Romney-Ryan: Their Case Has Been Made

Today’s Courier Herald Column.  Alternate Headline: Random Thoughts On A Convention At 4am After A Week Of Almost No Sleep. 

The Republicans have now made their case.  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have spent three evenings providing speakers and videos to define themselves.  Their backgrounds, upbringing, credentials, and testimonials have been put on display for all to see.  The Romney-Ryan ticket’s best foot is now clearly forward.

To be honest, it is likely that the readers of this column got as good or better of a glimpse of the performance put on by the Republican National Committee this week in Tampa as I did.  Much of my time was spent shuttling between the Tampa Times Forum Arena and the Convention Center which was set up as a media center several blocks away.

Even when in the arena, as I was for most of the headline speeches, the view was obstructed and the various members of the press  – mostly foreign print organizations – that surrounded me were frankly disinterested, distracting, loud, and obstructive.  Regardless, I’m not complaining.  I still consider it a front row seat and was glad to participate.  It was a unique perspective that I have not previously enjoyed for a national convention.

There was also a lot of networking with the Georgia delegation – essentially glad-handing over food and beverages to get a pulse of what Georgia delegates, elected officials, and other insiders are thinking about both the national ticket and more local issues.  It’s been a full week.

As for the national picture, I’ll offer a few thoughts.  The Republicans managed to stay on message, and were mostly positive.  Much of the narrative focused on the human side of the Romney family.  This was necessary and essential to combat Romney’s almost robot-like persona.  The personal testimonials from Thursday night should have been included during the Clint Eastwood time slot for the one hour allotted for network broadcast.  They were powerful and real.  Anyone who watched them would have a hard time picturing Romney as cold, aloof, or only interested in making personal profits or amassing personal power.

The “War on Women” narrative also took a big hit.  Stellar performances by Ann Romney, Condoleezza Rice, and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez showcased powerful and compelling stories from Republican Women.  A closer inspection of Governor Romney’s performance in Massachusetts demonstrates he had a significantly better track record on appointments and pay relative to male counterparts than does Barack Obama as president.

The Republican narrative is tight.  During a convention, there is little excuse for it not to be.  Republicans painted a picture of those willing to lead.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s line from his keynote “leaders don’t follow the polls, leaders change the polls” was most excellent.  But the under riding theme was that the President made promises he couldn’t deliver. The Country is on the wrong course.  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will tackle the fiscal problems that face our budget while implementing policies that make us energy independent and create 20 million jobs by 2020.

We also saw the next generation of leaders for the Republican Party.  In addition to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, there were stunning speeches by Chris Christie, Susana Martinez, Marco Rubio, and Condoleezza Rice.  While Rice served under the George W. Bush administration as Secretary of State, her speech made it clear that she could cover the field on all Republican issues.  The others are newcomers ready to assume their position on the national stage, and are likely to be the standard bearers for the next generation of Republicans.

All in all, it appears to have been a successful week for Republicans.  I don’t see that the missed Monday hurt the narrative, as there was no Prime Time network television scheduled to cover the events anyway.  The speeches Tuesday through Thursday mostly hit or exceeded their marks.

More importantly, the party appears unified behind a candidate which had only received lukewarm praise from ultra conservatives prior to this convention.  Republicans have successfully fired up their base.  Now they must woo independents.

We will now await the response from Democrats next week in Charlotte.  I unfortunately will not be able to attend in person. Instead, I will be able to watch from the comfort of my own home and parse the analysis with the aid of a DVR.

The Republicans have made their case, and it is strong.  The Democrats are on deck.  We’ll have the campaign fully framed by this time next week.


  1. John Konop says:

    I am writing in Clint Eastwood. Gran Trino, great movie and tell me that Walt Kowaski would not of made a great president. 🙂 Have a great weekend all!

  2. saltycracker says:


    Fair and on point analysis. Like conventions of any kind the productive parts are the networking and personal interactions. The unanticipated bonuses for me were the speeches by the Republican women, Romney, Martinez & Rice.

    Couldn’t resist my recommendation & did get into a Columbia Restaurant in another city for my regular fix of a “1905” salad, black bean soup & a glass of sangria.

  3. gcp says:

    Agree Condi Rice gave a great speech even though I disagree with most of her pro U.S. foreign involvement policy. Also was Jebby Bush running for Sec. of Education?

  4. I Miss the 90s says:

    I am not quite so sure a case was made at the GOP convention. Perhaps a case.has been made that Paul Ryan and Chris Christie will be running for President in 2016, but all the convention told the US is that Romney has no plan for the country, no path to victory, and it is all of a sudden important.that Romney appear to be a family man.

    • mpierce says:

      “all the convention told the US is that Romney has no plan for the country”

      Mitt Romney’s plan

      What the convention actually told us was that Obama’s campaign to pain Romney as a racist, anti-women, Gordon Gekko type out to run over the poor and kill the elderly and sick gained some traction with the help of a complicit media. Hopefully that impression and campaign tactic will dissipate and both campaigns can focus on how they will get our economy on tract and balance our budget.

      • I Miss the 90s says:

        Complicity media!? Even the GOP’s communications department, aka Fox News, made the same observation. The convention was a flop.

        As for your tirade, Romney is all of that. Look, Romney has never known want. He has never lived the life of a non-millionaire. I personally doubt he grew up playing little league baseball, being a Boy Scout, and eating hot dogs at weekend bbqs with the neighbors. I doubt Kitty has ever tail gates for any reason other than a campaign event. I did not either, but I also know better than to run for public office..

        All of.this is relevant for two reasons: 1) Obama has a rags to riches story, 2) the GOP still can not humanize Romney…partly because he missed out on the less than upper class side of ‘American’ Life.

      • I Miss the 90s says:

        You want t get the budget under control? Stop listening to partisans and start relying on Congress for the solution. The president does not have positive agenda control in Congress, he only has the veto of Congressional actions.

        As long as the Bush tax cuts and heightened defense budgets remain untouched, we will.have deficits.

        Entitlements may be a problem, but.they are not thee problem. Taxes revenues and rates.are too low.

        • Dave Bearse says:

          On Social Security, I say switch and used a chained CPI to increase benefits (closes 20% of the SS gap), increase FICA 0.1% each year for 10 years, including taxes paid by employers (closes 50% of the gap), and some combination of a surtax on wage income in excess or $110,000 and reduction in initial benefits for high earners (to close the remaining 30%).

          • Blake says:

            Thank you! Simplest thing in the world. WHY ISN’T ANYONE PROPOSING IT god I hate this country’s politicians.

          • HisIdeas says:

            I say stop those madatory taxes in the name of Govt taking care of you. I am fully able to take care of my own retirement, abundant and secure with no government intervention. All the govt is doing is take my wealth and distribute to other segments of the population without my consent.

            Let’s start to believe we should keep the fruit of our own labor!

            • Dave Bearse says:

              Yeah you and the like-minded will all be able to take care of your own retirement, just like those choosing to go without health insurance are always able to take care of all of their health care.

              Social security is not the government taking care of you. It’s not very redistributionist, and is there to be a floor that in a balanced program, sacrificing some potential for higher returns for security, at relatively little cost to society. It’s a little off-track but can be fixed.

          • mpierce says:

            I agree w/ switching to CPI. Increasing taxes is NOT the way to fix the problem. We’ve increased them time and time again. That just lead to people being more and more dependent on govt and limits people’s ability to save for retirement themselves. As Social Security benefits are based on Social Security wages earned, increasing the wage cap would also mean increasing benefits.

            Currently, the trust fund is expected to be depleted in 2033. I suggest that the retirement age goes up by 1 month in any year that there isn’t at least 30 years of expected solvency in the trust fund. When Social Security was passed (1935) life expectancy was about 60. Most people died before getting retirement. Now it is 75 and is expected to continue rising.

  5. Dave Bearse says:

    The case indeed has been made. It’s simply the SoS, different day, except with lies. The lies are necessary in order to pander to a party base increasingly living in an alternate non-science based universe, and because Obama’s actions in many respect are those of a GOP was in power.

    The record is that concern about deficit spending is a GOP talking point when the GOP is in the minority. The record is that the GOP funds what it wants to fund at deficit expense. The record is that tax cuts for the rich, defense and wars, and handouts as necessary to maintain power, merit deficit spending.

    The GOP spent 50 years harping about the deficit, yet when the GOP assumed full control of the federal government, it promptly turned surplus to deficit. The GOP enacting it priorities should have been expected, given that the patron saint of the modern GOP, Ronald Reagan, cut taxes for the rich and expanded defense by more than doubling the country’s accumulated deficit.

    Given full control, the GOP re-engaged those priorities—tax cuts for the rich and war. George Bush being no Ronald Reagan, an unfunded Medicare Part D, costing twice as much as it was supposed to, was enacted maintain and solidify power, instead of implementing the GOP’s idea of requiring health insurance.

    “More importantly, the party appears unified behind a candidate which had only received lukewarm praise from ultra conservatives prior to this convention.”

    Well of course! Who would expect otherwise from those whose most important objective for the country is insuring Obama is a one-term President?

    • John Konop says:

      You are right with a few minor tweaks SS can maintain itself. Medicare on the other hand cannot. And the Ryan and Obama plan of .05 percent of GDP cap, does not work and both plans lack details as to how we even get to the cap.

      I have prosed so simple solution for healthcare like use VA pricing for drugs ie 60 percent less, create large self insured exchanges saves about 20 percent, create a large co-pay for uninsured for non emergency care if they do not use dial doc, drug store care…..I could go on and on…… But both sides would rather have an issue than fix the problem.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        I agree that fixing Medicare / Medicaid will be much tougher. I’m all ears for solutions. Your proposals seem reasonable and worthwhile. I’m not informed enough to know if they’re enough.

        Medical technology has long been outpacing general economic growth. Ultimately rationing, whether it’s recognized as such or not, is going to increasingly occur. The country currently lacks the leadership to even remotely begin to approach the subject.

        I think that one of the issues with high drug prices and healthcare in general is that the US health care market by and large shoulders the world’s R&D costs on its own.

        • caroline says:

          John has simple answers so no one in Washington is going to listen to him. They can make something so simple into a literal nightmare.

    • caroline says:

      Just curious. Why do you think they would be doing that? Do you think that they would think that it loses GOP votes? I would think it costs both parties as Johnson has some stances that people on either side of the aisle would be amenable to.

  6. kathynoble says:

    Leaving the convention and driving back to GA, we were stopped by numerous people that wanted to talk politics. People that did not attend but had watched the coverage on TV were energized and willing to talk to anyone that would listen. The convention painted a clear picture of the men behind the ticket to the delegation, so that we can articulate why we wholeheartedly support their vision for our country. Today, going about my business around town, strangers were joining in conversations about the Romney/Ryan ticket with enthusiasm. Is that not the purpose of the convention, to energize the voting populous? By that standard, the convention was a total and complete success. From a personal standpoint, it was the best week of my life, so again, complete success. It has given the media fodder with which to try and demonize republicans, so from their standpoint, again, success. The convention also provided the Ron Paulers yet another opportunity to claim unfair treatment. I can not for the life of me see how this convention failed anyone in any way.

    • HisIdeas says:

      “I can not for the life of me see how this convention failed anyone in any way” – Then something is seriously lacking in your mental capacity.

      Ten duly elected Maine delegates after spending near 1 year effort, energy and spent $4000 per person to be able to attend the national convention to just be unseated – is this not failing the people in Maine?! So RNC and the Romney camp are above the law and that is OK with your conscience?

      What is so exciting about Romney/Ryan ticket when both of them supported Tarp, pro stimulus, pro fiat money and supported NDAA and Patriot act? It is really not about how good a paint job the convention did to the men behind the ticket, it is their actions that speak louder than the paint job.

      It takes no talent to be a slave.

      Clint Eastwood’s political satire can be interpreted so many different ways. An empty chair implied there is no real leader. It implied the lack of representation of the some grass root teams. His “bring the troop home tomorrow morning” tricked everyone into thinking they were FOR bringing the troops home from Afghanistan!!!! He called out the hypocrisy of both parties.

  7. AMB says:

    Ryan lied repeatedly to a national audience and was called out on it. Big fail. Massive big fail. Romney was upstaged by an empty chair. Big fail. The speakers who connected with the audience aren’t running for president. Big fail.
    Take off the rose colored (or beer glasses) and wake up.

  8. kathynoble says:

    Well, since the only thing I have to use as a reference is the actual experience of being at the convention as opposed to the interpretation that media will portray, I am going with my version, but hey, you can hang your hat on that beer colored glasses thing if it works for you.

    • Blake says:

      Your “actual experience” is one person’s subjective point of view, no less an interpretation than the rest of us obtained through the media. You consumed more of the convention than the rest of us, but really, your experience is actually less important than ours, since the pool of convention attendees is insignificant compared to who is going to be voting–the 99.99% of the hundreds of millions of us who did not attend.

      You know, the rest of the *populace*. The part with a more important *role* to play.

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