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Monday, September 3, 2012

Inspiring But Not Slick, Romney Showed the Right Stuff

Michael Barone
He did enough to convince the delegates, and probably many undecideds.

The 40th Republican National Convention is now history, and political strategists and pundits are poring over the poll numbers to see whether Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are getting a post-convention bounce in what have been very closely divided polls.

Romney’s convention managers made some correct and some interesting decisions. First, don’t relitigate 2008, as some conservatives would love to do.

Romney and Ryan both acknowledged the hopes for change motivating so many erstwhile Barack Obama voters. They looked back on his record in office more in sorrow than in anger.

Former Democratic representative Artur Davis eloquently described his own disenchantment with the president. You can see why they didn’t want to air a minute of his talk on MSNBC. It would have undercut the cable channel’s relentless narrative that Republicans are racists.

There was a special call to young voters, who went 66 to 32 percent for Obama last time, when Ryan talked of twenty-somethings in their childhood bedrooms “staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.”

And there was a reach-out to the unquantifiable but undoubtedly large number of voters who feel that it would be a bad thing for Americans to be seen rejecting the first black president.

That’s the one reason I can think of for why the Romney people made the otherwise puzzling decision to put on Clint Eastwood at 10:00 Eastern, when the broadcast networks began their hour of coverage. It’s summed up in one sentence: “And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go.”

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