There must have been people watching the final night of the GOP convention last night scratching their heads and thinking: gee whiz, this Mitt Romney guy isn't at all like the uncaring felon depicted in the Obama campaign's attack ads.
Because Romney isn’t the kind of man who breaks his arm patting himself on the back (who does this not remind you of?), friends had to tell his story for him. Romney, the Mormon pastor visiting a sick child in the hospital, didn’t comport with the man in the vicious Obama ads. A Mr. Oparowski, a retired firefighter, and his wife recounted Romney’s friendship with their dying, fourteen-year-old son David. Jonathan Tobin observes:
It was a sad touching story and the reaction from the audience showed there didn’t appear to be a dry eye in the house except perhaps in the MSNBC booth.
The Obama campaign sent out a message immediately after Romney’s speech that there were “no big ideas here.” Romney talked about American exceptionalism, the value of a free-market economy that creates jobs, and religious freedom. There are some who walk among us who might call those big ideas.
The convention, as all conventions must do, featured a lineup of people (Chris Christie, Condoleezza Rice, Ann Romney, and even Clint Eastwood) to set the table (this seems to be the cliché du jour) for Romney. The columnist Michael Goodwin, who voted for Obama in 2008, notes:
But none of this would matter if Romney himself didn’t step up his game, and he did when it mattered most. By emphasizing the problems of debt, deficit and entitlement spending, he has made the campaign about big things and big ideas. With Obama refusing to seriously engage on those issues, Romney and Ryan have framed the campaign on terms that are the most important and also favor them.
Their challenge is America’s, for avoiding the problems will certainly make them worse, and change the country’s character forever. Yet the courage to engage, and to lead, will not matter much without victory.
Obama will fight ruthlessly and without honor to hold onto power. Romney must be resolute, but with honor, to deserve the Oval Office.
The Daily Caller has a story on the “digital message avalanche” that issued from the Obama campaign during and after Romney’s speech. My favorite:
"It is 10 minutes into his speech and all he has done is tear down the POTUS,” tweeted Woodhouse. “After the Rolling Stone story today guess it’s all he has,” he added.
Rolling Stone? Rolling Stone? What a small world these people inhabit.
Charlotte, N.C., is going to be mightly interesting.