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August 31st, 2012 11:14 am
Just a C+ for Romney

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.


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