All in all, an excellent convention. More substantive than many (admittedly a low bar), and, as I explain in today’s column, a standing rebuke to the race baiters in the Democratic party who brazenly malign Republicans.
As someone who has long argued that Romney’s character is one of his selling points, I found the testimonials of the Oparowskis and the other people Romney extended such generosity to incredibly moving and inspiring. This is a man who takes responsibility for others in the most profound and difficult ways — actual investments of time, money, and attention, rather than the easy way — urging more government “compassion.”
The weakest part of the extravaganza, though, was the first two-thirds of Romney’s acceptance speech. I thought it lacked the pace and rythym that are key ingredients to a good speech. And it failed to weave together Romney’s personal history with the necessities of the moment for the nation. He needed, I thought, to explain why the government-heavy policies of the Obama administration had failed — not merely to note that they had failed.
But the last third picked up. His task, some believe, was merely to persuade voters that he isn’t remote or unconcerned. By that standard, the convention was a huge success.
Also, Romney, as stage manager of the Tampa convention, (and as the man who chose Ryan) deserves credit for highlighting the incredible talent of the Republican bench. I cannot recall, in my lifetime, any time when Republicans were blessed with such a crop of highly articulate, intelligent, philosophically-grounded governors, members of Congress, Senators, and candidates for other offices.
Finally, a word about Ryan. There’s a reason the so-called “fact-checkers” and other liberals have gone beserk about him. It’s quite simply this: He is the most impressive Republican politician since Reagan. Not just smart and well-informed, but also disarming, comfortable, and persuasive. Like a triathlete, he’s great at many things at once. As such, he delights us and scares the Hell out of them.