By Teresa Welsh |
Despite Clint Eastwood's curious comedic interlude, the Republican National Convention's primetime speeches soared above the summer's oft-heard petty sniping and convincingly undermined the Democrats' unfavorable depiction of Mitt Romney's life and character.
Message conveyed: Romney has heart. Reliable and resourceful, he has the temperament and skills that are needed to revive the nation's economy and restore America's greatness. He's neither a bloodless businessman nor an unprincipled opportunist.
Dynamic and diverse, the women scheduled during primetime—Govs. Nikki Haley and Susana Martinez, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Ann Romney—were particularly effective in not only advocating for Romney's candidacy, but also representing the new and improved "compassionate conservatism" of the Republican Party. Garnering enthusiastic applause from the delegates, they movingly portrayed both their individual and family successes as examples of the American dream. Their speeches were well-crafted and alternated between personal anecdotes, positive visions, and shrewd barbs directed at President Obama's leadership.
While conservative women were both highlighted and showcased by the Republican Party to demonstrate that the "War on Women" is an invented opposition absurdity, it's notable that the Republicans chose to integrate women officeholders and candidates throughout the entire program (e.g., Mia Love, Kelly Ayotte, and Kerry Healey). In other words, they didn't construct a "women's day," which often sends the unintentionally offensive message that women are being relegated to the metaphorical "children's table" on Thanksgiving.
Mitt Romney's sure to get a bounce from not only his solid performance Thursday night, but the overall optimistic tone of the convention's speeches. Still, it's about as likely to last as a first quarter one touchdown lead. Having just received the political kickoff, the Democratic offense is now set to take the field and looking to score. Halftime is still fifteen minutes away. Huddle up.
About Lara Brown Author of 'Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants'
Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst
Brad Bannon President of Bannon Communications Research
Penny Lee Democratic Strategist and President of Venn Strategies, LLC
Brandon Rottinghaus Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston
Zerlina Maxwell Democratic Strategist and Writer
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College