He did it. He actually did it. Mitt Romney overcame the shadows of Hurricanes Isaac and Ron Paul to become the shining star of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Don’t get me wrong, I still think Barack Obama is the more equipped candidate for the Presidency, but I certainly dislike Mitt Romney at least 12% less than I did going into the week. That is in itself an incredible accomplishment for the Romney campaign considering everything that went wrong in the days before Romney’s speech. I’m not just talking about the storm that caused the convention to delay its start, I’m talking about how the convention itself unfolded.
Right off the bat, the GOP angered Ron Paul supporters by refusing to read Paul’s delegates during the Roll Call. The first few speakers saw only unenthused faces under the sea of cowboy hats. It wasn’t until Rick Santorum preached about “Obama’s assault on family life in America” that the crowd finally gave its first standing ovation. And when Santorum proudly declared that all lives are worth living and all men are created equal (except of course for those heathen homosexuals), the floodgates were opened for the stereotypical USA chant being used at any point of silence.
Ann Romney became the first speaker to make a political difference, helping to show that Republicans are not an anti-women party. This became the true theme of the convention, as girl power was subtly mentioned by Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, and on a less subtle note, Romney himself. Condoleezza Rice cemented the role of women in the party, making herself look like the obvious choice Romney should have made for V.P. The real choice, Paul Ryan, gave a fiery speech that involved a lot of angry yelling at the crowd, though it will no doubt be remembered more for its factual inaccuracies than anything (Click here for more).
Following a brilliant ten-minute tribute video for Mitt Romney, things seemed to finally be going perfectly for the former Massachusetts governor. Clint Eastwood nearly ruined the mood with his pointless standup routine; the only thing audiences learned from that is why Mr. Eastwood didn’t pursue a career in improv. But Marco Rubio was there to save the day, setting the perfect tone for Romney’s speech. Though he took no risks, Romney did everything right from a Republican standpoint. He hailed Ronald Reagan, insulted Jimmy Carter, and in a moment that no doubt inspired moon colony dreams in Newt Gingrich’s head, spoke about the beauty of the American flag on the moon. He even stated, “Unlike President Obama, I won’t raise taxes on the middle class.” Never mind the fact that Obama is currently trying to sell Congress on a tax cut for 98% of the country, because nothing gives you more right-wing credibility than some good ol’ Obama bashing. The effect on the polls remains to be seen, but Mitt Romney used this convention to solidify himself as the top Republican in the party.