Romney’s Speech: Blogger Reax II

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 31 2012 @ 11:17am

Pareene responds to Romney's line in the above video:

As we learned last week, Tampa is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes, because the sea levels are actively rising. But you know Obama didn’t make good on that promise so I guess maybe instead of mocking the concept of doing anything at all to halt or even slow the human activities leading to the sea level rise, Romney was just being realistic. It’s probably already too late, vote Romney and continue not thinking about how we’re all doomed.

Henry Blodget believes the line gets at "an important truth":

[I]f we really want to help the planet–and we should want to, given that we live on it–we need to remember where that priority falls in the hierarchy of most people's decision-making. And we need to do everything we can to help everyone on the planet satisfy their basic needs–food, shelter, safety, and healthcare. Because it's only once those needs are met that people can reasonably begin to care about things that are as vague as "rising oceans" and "healing the planet."

Bob Wright was deeply disappointed with the foreign policy section of Romney's speech:

I realize convention speeches aren't the place for think-tank-worthy critiques of an incumbent's foreign policy. But couldn't Romney do better than spout neocon abstractions that, when fleshed out, don't make any sense? He's so allergic to concrete specificity that he didn't even mention the war America is currently involved in!

Larison critiques the needless Putin-bashing:

Calling out Putin by name in this speech may get him a few cheers from delegates and some glowing reviews from his stenographers in the media, but it will confirm Putin in his assumption that Americans aren’t to be trusted and should be viewed with suspicion. Romney has gone out of his way to make sure that relations with Russia will sour if he is elected, and I don’t think he or his advisers have thought through what that might mean for the U.S. The same goes for all of the other foreign policy positions the Romney campaign has taken so far.

Howard Gleckman wonders what happened to tax reform:

The rhetoric and policy papers that came out of Romney’s convention won’t be the last word on taxes or fiscal policy. But these events are forums for candidates to make their best case for why they should be president. And, if this convention is any evidence, tax reform is no longer a major part of Mitt Romney’s argument.

Noah Millman was underwhelmed:

[Q]uite plainly, Mitt Romney has no intention of saying anything that his audience doesn’t want to hear, and what he thinks his audience wants to hear is that America is great, and the only reason everything isn’t hunky dory is that we are led by a man who doesn’t understand that America is great. So believe in Mitt Romney, who believes in America, and trust that he will do the right things to steer America toward brighter shores. That’s the whole speech, and it’s the whole campaign. It’s really that infantilizing.

Frum thought the speech fairly effective:

Absent from the speech were the rancor and apocalyptic fervor that have gripped so much of the Republican party since the election of Barack Obama. The Mitt Romney on that stage was not angry at Barack Obama – just terribly, terribly disappointed.

Nate Silver's view:

It was a speech that Mr. Romney’s pollsters and consultants should have been pleased with, although it may have suffered from trying to check too many focus-group-approved boxes. But most of all, and in contrast to Mr. Romney’s selection of Mr. Ryan, it was full of the choices that a candidate makes when he thinks he can win the election by running a by-the-book campaign.

Chait doubts Romney "closed the sale": 

I don’t get the sense that Romney came across as sincere. To be perfectly clear about this, looking sincere is not the same thing as being sincere — John Edwards and Paul Ryan are both incredibly good at looking sincere. That’s the crucial part of the con man skill set. In any event, Romney seems to lack a talent for faking sincerity. The best he could do was a furrowed-brow expression that made him look as though he were about to cry at any moment for his entire 45-minute speech. 

Ponnuru wishes Romney had focused more on offering "better times for the middle class":

The Romney campaign seems to think that once Americans see Romney as likable, they will trust him to be president. They may be right. Or it may be the other way around: Not until they trust him to promote their interests will they find him likable. This is what I suspect. I would have preferred for Romney to spend more time making the case for how his agenda would help the country. But maybe what he said about it was just good enough.

Drum detected a lack of enthusiasm:

I doubt that it really did much for Romney. There just wasn't enough energy, enough oomph — and the crowd reaction from the convention floor seemed kind of forced and even a little muddled at times. I predict a small bounce for Romney, but no more than a couple of points or so. Overall, it was a missed opportunity.

And Beinart was left without a clear sense of Romney's authority:

Mitt Romney wants to convince Americans that he can lead the country, but two months from election day, it’s still hard to tell if he’s really leading his party or it’s leading him.

More blogger reax here. My instant reaction here. Twitter reax here. Eastwood Twitter reax here.