Watch the 2012 GOP Convention LIVE! By - August 28, 2012 SHARE Facebook Twitter tweet Gotta love YouTube! RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Politics WhatsApp vs. Traditional SMS – Is WhatsApp Costly than SMS? Politics Grand Theft Government Politics Putin's Nobel Jeremy The typical “God fearing” Republican. They point to their spiffy “U.S. National Debt” clock giving the impression that the current national deficit is entirely the making of Obama. Where did the national debt stand on President Bush’s last day in office? It stood at $10.626 trillion that’s where. Since Obama took office it has risen $4.9 trillion. Now ask yourself where a large part of the debt that Obama has incurred while in office has gone? Has it gone to two very costly wars? Who started those wars? Has it gone to bailing out a corrupt banking system? You bet it has, but how much? “According to a team at Bloomberg News, at one point last year the U.S. had lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 trillion to rescue the economy.” So, tell me again why it is you Republicans keep pointing to the “National Deficit” clock as if you are pointing out some egregious act acted out by Obama and something you can use to chastise and condemn his administration for. It was your party, the Republican party and your President George Bush Jr. that incurred a large percentage of that debt. But we hear nothing of his part in the matter, odd isn’t it? Or not really, the Republican party is a delusional institution propped up by elites that spend vast sums of money to convince ignoramuses and one-issue voters to vote against their own interests. How many times did George Bush pass tax cuts for the very richest of the rich, 1, 2, 3 times? All while two very, very expensive wars were being waged. It’s fiscally unsound to engage in broad wars with no tax obligations put in place to pay for it, but Bush did just that. So the Rich got more money to hoard, money they clearly didn’t “need” and the bill was passed on to future generations and the national debt bares that reality today. What is utterly astonishing is how the Republican party revises history and turns it on Obama as if it is his burden to bare alone, astonishing. mw First night assessment: Christie gave a good speech, but it fell short of expectations. On the plus side, it was motivational for the base and nicely framed the way Republicans want to see themselves in contrast to Obama and the Democrats. On the minus side, it was a little too transparently self-serving and did not sufficiently tie Romney to the GOP vision he outlined. Net-net more positive than negative for the party, but not sure it really advanced his own ambitions. Anne Romney – meh. Again – good – but I found it a little too predictable and polished. Then again – it was clearly aimed a women voters, so maybe I missed it. IMHO the best speech of the night was Nikki Barber, narrowly edging Mia Love – which was also great. I thought she came across as more genuine, articulate, intelligent, engaging and comfortable at the podium than anyone else last night. On the “leg tingle” scale – I thought she was in the same ballpark as Obama at the 2004 convention. Listening to her last night I thought – “I’m looking at a future POTUS.” I had the same thought while watching Obama in 2004. mw Correction: That was Nikki Haley Don’t know what happened there. mdgeorge I only saw the speeches by Santorum, Haley, Romney and Christie. Here are my reactions. I didn’t understand Santorum’s speech at all. He was making logical leaps that were way beyond me. I think he was just saying “welfare queen” over and over again, but I really had trouble understanding it. There was the part about waiving the work requirement that Rachel Maddow primed me to not believe; lo and behold, I didn’t believe it. I agree with MW, I think Haley’s speech was the best. She was the only one who said something specific that I could understand. My takeaway was that Obama sued Boeing, and maybe it had something to do with unions. She didn’t say why he sued and I don’t know the story. I found Ann’s speech to be completely worthless. I learned that she loves her husband. Good to know I guess. Oh also, we should trust him, and they met at a high school dance. I liked a lot of Christie’s speech. I thought he laid out a good positive case for the republican vision. But when he started to describe the “them” and what “they” believe (which I’m pretty sure was meant to include me), it just seemed like such a ridiculous caricature. I realized that he was just taking what everyone believes and calling it “what we believe” and a bunch of strawmen and calling it “what they believe”. I think if you stripped out all of the “what they believe” parts, it describes what I like about Obama actually. Looking at what I just wrote, it looks like I’m being dismissive. Perhaps I’m a partisan, conditioned to ignore republican ideas. But I actually think that the problem is that I don’t live inside the republican bubble…a lot of what was said just didn’t resonate with me because I don’t have the built in associations that the republican base does. I feel like these speeches were tuned to the base and not to the independent, with the exception of Haley’s. Shane @Jeremy, I don’t fault your frustration with the Republican party and the hypocrisy of their renewed fiscal discipline, but the Obama budget deficit is significantly higher than in previous years and previous administrations. If you cruise on over to the link below you’ll see years 2009-2012 add ~1.3 T annually to the national debt. The Bush years (2000-2008) averaged ~0.2 T, Clinton ~0.1 T, Bush Sr. ~0.2 T, Regan 0.2 T. Obama’s per year contribution to the deficit is 6 times bigger than the last 20 years. His 4 years of deficit total is equivalent to the previous 70. Obama may not have owned it prior to 2008, but his platform was “give it to me and (hope) I’ll fix (change) it.” He had 4 years, 2 with majority in the house and senate. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist01z1.xls cranky critter A convention is a pep rally. I’m quite surprised how many people are discussing it as though “preaching to the choir” is not an explicit primary purpose. Have you BEEN to a pep rally? The speeches that don’t resonate with you? Probably because you’re not the audience being targeted. Santorum is there to speak to the conservative voters who liked him last spring, and that’s IT. Period. Anne Romney was there to speak to wives. Condi Rice was there to speak to independent professional women. Chris Christie was there to speak to independents who favor closing budget gaps in ways similar to the ones he used in New Jersey. Paul Ryan is there as the VP bulldog who most directly attacks the President. Then Mitt Romney is the velvet glove who gently nods to all of these previous themes, humbly pats himself on the back, and graciously accepts the mantle. Then he wraps up with an stirring homily about America’s past greatness, and bold unflinching optimism about future American highs being still within our grasp, if only we reject Barack Obama and choose him. Flags. Balloons, confetti, back slapping, handshaking, hugs. Cue the apple pie. I’m oretty sure there’s an app for all this at itunes. Every finale is some version of reassurance of the doctrine of American exceptionalism. C’mon folks, is this like, your FIRST rodeo? Have you not seen this one before. Are you still surprised when the hero in a summer blockbuster cuts right wire with 0:02 left on the counter? Really? mdgeorge C’mon folks, is this like, your FIRST rodeo? Actually, I’m afraid so. This is the first convention I’ve watched. My understanding/expectation was that this was all choreographed to “reintroduce” the party and candidate to the nation as a whole, and I guess I was surprised that it was entirely addressed to the folks in the room. mw “Then Mitt Romney is the velvet glove who gently nods to all of these previous themes, humbly pats himself on the back, and graciously accepts the mantle. Then he wraps up with an stirring homily about America’s past greatness, and bold unflinching optimism about future American highs being still within our grasp, if only we reject Barack Obama and choose him. Flags. Balloons, confetti, back slapping, handshaking, hugs. Cue the apple pie.” – CC Heh. That paragraph is pretty darn close to perfect. Anyway, I still feel compelled to add my Day 2 and 3 summary, even if – according to the Cranky Conjecture – all I’m doing by rating speeches that resonate is identify to which targeted demographic I belong. As it turns out, I am apparently an “independent professional woman”. My Day 2 RNC Medal Podium: Bronze Medal – Paul Ryan A slow start which threatened to griind to a complete halt before he found his voice, hit his stride and finished strong. After hearing the Portman and Pawlenty speeches earlier, we learned Romney made the right choice by tapping Ryan as VP. Silver Medal – Rand Paul – Our libertarian Senator in GOP clothes is playing the game better than his Dad. The contrast between Paul’s quiet reminder that all spending, including defense, has to be cut – immediately followed by John McCain railing for increasing the already bloated defense budget was quite a contrast. Paul may not be the future of the GOP, but he should be. Gold Medal – Condoleeza Rice killed it. No teleprompter and a real speech. Real issues, real policy ideas, actual logical threads, a coherent theme, and all sincerely delivered with genuine style. I’d almost forgotten what a real speech sounds like. I won’t rank the last night speeches, as I missed most of them. Regarding Clint and the chair… nevermind. I did catch most of the big finale. Net.. net. Mitt did what he needed to do. I wouldn’t rank it above any of the other speeches mentioned previously, but it was good enough. He did get off one truly great line that I expect we’ll be hearing repeatedly over the next few months. The framing they wanted was this: Romney – a practical, nuts and bolts, problem solving, solution oriented successful businessman/leader vs. Obama – A speechifying celebrity, head in the clouds idealist out of touch with the real world problems of the average American in these tough times. In that frame – this one line hit it out of the park: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise…is to help you and your family.” It will be an effective TV ad. First playing videotape of Obama delivering his 2008 acceptance speech between fake greek columns in a stadium promising to roll back the oceans and heal the planet, then cut to mild mannered Mitt – “I am promising to be here for you and your family.” It could work. khaki @ mw: “In that frame – this one line hit it out of the park: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise…is to help you and your family.” … It could work.” I agree, except why did they have to include a weird global warming joke in the middle of it. They didn’t need it to make the point. They seem to step on their own toes an awful lot. The night gave a few good one liners which may get traction, but overall I thought it was awkward, uninspiring, fuzzy on detail, and straining for enthusiasm. Fine if the audience really is just a pep rally for the base, but surely they were also trying to reach the small sliver of indepencents who tuned in (like my sister, who was said she was “dissapointed”). I guess we can judge it by the “bounce” they get in the polls. My guess: small and short. mw @Khaki That was not a weird global warming joke. That was a direct (and profoundly, stupidly, wildly grandiose) quote from Obama’s 2008 nomination acceptance speech. “Generations will look back and say…. this was the moment that the rise of the ocean’s began to slow and the earth began to heal.” – Barack Obama on his own nomination He said it I don’t know why, but he did. khaki mw – That explains it, but my point stands. It was inarticulate. Why do comments in arguably the biggest speech of the campaign require explanation after the fact? They have spent a aweful lot of time explaining themselves. For a campaign that is trying to hang their hat on professionalism and business acumen, that doesn’t bode particularly well.