This really isn’t a big deal, but it still rankles. Today, Barack Obama included a line in his speech that was almost a direct quotation from Ronald Reagan, but he gave no attribution. When Reagan uttered it, it was an original and interesting turn of phrase.
“Whether we come from poverty or wealth; whether we are Afro-American or Irish-American; Christian or Jewish, from big cities or small towns, we are all equal in the eyes of God. But as Americans, that is not enough, we must be equal in the eyes of each other.”
Obama today: “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.“
I haven’t yet read a lot of the pundit reviews of Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech last night, but I gather that most people are giving it solid grades. Unfortunately, I dissent. In ordinary circumstances, I would give it just a ‘C,’ and even considering that Romney’s task was a bit different than that of many nominees… and that he did a pretty good job at meeting the needs involved in those differences (i.e., he needed to, and did, “humanize” himself more than he has done before)… I still give him only a ‘C+’ for the overall effectiveness of his speech in terms of his long-term campaign needs. And I’m one who always has thought of ‘C’ grades not as “decent” but as “pretty bad.”
I thought it was predictable, repetitive, and nowhere near substantive enough.
I won’t go into detail, just because if some Obama researcher is diligent enough to be trolling this site, I don’t want to give him direction as to where I thought the specific weaknesses were.
I did think that he delivered the speech as well as anybody could expect. And I think that for short-term purposes, the speech was more in line with a ‘B’ than a ‘C’ — in other words, that he made an overall good impression. But I don’t think it was an impression that will have major lasting benefit in a way that significantly improves his chances at winning in November. Yes, it sets the stage for incremental gains that actually do survive the rough and tumble of the next two months of campaigning — and incremental might be enough in a race this close — but I was looking for something that undecided and/or persuadable voters could grab hold of and really embrace, in a way that could cause a surge in Romney’s favor. I saw none of that. I expect no big surge. A small swelling of support maybe, but no big surge.
A Pew Research poll shows more Americans interested in the Republican Party’s convention platform than in presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech.
But an interview Romney gave to Politico indicates those who watch Mitt’s speech Thursday night might be in for something good:
His language, his approach, his mannerisms convey: I am not asking you to trust me to see into your soul, or to feel your pain, or bring you hope and fuzzy change. I will bring you concrete, measurable, profitable change — the kind you can authentically take stock of, and even measure in your family’s bank account.
Romney, who this week watched Obama’s 2008 convention speech again, said the lofty, theatrical address loaded with promises never kept provides the perfect device for juxtaposing his leadership style with the president’s.
Romney’s point: You had love, you had hero worship, you had emotion. How did that work out?
In a major speech last night at the Reagan Library, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke with clarity about “the proper role of government.”
Saying that the United States must always aspire to compassion and prosperity, Rubio argued that an ever-expanding federal government will doom the nation to failure. “Americans in the 20th century built here the richest most prosperous nation in the history of the world. And yet today we have built for ourselves a government that not even the richest and most prosperous nation on the face of the earth can fund or afford to pay for.”
At a time when high-sounding but often empty shoot-from-the-hip sound bites dominate the national dialogue, the understanding and vision with which the Florida Senator spoke is a breath of fresh air.