I was quite pessimistic about the Romney speech when I read the excerpts, which seemed entirely pedestrian. But Romney’s delivery was forceful, the crowd helped give it lift, and the themes were effective, if not very interesting. The consensus about the speech seems to be “solid,” and that strikes me as about right. Although the personal passages were better than that, and may do him the most good. From my piece for Fox News last night:
On the biggest night of his political life, Mitt Romney delivered.
His address accepting the Republican nomination won’t be long-remembered. It was a workmanlike speech. It didn’t soar, and wasn’t intended to.
After the savaging he’s taken from President Obama’s re-election campaign, and with the public impression of him still foggy, Romney set out to deliver a simple message: “I’m okay. You can trust me. I can do a job, and I want to put America back to work.”
The speech mostly lacked ideology. If you missed the opening bit where he hailed Paul Ryan, you might not have guessed that he had selected the House budget committee chairman as his running-mate in a choice emphasizing deep philosophical and policy differences with the president.
Instead, the speech ran on biography and can-do optimism. It pleased the crowd in the arena, but was pitched to the TV audience beyond its walls, and especially to voters disappointed with President Obama but not outraged by him.