Commentary: Was the RNC a Success?

Now that it’s all been said and done, how did Romney et al. actually perform?

Posted: 08/31/2012 10:23 AM EDT

The Republican National Convention is now over, meaning everyone can stop talking about the convention itself and start talking about what the convention will mean in the long-run. If Twitter is to be believed, it’s going to be weeks, at least, before people forget about actor Clint Eastwood’s disastrous, rambling address on the closing night. But while Eastwood may have faltered, there were actually some high points that may be cause for concern for some Democrats.

While Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, gave a speech so full of lies that even the ultra-conservative Fox News called it “deceiving,” there were actually some very powerful speeches throughout the RNC proceedings. One of the best was that of Ted and Pat Oparowsky, an elderly Mormon couple who told the story of how Mitt Romney would come and visit their lymphoma-stricken son, David, in the hospital after he was diagnosed in 1979. Unfortunately, David ended up passing away, but the kindness Romney extended to the Oparowksys has obviously stayed with them, and their story really humanized a man many people find unrelatable.

Also effective were Artur Davis and Mia Love, Black Republicans who were able to tacitly address racial issues without ever saying a word about race—because the GOP’s favorite way to talk about race is to not talk about it at all.

It’s important to note that Romney himself, the main event, wasn’t all that bad, either. Though he can frequently come off like a cold robot, his acceptance speech was, politically speaking, pretty decent, packed tightly with zingers and invocations of family values. The question now is will it win him the election?

Of course, it’s much too early to say who’s going to win the presidential election, and both sides are clearly going to say they’re confident they’re going to win. For instance, despite the fact that a CBS poll from Tuesday, the day the RNC started, said Obama was leading Romney, a Romney aide still said he thinks Romney would “win pretty easily” if the election were this week.

Back here on Earth, while it is absolutely certain that the RNC did good things for Romney, one mustn’t forget that the Democratic National Convention has yet to begin. When that happens, Obama, who is as charismatic as any president has ever been, will have his time to shine. When that happens, it’s likely that, to many, Romney’s speech, however good it might have been, will already feel like a distant memory.


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