Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last night was a tepid mix of boilerplate and biography, vague on policy, economical with the truth, and without a memorable, soaring line. It reflected all of the problems that have bedeviled Romney from the outset.
After nearly six years of seeking the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney stood before his party and the nation with one imperative task last night: to make the case that President Barack Obama has failed and present himself as a reliable and necessary alternative.
Put more succinctly, he needed to establish trust.
It started well, with Mr. Romney entering the Republican National Convention hall not from behind the stage curtains but down the aisle as if he were entering a joint session of Congress. A convention without pomp is wasted circumstance, and this was well-crafted political theater. It presented an often awkward candidate as both presidential and metaphorical – a man of the people, chosen by the people, rising up the open steps to the podium from the ranks to lead the people. It was a distinctly American moment.
But the acceptance speech that followed was a tepid mix of boilerplate and biography, by turns heart-warming and quizzical, vague on policy, economical with the truth, and without a distinctly memorable and soaring line. In short, it reflected all of the problems that have bedeviled Romney from the outset. That shortfall is as unfortunate as it is hard to understand, and increases the possibility that as the campaign season moves into its final two months Romney may never quite explain himself.
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