Friday, August 31, 2012
The Empty Chair
Clint Eastwood will always be my hero, but his performance last night reminded me of a quote from Louis Kronenberger "Old age is an excellent time for outrage. My goal is to say or do at least one outrageous thing every week." Clint Eastwood got in his outrage last night but the anger on Ann Romney's face this morning on CBS said that they were not happy campers. Although the performance was pretty bad, it would not have been given a prime time critique if they would have given him a 5:30 P.M. slot. It is my understanding that the non network portion of the campaign will get about 10 million viewers, but it doubles and triples that when the three major networks come on at 9:00 P.M.. Clint Eastwood came on at 9:03 PM, and his dribble went on for 12 minutes... The Romney camp wishes that they would have use that time to air the videos showing a lighter side of Mitt Romney and his family. That's what campaigns do. I would hate to be the person who booked and placed Clint Eastwood at that time slot. I would bet that even the most diehard Republicans is talking about Clint Eastwood's performance last night. Some pundits were saying that Clint Eastwood denigrated the office of the presidency, but I wouldn't go that far. It’s a campaign; that’s what they are all about.
The lead-up to the Romney's speech was pretty boring for me, but I kept watching because I wanted to hear Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and of course Mitt Romney.
I felt Jed Bush had to chide President Obama for the constant attacks on his brother; it was a family honor thing. He didn't seem too comfortable doing it, but his eyes lit up when he started talking about education. His emphasis was on school vouchers, but that leaves out funding for those who choose to stay in public schools. It was a good speech, and it gives me hope that we can keep the doors open for discussion. Jeb only mentioned the Republican governors who have taken up the cause of education but that's OK because it was a Republican convention.
Marco Rubio was just another line of 2016 presidential hopefuls who spent most of his time at the podium talking about his accomplishments. He's is a good speaker, but he didn't use much of his persuasive power to convince the independents on why they should vote for Mitt Romney.
The Romney said that the candidate had been bothered with cold symptoms earlier in the week, but he felt fine last night. I thought that he looked older because he didn't show his usual campaign stump demeanor. I imagine nervousness had a lot to do with it because he was about to give the speech of his political life.
The Romney campaign gave Mitt an "A" realizing that the speech won't go into history as being a good one, but it's as good as the candidate gets. Political speeches are not his forte. He's at his best at a debate forum where he can recite memorized details about a debate subject.
As an Obama supporter I wanted more details on how he would govern as the chief executive. He mentioned divisiveness and wasteful spending but he put the blame solely on the president and his party. I'm glad that he mentioned that jobs were a priority and said that his administration would create 12 million jobs. He got that 12 million job number from a CBO estimate of 250,000 jobs a month regardless of who’s president when the economy finally kicks. As a liberal, I was offended that he would mock the president for being concerned about climate change. If elected this will be a major concern for Mitt Romney, and I would hope that he doesn't ignore it for political reasons. We set a record high in Victoria yesterday, and that's commonplace all over this nation. As president Romney will continue and expand "Drill baby drill" which will not help our future energy needs but it does satisfy big oil and that's what funding his campaign.
Towards the end Mitt Romney did deliver a militaristic speech but did not utter word about the 87,000 troop we have in Afghanistan. He delivered lines that would make a neo conservative gleam with pride, and as he insisted on more intervention in Iran and Syria. I don't know where he gets this obsession of standing up to the leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Why would anyone be interested in starting another Cold War? The most important endorsement on foreign affairs is the one from Colin Powell, and he's on the record of saying that he feels many of Romney's advisors are "quite far to the right." "And sometimes they might be in a position to make judgments or recommendations to the candidate that should get a second thought. For example, when Gov. Romney not too long ago said the Russian federation is our number one geostrategic threat. C’mon, Mitt…think! That isn’t the case. And I don’t know whether Mitt really feels that or…It’s been catching a lot of heck from regular GOP foreign affairs community. We were kind of taken aback by it. Look at the world. There is no pure competitor to the United States of America. All of the problems we talk about – Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, you name them all – they come to about 700 or 800 million people in a world of 7 billion. What are the rest of them doing? They’re increasing their economies; they’re building wealth; they’re educating their kids; they’re building their infrastructure. That’s what we need to be doing."...I think that.President Obama will once again get that coveted endorsement.
Whether Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and the Republicans helped themselves with this convention is subjective but it's just one third of the pie. Mitt Romney will get a do over in the debates and there is still the upcoming economic data coming up. I think that they need to modify the old Ronald Reagan line" Are you better off than you were four years ago? “Let’s see, four years ago we were in the worst financial crisis since the 1929 Depression and I personally lost $12,000 value in my portfolio. I'm certainly doing better but I'm not going to pretend that I don't know the context of what Mitt Romney was talking about.
As for context, last night Clint Eastwood said "do something to yourself" and everyone who heard or will hear it knows the meaning and intent; it’s the same for the "Pray for Obama” sign.