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Friday, August 31, 2012

Griper Blade: Mitt Romney's Speech: Lukewarm Mashed Potatoes and a Plan to Create the Sunrise

Last night's acceptance speech for the nomination to the top of the Republican ticket was, by most accounts, a plate of warm mashed potatoes. Not too hot, not too cold, not overly seasoned or anything to get excited about. It was a speech, he didn't trip over the podium and fall into the audience in giving it, and the absence of humiliating failure is a success of sorts. What will be remembered will be Clint Eastwood's rambling, incoherent stand-up routine (at least, I think it was supposed to be comedy of some sort). Advice to future convention planners: if a prominently scheduled speaker can't give you any advanced copy of a script, do not let them go on. I don't care who it is or how starstruck you are -- if it's not in writing, it doesn't get broadcast. Abraham Lincoln, risen from the grave by the personal hand of God had better have a stack of 3x5 index cards someone can look over. If not, hit the road you spooky undead emancipator.

Inspiring it was not. It will never be quoted by someone with tears in their eyes. Jonathan Bernstein pretty much nailed it when he summed it up this way: "A generic speech and a generic convention for a generic Republican candidate." It was a speech by a guy who's running for president. Not the first and not the last and certainly not noteworthy. If speeches had a color, this one would be beige.

Unfortunately, it was also the generic speech for a generic Republican in a way worth remarking on. While it steered mostly away from substance and toward humanizing a seemingly robotic candidate, you can't have a completely substance-free acceptance speech, no matter how badly you might want one. You're going to have to talk about your opponent. You're going to have to talk about policy. You're going to have to make a case beyond, "No really, I do have a pulse."

And it was in those moments that Mitt slipped into the old habit of slinging the BS...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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