Mickey Kaus Columnist
Font Size:

Romney speech: 1) Adequate. Better than Kerry. But it’s close! Made essential “failed presidency” point. 2)  “What Americans deserved”? Perlously close to the notorious “entitlement mentality,” no? 3) The problem wasn’t lack of “poetry.” Not sure you want Mitt to try poetry. The problem was a section of pablum in the middle. (E.g.: “That is the bedrock of what makes America, America. In our best days, we can feel the vibrancy of America’s communities, large and small,” etc. ) Blunt straight talk all that was needed. There was some of that. 4) The attack on “attacking success”–plus claiming that for  Obama “jobs … are about government”–seemed too ideological for potential crossover moderates and Dems to swallow.  For this Dem, anyway. Why make us go father than you need us to? 5) I’d thought modern convention speakers had learned not to wait for applause after applause lines. (Condi Rice didn’t, one reason here delivery was so winning).  If there’s no applause, keep talking! If there is applause, start talking again before it dies down. Romney violated these rules  and often seemed pained when the audience hesitated, which was painful to watch; 6) Oversized light bulb in the family video was the best humanizing detail, I thought; 7) No welfare reform. Must have seemed odd  to people who’ve seen Romney’s welfare ads dozens of times. Gives unfortunate credence to those who claim his use of the issue is cynical; 8) Prediction: Small, evanescent bump. In the long run, good enough to support a win…

Mickey Kaus