TAMPA, August 31, 2012 — The 2012 Republican Convention is in the rear view mirror, as the media caravan heads from Tampa, Florida, to Charlotte, North Carolina. A quiet weekend before the Democratic Convention allows for a Republican Convention report card. Here are the grades for the main convention speakers.
Paul Ryan: A+ He was the star of the convention. His speech combined every winning aspect of great oratory. He was intelligent and heartfelt, and was able to make the moral case for financial restraint. “We can do this” was an inspiring message that electrified the crowd. Dr. Charles Krauthammer said it best when he noted that, while Mitt Romney is the nominee, Paul Ryan will be with us for the next quarter of a century. He is the future of the GOP.
Ann Romney: A Her job was to humanize her husband, and she did it perfectly. She blew away the myth that the Romney’s live in a fantasy world. “Mitt and I do not have a fairy tale marriage. We have a real marriage.” The left has invented a phony war on women, and Ann Romney obliterated that line of attack.
Rick Santorum: A He brought the heart. The son of a coal miner, Senator Santorum spoke eloquently about the various hands he has shaken across America. They were the hands of hard workers who built this country. It was moving, and showed that the GOP and Mr. Santorum are deeper than just social conservatism.
Mitt Romney: A- The first half of his speech was deeply personal. Mr. Romney spoke about being a son, a husband, and a father. The story of the rose his mother received from his father was beautiful. When Romney pivoted to policy and politics, he did so gracefully and offered substance. He showed that he was worthy of being on the stage. He may have spent too much time on the personal side, but the attacks against him required a longer introduction. He was solid and sincere.
Chris Christie: A- Like a hockey team bringing in an enforcer, Governor Christie was the muscle. The crowd went ballistic when he thundered that the Democrats care about teachers unions while Republicans care about teachers. Some conservatives complained that he was too constrained. He did not need to be over-the-top. That would have overshadowed the rest of the convention. He tossed out enough red meat without frightening small children.
Marco Rubio: A- He is a rock star, and his personal story is the perfect counter-balance to Barack Obama. The line about his “father working behind the bar in the back of the room so he could stand at the podium in the front of the room” moved people to tears. His speech was on the verge of being an A+ until he made one mistake at the very end. He accidentally said he wanted “more government” not “more freedom.” Many people thought we misheard him before realizing he misspoke. Nobody is perfect, but he is still as close as it gets.
Artur Davis: B+ This black Alabama man was a Democratic Congressman and an Obama supporter who is now a Republican. He speaks in a calm manner about why he became disillusioned with the man who promised hope and change in 2008. His speech was crisp and effective, but would have rated higher had it been more memorable. He is a calm individual not known for fire and brimstone.
Condoleeza Rice: B Dr. Rice is a fantastic woman and a fantastic speaker. For those new to politics, she is an inspiring woman who rose from segregated Birmingham, Alabama, to become Secretary of State. However, she has been giving her speech since the 1992 GOP Convention. It is still a good message, but will become stale if it is offered at future conventions.
Susanna Martinez: B This Hispanic, female, Republican Governor of a swing state has a successful record. She told all girls that there are “no more barriers.” She is a rising star, but was overshadowed by others at this convention. Her speech was good, but not memorable.
Tim Pawlenty: B The man who likes to be called T-Paw is reticent to talk about himself. He is a much more effective surrogate for Governor Romney. His speech was funny and effective. The line about the Obama presidency being like a bad tattoo was a good one. The speech was not one for the ages, but most speeches are not. Mr. Pawlenty did a good job.
Clint Eastwood: C This was one of the most “different” speeches in convention history, as the legendary actor spoke to an imaginary chair representing the invisible Barack Obama. It was an ad-libbed speech. The conventioneers (including me) loved it, while leftists were quick to denounce Eastwood as old and senile. The speech gets the rating it does because it is impossible to tell how the intended target - undecided voters - will react. So perhaps a more accurate grade would be “incomplete.”
Mike Huckabee: C His job is to speak to social conservatives, and he did his job. Yet he never improved on his 2008 Iowa Caucus victory because he never expanded beyond that base of support. He is a likable, funny guy who does not make the case for the overall GOP as well as others.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
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Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at TYGRRRR EXPRESS
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