The 2012 Republican National Convention finished last night and it did so with a past, present, and future feel.
Leading off the prime time coverage was Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood, who delivered an adlib, improv performance to an empty chair that was supposed to be Barack Obama. Eastwood’s delivery was slow and quirky, but definitely brought the house down in the building. Predictably he allowed the audience to finish his most signature line, “Make my day,” as well as provide a critique of President Obama’s failed promises. The routine, panned by some in the media, did garner a response from the White House as a little after midnight, Obama’s twitter account tweeted a photo of the President’s chair and him in it with the tweet, “This seat’s taken.” Regardless of people’s opinion of the sketch, it seemed to get to the Obama campaign.
Eastwood’s riff led into Florida’s junior Senator, Marco Rubio. He possesses a remarkable story of rags to riches and the American Dream, which he detailed last night. In filling the role of introducing Romney, Rubio harkened to the future by declaring, the “story of our time will be written by Americans who haven’t yet been born. Let’s make sure they write that we did our part.” Rubio surely is the future of the conservative movement, the Republican Party, and possibly of America itself. By nailing this speech in prime time, Rubio is well positioned for any higher office or higher goals in his career. You will hear from this Senator in the years to come.
Rubio then introduced the Republican candidate for President, Mitt Romney. Romney came through the crowd looking somewhat like a Presidential State of the Union speech. He then accepted the nomination and began his acceptance speech. Romney then detailed the lofty promises and rhetoric of four years ago. The dreams and hoped of millions of Americans propelled Barack Obama to the White House. However, that hopeful talk has not translated into action. Romney said those high minded ideals Obama embraced were what America “deserved”. And what they got instead is a shame. He explained it this way, “You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.”
Romney went on to his personal story. He revealed intimate details from his father’s life. For example, the fact that everyday he would place a rose on his wife’s bedside table. One day a rose did not appear on the nightstand and that was the day George Romney died. This brought many in the hall to tears. Hearing about Ann Romney’s story and Mitt’s aid and comfort he gave her among many other items, humanized Romney in a way not yet done in either of his Presidential campaigns.
What seemed like the theme of Romney’s speech and moreover his campaign from here on out is summed up in the statement, “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. MY promise…is to help you and your family.” It was a message of telling Americans that the past four years of mediocrity is not acceptable. America deserves nothing less than the best, and that’s what Mitt Romney can provide as President. Our future is meant to be great. Romney concluded, “That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it.”