successful businesses helped by Bain and the positive impact those businesses had on people’s lives. It’s good to celebrate success and I’m really glad the Romney campaign did that.
Two speakers from Massachusetts told of his time as Governor: Budgets were cut, a deficit was turned into a surplus, and education improved. Did you know Romney didn’t take a salary as Governor? I didn’t.
A secondary theme of tonight’s speeches: Mitt Romney is a turnaround artist.
GOP Rock Star Marco Rubio was the final speaker before Romney. Rudio’s introduction made the case for electing Romney:
Do we want our children to inherit our hopes and dreams, or do we want them to inherit our problems?
Mitt Romney believes that if we succeed in changing the direction of our country, our children and grandchildren will be the most prosperous generation ever, and their achievements will astonish the world.
The story of our time will be written by Americans who haven’t yet been born.
Let’s make sure they write that we did our part. That in the early years of this new century, we lived in an uncertain time. But we did not allow fear to cause us to abandon what made us special.
Romney delivered the best speech I’ve heard him deliver. I was a late-comer to the Romney bandwagon but how he’s run his campaign, the selection of Ryan as his running mate, the professionalism and strong message sent by the speakers and themes of this campaign have me convinced Romney can win and that he has the potential be an excellent President.
Some highlights of Romney’s speech:
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.
That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples – where I’m pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we’d ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.
Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.
To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.
To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be.
Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this president but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.
What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn’t take a special government commission to tell us what America needs.
What America needs is jobs.
Lots of jobs.
And he ended with this:
That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our Constitution.
That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.
That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.
If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.
An excellent speech and a strong case for election. It’s been a good convention. We’ll see what the Democrats have to say next week. Less than seventy days from now we’ll make our decision. I pray we make the right one.