DID HE HIT ONE OUT OF THE PARK? Romney delivers “workman” like speech at convention Clint Eastwood drops jaws August 31, 2012
Mitt Romney delivering acceptance speech at Republican convention.
Actor-director Clint Eastwood: many thought his rambling 10-minute, off the cuff speech was bizarre. CLICK TO ENLARGE
(TAMPA BAY, FLA.) -- It was perhaps the most important speech of Mitt Romney’s political career Thursday evening when he accepted his party’s nomination as presidential candidate before a live television audience estimated at 29.1 million people -- a good size crowd in the tent but far fewer than the estimated 37 million who watched four years ago when Sarah Palin gave her acceptance speech as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate.
And at a convention, which appeared clearly targeted to woo and influence women and Hispanic voters – two groups that Romney has not fared well with to date – the reviews on how Mr. Romney did in the spotlight are predictably mixed but ones that say he did poorly on his night to shine are few and far between.
The right leaning Fox News said, “Romney delivered. His address…won't be long-remembered. It was a workmanlike speech. It didn't soar, and wasn't intended to. After the savaging he's taken from President Obama's re-election campaign…Romney set out to deliver a simple message: "I'm okay. You can trust me. I can do a job, and I want to put America back to work."
And in a speech were many saw plenty of ideology and imagery of ideology, Fox News took a different road saying, “The speech mostly lacked ideology.”
The left leaning Huffington Post curiously had little to say but quote other reviews saying, “The level of consensus (about how Romney did) was striking. CNN's Candy Crowley called the speech "solid and businesslike." GOP consultant Alex Castellanos pronounced it "good enough." Democratic consultant James Carville said it was delivered "competently."
Even Al Sharpton, whom some would consider far left seemed to be onboard that train saying he thought Romney was "better as a performer" than he thought he would be…that he showed a lot more energy and passion in his performance than in the past, although he also said he thought Romney “got a little dark in places.”
Many reviews felt Mr. Romney succeeded in “humanizing” himself in a way that had eluded him until last night.
The Kansas City Star: “He came off as presidential, and delivered an address chock-full of memorable lines.”
USA Today: “Speech showed…he has analyzed his shortcomings and set about fixing them…Romney effectively humanized himself, opening up about faith and family. Recognizing that harsh attacks wouldn't close the 23-point likeability gap in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, Romney served up more gentle jabs than roundhouse punches.”
The Washington Post: “Accepted the nomination of his party for president with a speech that showed he can rise to an occasion, and see a side of him that was compelling and heartbreaking.”
Mr. Romney’s speech was predictably heavy on attacks on President Obama for what he called Obama’s failure to turn the economy around in four years after the Great Recession hit.
“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed,” said Romney. “But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we can do something…we can stand up and say, 'I'm an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!'"
Mr. Romney accused the President of leading the country in the wrong direction.
THE STRANGE CLINT EASTWOOD OUTING
And where many were satisfied with the candidate’s speech and what it accomplished, many other reviewers ripped into the bizarre, rambling and disconnected 10 minute address by veteran film star and director Clint Eastwood who appeared to be flying solo without a script to follow.
MSNBC called Eastwood’s speech – where the film actor talked to an empty chair he said President Obama was sitting in - “bizarre” and “embarrassing” and a “disaster.”
Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said, “ It’s unfortunate that he was out there. I feel bad for him. It was a mistake by the campaign to put him out there,” he said on MSNBC. “He’s an 82-year-old man. We should give him a break.”
“They did not think he would get up there and erode in front of the whole world like he did. And it was embarrassing,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton. “I mean you almost wanted to go out there and get him.”
Rachel Maddow a progressive TV talk show host on MSNBC said she thought she was hallucinating while watching Eastwood ramble in a disjointed fashion.
“I left the stage and went and got a cookie because I worried that my blood sugar had dropped so low that I had passed out and that something was happening in my brain that generated this thing that couldn’t possibly be real in the last hour of a Republican Convention nominating somebody,” she said.
Even Fox News’s Chris Wallace wouldn’t touch commenting on Eastwood’s presentation saying, “Let me say that I get paid to review politicians. “There’s no way I’m going to touch Clint Eastwood’s performance tonight.”
And before the night was over someone signed up on Twitter as 'Invisible Obama' following Eastwood's routine and in a few hours the account had already gathered over 30,000 followers.
Mr. Romney’s acceptance speech can be viewed below.
Clint Eastwood’s much talked about speech can be seen below.