OMG! Mitt Romney Gave a Good Speech? OMG!

It's Alive!

Mitt Romney gave a speech on Tuesday for which he is being widely praised as “having gone on offense,” and “sounding passionate,” and while I am happy to see that he has taken a slightly more aggressive stance, almost leaving one with the impression that he might have some desire to win after all, ladies and gentlemen, it’s one brief stump speech.  Governor Romney has been on the campaign trail pursuing the Presidency longer than most kindergartners have been alive.  One would hope that in such an expanse of time, he’s had a few moments to brush up on his form, and to actually refine his message a bit. More than anything, one would hope that somehow, over that period, he’s managed to conceive of some core values that consist of more than making deals, or seeking consensus.  Even if he has, before you toss your undergarments on the stage in a frenzy of adulation, I hope you’ll be a bit more reserved in asking:  Is this an anomaly or a the beginning of a trend?  If it is a new trend, you must ask yourself one question more: Is it sincere?  Does he mean it?

If he says it now, will he carry it out later?  I apologize to the “hope brigades” who will casually give themselves over out of desperation to be rid of Obama, but it’s going to take a good deal more than one decent speech to move me.  It might be argued with some justification that cynicism is prohibiting me from viewing this one speech as some watershed event in the evolution of candidate Romney, but call it what you will, my skepticism is not entirely or even slightly unfounded in light of the evidence.  On the one hand, we have the long record of Governor Romney’s public statements over decades, but on the other, we have less than thirty minutes in a stump speech following broad-based criticisms of the candidate’s tepid approach to campaigning.  Can you tell yourself without flinching, never mind me, that this is now the real Mitt Romney?  Put another way, I’m a great believer in Ockham’s Razor.

Given any number of plausible explanations, the simpler is more apt to be correct.  In this case, the three explanations for Romney’s speech on Tuesday must be that either he has really been a conservative all along, who is only now finding his voice despite years of opportunity, that he has undergone a real and abiding transformation in his philosophy, or that political expediency and the desire to unite the party behind him under severe recent criticism has forced him to go out on the ledge a bit.  While all of these are plausible explanations, I hope you’ll agree with me that the last is the simplest, because boiled down to its essence, it consists only of something politicians have done expertly for the entirety of human history:  He faked it.

I can already hear the rumblings from off in back, from those who will argue that I am being unduly harsh, but I must ask of those who would clobber me for my assessment:  In the last four years, I have never heard anybody ask whether in her numerous speeches, Sarah Palin had been passionate or sincere.  I have never seen the GOP so breathlessly exuberant over such a short speech.  The comparisons to Ronald Reagan are absurd, but that hasn’t stopped anybody in the establishment from beginning to whisper them.  All this over a few minutes in a speech, and yet you would think he had delivered the Sermon on the Mount.  Let us set aside the questions about his sincerity, and see what he said that had been so extraordinary. After all, Michelle Malkin was all a’twitter. Mark Levin called it “superb.” Let’s see what the hubbub is all about, shall we?

From Irwin, PA:

 That’s a very good speech indeed. It’s one, and it’s only one, but it was a good speech.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard better, recently, and indeed, much of it seemed to have been repeated from Governor Palin’s speech at the AFP Patriots in the Park speech over the weekend.  No, I’m not accusing Governor Romney of plagiarism, or anything silly like that.  I’m simply pointing out that one could nearly view it as though he had a good example, test-marketed if you will, of what revs up a crowd on Saturday when Governor Palin spoke.  What Republican candidate wouldn’t seek to emulate that appeal?  As to the substance, he has reduced his list to just five major points, rather than a lengthy fifty-nine point economic plan that would take several hours to deliver in a speech.  If he drops the bit about education, that would help more, since in fact, education really isn’t a Federal matter, although he seems to be dangling some notion of a voucher system without any details.  Also, what’s with the “replace it” business with respect to Obamacare?  I want to replace it with the law that existed the day before it was enacted.  He mentions defense, which is great, but he also spent a bit of time talking about energy development, and that’s been a major area of interest for Governor Palin as well as every productive American for some time.

A good speech?  Yes, it was good, but I think superlatives are a stretch. I also worry about his sincerity, but also his passion.  At times, his enthusiasm seemed forced, but his best moments may have come as he discussed the crony capitalism that defines this current presidency. His critique of Obama’s remarks about not “doing it on [our] own” should resonate well, and indeed, when he said with an indignant tone: “We paid for those services,” he hit the nail on the head. In my view, he should have extended his remarks a bit on one related matter, in which he was explaining how all of those services (teachers, fireman, road crews) hadn’t built the businesses, he went on to make mention of the fact that furthering one’s education, Obama would say that you had used the roads to go to school.  He acknowledged the truth of this, but he should also have noticed something else left unsaid in the President’s ridiculous remarks:  If one person can use the roads to go to school, upgrading their education, what is the excuse for all those who haven’t?

If some of us are paying for all of these services that Obama says are so critical to our collective success, why is it that more are not successful?  I think Romney should work that in, because it makes a fine point of differentiation.  After all, if schools, and fireman, and road projects benefit us all, why is it that only the successful should be thankful for them?  If that’s all that makes the difference between success and failure, we should have three-hundred-million billionaires by now.  Clearly, this proves the point: It’s not the road and bridges, the firemen, or the school teachers that make some successful while others are not. It is the spark of individual achievement, and it is best expressed in the notions of liberty that to his credit, Mitt Romney addressed.

While I’m not blown away as are some others by this speech, in part for its shortfalls, but also in part because I’m not altogether convinced he’ll follow through, I nevertheless note that many more will be willing to listen again, to see if he sharpens his message or heads back into Milquetoast territory.  I’m afraid that if he does the latter, you can prepare for a second term of Barack Obama, because to defeat him, Romney will need to attack his record, his philosophy, and his contradictory ideas, all without exposing his own.  That’s a tall order, but this speech was one positive baby-step in that direction.  Let’s hope he believes it. I’m withholding judgment pending more evidence.

 

Like 1 People Liked this
avatar
  • NY4P

    People really need to read or listen to an audio of Atlas Shrugged. (The movie is not enough.) Atheism aside, there is a lot of truth and insight. Business benefit goes both ways. Roads are paid for by productivity and, more important, justified by it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phil-Arnold/100000263615569 Phil Arnold

      I agree! The movie is NOT enough.  I listened to the full audio book and loved it. If I hadn’t listened to the book before I saw the movie, I don’t think the movie would have made much sense to me. Having listened to the book before watching the movie, I was disappointed in the movie. I believe that it would be impossible to capture more than a tiny fraction of the impact of the book in any movie.

  • http://twitter.com/camarocowboy Camaro Cowboy

    The only way Mitt get’s my vote, Nah, nevermind, I don’t care who he picks as V.P. Yes, Mark, one speech doesn’t “wala, I’m a conservative now” make you one of us. You have to live it, act on it,articulate it. By now, Mark, you will have found out the Romney camp hasn’t invited Sarah to speak at the convention. Newt told L. Ingraham that Mitt better invite Sarah Palin. He said:http://www.capitolcolumn.com/news/newt-gingrich-to-mitt-romney-you-better-invite-sarah-palin-to-the-convention/

  • the unit

    Was there a teleprompter? Palm notes?  I don’t know.  Obama’s speech…”you didn’t do it by your self”…hey O you didn’t even write it by yourself !! 

  • susiepuma

    Romeny is going to do exactly the same thing that all of the other ‘conservatives’ did during the phony primary season – plagerize the Governor’s words … we all know or should know by now that all of that primary crap was a big putup job by teh GOPE – was done to split conservatives (which it did) and allow the plastic kendoll flip flopper to rise – doesn’t make any difference that he is a lousy CEO, a lousy ‘severely conservative’, a lousy Republican…. he has been chosen by the Bush clan to be the GOP nominee (BTW – that means all of you delegates are superflouous – fight for a second ballot)…. I will NOT vote for the flipper nor will I vote for the fraud – I will write in the Governor or leave it blank….. the GOPE does not care who wins the election – they and their Dem Prog buddies know exactly what they are doing and, as long as they come out on top, they really don’t give a damm about any of the serfs who will toil to keep them in their elevated positions…. the USA is dead, our Constitution is no longer relevant, and the Bill of Rights has been obliterated…. glad I’m old so that I don’t have to grieve any longer than I will be over the loss of what we had and have no more……………….

    • http://www.markamerica.com/ Mark America

      Susie, I fear you’re right on all scores, and maybe a few others by implication.

  • JRD1

    Actions speak louder than words. He should have challenged Obama for the Democrat nomination.

    I’m done voting against my own best interests. The sooner we tell the GOPe to go to hell, the sooner we get our republic back. Might as well start now. If he loses the GOPe will only shove another squish down our throats in 2016.

  • Kathie

    What I see is a trend by both parties to lower expectations, and lower standards to the point where we don’t even hope for “good”, because we’ve been told that “not lousy” should be good enough. It’s a consequence of the culture of Relativism. America’s crisis has been a result of many years of slippage in the standards department. If anything is going to turn around, someone has to hold the line and refuse to budge. Many someones–this time I’ll be one of them. Romney is not good enough.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phil-Arnold/100000263615569 Phil Arnold

    It will take much more than good speeches to convince me to trust Romney. Obama gave plenty of good speeches promising to unite the country and solve all our problems. I don’t trust what Mitt says in his speeches any more than I trusted what Obama said in his 2008 campaign speeches.

  • the unit

    Did you see the OMG bumper sticker?  Be sure to have one on your car at the local Walmart flash mob or rob.  Obama Must Go.

    Not many posters commenting on positives for voting for Romney here much any more.  

    I give up.  Hired a terrorist yesterday to run a new waterline from meter to house.  It had busted making for huge water bill.  Terrorist worked hard all day til dark to fix me up.  I appreciated terrorists hard work.  Didn’t argue about bill, saying “you didn’t built that” pipe or tubing.  Paid terrorist his due.

    Oh, the terrorist was according to Obama’s Janet Neopolitano definition of a terrorist…Army vet, Iraq War, also a so called Teabag. 

    • http://markamerica.com markamerica

      Heh, Unit, that’s good. You hired one of those “terrorists,” who helped defend the country. Darn, gotta look out for that, or Obama will get you for “aiding and abetting” or something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Lambert/100000175725589 Robert Lambert

    I can always count on this sight for Romney bashing, or should I say Obama lovers in drag.

    • http://markamerica.com markamerica

      Robert, Not everybody is enamored with Mitt Romney. Some would go as far as to say he IS Obama in drag. Can you offer anything other than insults to convince them otherwise?