2012 GOP Convention – Thursday

I’ve been recapping the events and speeches from the GOP Convention. You can find the others here and here. You can also find videos of the speeches and other video segments here.

The final night of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL featured a decent lineup of speakers. I’ll get to the highlights in a minute, but I first want to highlight a few things I find to be an important part of this type event.

  1. I really like seeing the stories of people impacted by Mitt Romney throughout his life talking about what kind of man he is. Video is a powerful tool, and I like placing people who know the candidates on camera and giving them an outlet to tell their story.
  2. I struggle with the RNC pushing minorities and women to the forefront. I feels like pandering. That said, I also believe the speakers did a great job answering the call to present the foundations of the 2012 GOP to the people of America. Condi Rice, Nikka Haley, Susana Martinez, Artur Davis, Mia Love, Kelly Ayotte, Mary Fallin, Ted Cruz, Luis Fortuño, Kerry Healey and Marco Rubio (just to name the ones I watched) did a masterful job of explaining what Republicans believe about America, and what the party they represent stands for.
  3. The speeches are important, no doubt. Saying true things is more important. Staying on message is of the utmost importance.

I missed Connie Mack IV and the Newt and Callista Gingrich speeches. Not really too disappointed. I like Gingrich for his historical awareness and his winner-take-all mentality, but I’ve heard his spiel a few times.

The first speaker I heard was Craig Romney. He spoke in English, then Spanish, and talked for only a few moments. He was followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who spoke on repairing our miserable education system. He brought a teacher from Texas and a student from Florida’s school choice program on stage with him to back up his talking points. I am admittedly interested in fixing our education system, and I am willing to hear all options. This was important to me, but I doubt the subject weighed on many at the convention.

The reason it may be overlooked is because of the next few speakers. Bob White, Grant Bennett, and Thomas Stenberg (executives and friends of Romney) followed Jeb Bush and they spoke about “Jobs” and Mitt Romney’s business acumen. This is the big issue in the election: how can our government help get people back to work? I believe that government can help job creation by removing barriers and making life easier on the people who would hire.

These executives were followed by two women: Kerry Healey and Jane Edmonds (a DEMOCRAT) praising Romney’s successes in Massachusetts as Governor. Jane Edmonds speech is worth watching.

There was an inspiring moment when American Olympians took to the stage and announced their support of Romney. Mike Eruzione (of the Miracle on Ice US Hockey team) spoke about how Romney not only rescued the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, but may have saved the Olympics in general. His management of the Games restored confidence and integrity to the Games. A new take I hadn’t yet heard.

Then Clint Eastwood came out on stage, sans script, and talked to a wooden chair representing an invisible President Obama and spoke to it as if in a conversation only he could hear. I’m sure this is exactly what Romney for America had in mind. To be fair, Eastwood had some funny moments and some really great one-liners about President Obama’s administration and his legacy from his first term. Short on policy/substance, heavy on very dry wit.

The last speaker before Mitt Romney officially accepted the nomination was Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Take a minute and check out his story if you haven’t heard of him. His speech was great, and the story about “his father working behind a bar so he could stand behind a podium at the front of a room” was killer. Rubio connects with people, and he’s a young guy. He spoke with conviction, passion, and made clear the differences between conservatism and liberalism. He’s a Cuban-American, born in Miami, FL. He’s the future of the GOP for minorities, and he’s a great leader. He’ll run for President one day, and he should get the nomination. Rubio ended his speech with an introduction for Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP candidate for President of the United States.

As an aside, I believe the future of the 60+ GOP might be up in the air, but the 30-60 year-old Republicans are primed for some serious campaigns. Ryan, Rubio, Christie, Rice, Martinez, Corker, Haslam, and many more. These folks stretch from very conservative to moderate, but they all look to the founders for direction, and I like that.

This was a Romney most of America hasn’t ever seen. He was passionate, he was emotional, he was bold at times and subdued at times. He spoke like a man ready for the task at hand. He told stories about his business, his career, his family. He told a story about his parents that left people very quiet in the convention center. Check out his speech here if you can.

For the sake of clarity – – I voted for Ron Paul in the 2012 TN GOP Presidential Primary. I support the liberty movement and the idea of a decentralized federal government. Small government is my thing. – – Still, Mitt Romney won my vote throughout this week. He needs to thank his wife, Paul Ryan, Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio, and the incredible videos pulled together by the RNC for showing the country what he and his campaign have been powerless to do over the past six years.

Romney laid out five things he wanted to accomplish when elected President:

  1. Energy Independence in 202o for America
  2. School Choice and Job Growth
  3. New Trade Agreements
  4. Cut the Deficit, Balance Budgets
  5. Champion Small Business

These aren’t rocket-science level ideas. They’re easy to say, yet incredibly difficult to execute. Trade Agreements take time. Energy Independence is going to be a PAINFUL experience (read: expensive and volatile). Cutting the Deficit and Balancing the Budget are nearly impossible in the climate of Washington DC.

Still, I’m a believer. He gave a vision tonight to viewers. He asked what type of America we wanted. He laid out the one he wants for his children and grandchildren. I like his more than what I’ve seen from President Obama. Now, I wasn’t going to vote for President Obama. I will be voting for Mitt Romney, but it won’t be a vote for anyone but Obama. It will be a vote for the person I think can lead America to brighter days.

Watch some of the short videos found here and get to know Romney and his story. Look for “Mitt Romney: Introduction.” It’s worth your ten minutes.

Also – We’ll see what happens next week at the DNC Convention in Charlotte, NC. I plan to watch that too. I’ll do my best to recap it.

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