Mitt Romney's Speech Video: Recap and Analysis

Starting Aug. 27, Republicans will make their quadrennial soujorn to the Republican National Convention.  This year promises to be exciting, as Republicans gathered in Tampa will hear from the likes of the electrifying Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, and others.  Most importantly, delegates will formally nominate America's Comeback Team of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

The convention promises to be exciting! Four years of the Obama administration has worn thin the patience of conservatives across the country, and the recent nomination of Paul Ryan as VP has energized the base. Romney's cool managerial tone gives us a fighting chance to dethrone Obama and send him back to the friendly confines of his Chicago political machine.

Until the convention begins, please visit the website, www.gopconvention2012.com.

PolicyMic will be covering the Republican National Convention LIVE. Bookmark and update this page for the most recent analysis.

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08/31, 9:45a:  Full video is below.  Think this was an amazing speech, and for my last, LAST post on the RNC Convention, I'll provide some specific comparisons between Reagan's 1980 Acceptance speech and Romney's last night.

12:32a:  Still waiting for the RNC to post a video of Romney's speech, so the comparison here might be difficult to take in context without it.  However, there are some common elements between the two speeches that are worth noting.

First, both expressed unmitigated confidence in the American Dream.  It's important to recognize that the American Dream is based off of the strength of the individual and their strength of character.  Neither apologized for that.  Romney took ownership of his history this evening.  To demonstrate both personal and professional testimony on the part of his friends and partners, Romney essentially said, "This was my American Dream, and I realized it.  I'm here to make sure you have every opportunity to do the same."  Romney needed that same level of conviction that Reagan demonstrated, and he showed everyone he does.

Just as important, he needed to draw distinction with the philosophy of Obama.  Romney iterated two lines which, taken together, highlight the key philosophical differences.  "In America we celebrate success, we don't apologize for success" and "Obama promised to stop the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.  I promise to help you and your family."  Republicans are individualists, Democrats are collectivists.  That distinction will be key, because the debate of American's philosophical foundation needs to happen.  Republicans have to remind voters of those roots as rugged individualists.  Romney stamped that distinction with his speech tonight.

08/30p, 11:37p: I would like to compare the two speeches by Ronald Reagan and Mitt Romney, respectively.  Here's Reagan's.  Mitt Romney's hasn't been posted quite yet.


08/30, 11:30p:  The Republican National Convention adjourns sine die.  Onto November!

08/30, 11:18p:  Mitt Romney just delivered a speech with passion, charisma, and a sense of personality that many had said was missing from his campaign.  Frankly, it did exactly what it was supposed to do - demonstrate a sense of control and passion that will be needed to defeat Obama in this election.

The outright eagerness with which Republicans held this convention cannot be understated.  A few hiccups came into the program here and there, but for the most part, the convention displayed a sense of optimism that was severely lacking four years ago.  Honestly, that may have been the best acceptance speech in the last couple of conventions, maybe since 1980.

08/30, 11:08p:  "President Obama promised to stop the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.  I promise to help you and your family."

08/30p, 11:06p:  There's the agenda people have been asking for.  Of course, policy details will have to be fleshed out, but the administrative priorities are being laid out.  Let the fight begin.

08/30, 10:59p:  "In America we celebrate success, we don't apologize for success."  Keep it up, Mitt! Keep it going!  Mitt Romney is really driving the theme of the convention home.  This is the fight we need to take to the Obama campaign.

08/30, 10:50p:  "All the laws or legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers."

08/30, 10:44p:  "I'm an American, and I make my own destiny."  Yessir, I do.  Thank you for recognizing that.  Good start to the acceptance speech.

08/30, 10:38p:  "Mr. Chairman and Delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States."  Four years after he had initially had hoped, Mitt is officially the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

As a side note, take notice that the stage for Mitt is lowered and extended into the floor a bit.  Nice, subtle touch.

08/30, 10:35p:  Tonight has given Romney an extremely strong foundation to build on.  Absolutely amazing range of speakers and emotion.  Now it's his time to shine.

08/30, 10:30p:  This may very well be the game winning night that Republicans look back on and say, "We started to win the election."  The power of tonight's message has not been lost, and certainly hasn't been built off empty promises.  The convention shares the same optimism, the same faith in our future that the 2008 DNC Convention had.  Biggest difference - indvidual v. collective.  Republicans are reminding us of the power of individuals, the power of our own capabilities to build an American society we own and cherish.

Rubio is simply lacking the smack down.  President Obama, notice has been served.

08/30, 10:26p:  "As we prepare to make this choice, we should remember what made us special. For most of history almost everyone was poor. Power and wealth belonged to only a few.  Your rights were whatever your rulers allowed you to have. Your future was determined by your past.  If your parents were poor, so would you be. If you were born without opportunities, so were your children.  But America was founded on the principle that every person has God-given rights. That power belongs to the people. That government exists to protect our rights and serve our interests.  That we shouldn't be trapped in the circumstances of our birth. That we should be free to go as far as our talents and work can take us."

08/30, 10:20p:  Sorry, folks.  Too much blogging slowed down the editing function.  Let's catch up:

"Our problem is not that he's a bad person.  It's that he's a bad president."  Yes, Sen. Rubio, that is EXACTLY the point!

08/30. 9:47p:  The Olympic athletes were a good touch, but not entirely necessary.  Having said that, it does continue the theme of expressing the impact that Mitt Romney has had on peoples' lives.  It continues to build toward the crescendo here in about an hour or so.

08/30, 9:36p:  To counter the Olympic athletes, word is the Dems are planning to have Obama take Sen. Thune up on that challenge for 1 v 1 on the half court at the DNC Convention next week.

08/30, 9:31p:  ...meanwhile, at the RNC, a collective question is starting to form.  "What exactly do you have on your iPod, Mr. Vice President?"

08/30, 9:24p:  Alright, we're back.  Real people sharing stories about Mitt Romney is what this night is really offering.  Jane Edmonds, although a bureaucrat, is showing that same true, real personality that others did, too.

By way of background, my politics is as a liberal Democrat.  My passion is about education, workforce training, and leadership.  When I first met Governor Romney, I was struck by his humanity, his grace, his kind manner.  It was just the two of us, in his office when I met him, as a finalist for a cabinet position in his Administration.  I could tell immediately, just by our interaction, that he is the real thing - authentic. He struck me then - and now - as honest, transparent and inclusive.

08/30, 9:18p:  Okay, I guess we needed a break a bit.  Former Lt. Gov. Healey sounds TOO practiced, TOO political in her delivery.  The momentum from the previous speakers isn't lost, but it's certainly not building with her.

08/30, 9:11p:  The Romney campaign has to be regarded as the single best organized campaign in years for the Republicans.  The message tonight is focused, tight, persuasive, compelling.  BC'00 and BC'04 were extremely well organized, too, but they didn't face the challenge against an incumbent like Romney has to.  This is how campaigns win.

08/30, 9:01p:  "When I told him about Staples, he really got excited at the idea of saving a few cents on paper clips. Funny thing. But I ask you. Who would make a better president: Someone who knows how to save a dollar on pens and paper or someone who knows how to waste $535 million on Solyndra?"  The gloves are coming off.  You think Bain Capital is bad Mr. President?  Okay, bring it.

08/30, 8:55p:  I am excited to see the Romney campaign take on the Bain Capital attacks head on:

When our partner's daughter went missing in New York, Mitt said, "We can't just stand by and do nothing. We need to go find her." He closed down the entire office, took all of us to New York, and mobilized a search effort. Within days, we found her. And a mom, a dad, and a daughter were reunited.  Mitt wanted us to give back too. He inspired the formation of Bain Capital Children's Charity.
It not only donated money to worthy children's causes, it got Bain Capital employees actively involved in their communities.  Go back and look at every pursuit in Mitt's life. Surrounding him are people who have worked with him over and over again.

08/30, 8:47p:  There's probably a reason we've never seen Mitt Romney share his personality this way before.  It takes a certain sense of arrogance, a need for confirmation from the way others see you, to talk about yourself the way these people are talking about Mitt.  This may be the single most moving night of the convention, and we will see the next President as a result of it.

08/30, 8:40p:  It's starting off a little stiff, but Mr. Oparowski can really personalize this for Mitt.

08/30, 8:33p:  And, here's the effort to truly humanize and personalize Mitt Romney.  Expect this to be a consistent theme throughout the night.  It's important for these efforts to come across real, though, instead of forced.  If they come across as stiff, it will only serve to solidify the perception that he's out of touch.

08/30, 8:24p:  Just to make sure the dancing goes away, the house band has decided to bring on the worst singer possible.  Clearly, Republicans need to maybe develop a policy of investing in musical education.

08/30, 8:17p:  I'm really liking this way of taking on education policy.  School choice is key!  More importantly, we're framing the debate the right way - this is not Republicans against students.  This is about teachers against unions, and students against bureaucrats.

08/30, 8:12p:  I agree that our systems of education need to improve.  Now, tell us why Mitt Romney won't be doing much to get in the way of local school districts - and most importantly parents - in choosing the best way to educate local students.

08/30, 8:06p:  Jeb Bush has to be the smartest man in the Bush family.  He didn't run for President.  He served admirably as Florida's governor, and called it that.

08/30, 8:03p:  Hopefully Republicans do more than play a video.  It's an amazing start to Republican efforts at outreach, but we have to follow the example of Susana Martinez that she spoke about last night on Greta's show - it's more than just outreach during campaign time, it's policy making and governance.  Hispanics have to be a part of our fabric of American GOVERNANCE.  I'm encouraged by what we're seeing here, though.

08/30, 7:55p:  I understand the desire to pay homage to Ronald Reagan.  He was a great president...30 years ago!  At some point, Republicans will have to pay their respects to this man and move on.  Anybody under 40 simply won't connect with his legacy.  Reagan was important, but he's largely a lesson in the history books.

We paid tribute to Bush 41 and Bush 43 in a video last night.  It'd be great if we can allow Reagan a place in our memories, and move on to build our own legacy.

08/30, 7:50p:  It's good to see Newt as a happy guy, instead of the angry old man we saw campaigning earlier this year.  Still the smartest guy there, but just so damn angry!

08/30, 7:46p:  Huckabee had Chuck Norris.  Romney has Clint Eastwood.  Obama has...Sandra Fluke.  To each their own, I suppose.

08/30, 7:43p:  Connie Mack, here's your obligatory speech being a Senate candidate in Florida.  Nothing new, nothing special.  Keeping up the messaging, and that's a good thing.

08/30, 7:39p:  John Boehner just declared Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan the Republican nominees for President and Vice President, respectively.  We saw how Ryan accepted last night.  Now, it's Mitt's turn to show us how he will accept.

08/30, 7:31p:  There we go.  Boehner gets us started for the third and final day of the convention.

08/30, 7:22p:  Still waiting for the start this evening, but CSPAN was interviewing Jason Chaffetz of Utah.  Just talk about a good guy.

08/30, 7:07p:  Taking a cue from Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, the Dems sent over Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Sandra Fluke to crash the party earlier today.

08/30, 6:53p:  Here's an excerpt from Romney's former business partner at Bain Capital, Tom Stemberg:

But this Obama-Biden campaign... they just don't get it.  They will tell you that private equity is focused only on the short-term.  Tell that to the founders of Bright Horizons Day Care, a company that has transformed corporate day care.  They understood how important it was for women to join the workforce and have onsite care for their children.  It was an overdue revolution in the American workplace.  Today the company employs over 19,000 people.

Last night, Paul Ryan took on the ideological foundation of the Obama philosophy.  Tonight, look for Romney to take on the foundation of the Obama attacks.  A few weeks ago I wrote about how Romney's positioned himself to win because of the methodical, systematic way of campaigning.  I think we'll see the fruition of that tonight.

08/30, 3:35p:  For a while, I thought this was satire.

I’m young, I’m handsome, I’m smart, and I’m articulate. And that scares the ever-loving **** out of you. You can pretend like you have this thing in the bag, but you know good goddamn well that this race just got real interesting, real fast.

Much is being made about Paul Ryan's Janesville, WI plant closure reference in last night's acceptance address.  Because HotAir is much, much better at digging up a LOT of facts the left conveniently ignored on the matter (I, after all, don't have interns or staff) I will leave it to them.  Some interesting highlights, though, before you head over to read their analysis.

"President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory."  It seems to appear he didn't blame President Obama at all!

"We need to maintain our competitive edge in a global by ensuring that plants like this one stay open for another hundred years, and shuttered factories re-open as new industries that promise new jobs."  That's from President Obama's speech, which the full text of can be found here, made in Janesville in February 2008.  So, okay, I'll give that he might not have specifically promised to keep the plant open.  He does spend some time - a LONG time - laying out his agenda prior to that though...so, take it for what you will. 

Having said all that, I think I'm going to the Onion for my news more often.  Seems to be the place that called it first - Paul Ryan really does scare the **** out of the left.  Make sure to tune in tonight, though, for all the festivities!  Word is that Mitt Romney's coming out to his favorite song on his iPod, Beethoven's 5th Symphony.Nothing says common man like Beethoven.

08/30, 10:27a:  Good morning, Conventioneers! Word is buzzing that Dirty Harry is making an appearance at the RNC Convention tonight. Not the Dirty Harry from Nevada we've all come to loathe, but the Dirty Harry that carries a bigger gun than Susana Martinez - Clint Eastwood.  You can read some of the details here.

This comes off the heels of Eastwood's endorsement for Romney, joking that he first learned of Romney ten years ago in Massachusetts while filming Mystic River.

"I said, God, this guy, he's too handsome to be governor, but he does look like he could be president," Eastwood joked. "As the years have gone by I began to think even more so about that."

Clint Eastwood.  Chuck Norris.  Susana Martinez.  There should be no question about the badass credentials of the GOP right now.

08/29, 11:07p:  If any Republicans had doubt about Paul Ryan's capabilities to represent the Republican Party as our VP candidate, that should have all been quickly dispelled this evening.  Paul Ryan delivers a topical, focused address to the convention that clearly demonstrates his willngness to go after the philosophy of the Obama Administration.

Clearly, the Democrats are going to go after Paul Ryan for a couple of things.  1) Medicare/Medicaid proposals and 2) the socially conservative values he holds.  Wedge issues will be the only opportunity they have to defeat him.  Republicans again proved their convention is being used for the strong, positive, and energetic start to the general election season.

08/29, 11:03p:  As always, humor begets humor.  After Paul Ryan calls out Mitt's taste in music:

"@AlexJamesIvey:  Paul Ryan bashes Romney taste in music. Elevator music isn't a generational issue: Mitt Romney just has poor taste #current2012#GOP2012"

08/29, 10:58p:  "I hope it's not a dealbreaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC and ends with Zepplin."  Paul Ryan just secured the rocker vote right there!

08/29, 10:56p:  Good Call Paul.  Ryan trying to reach out to young voters by saying they won't force them to live under Mom and Dad's effed up rules after college.  Joking aside, he's right - the job prospects of young Americans is threatening.  Workers 18-24 face an unemployment rate of 16.4%.

08/29, 10:51p:  Paul Ryan is certainly making his best effort to lay a smack down on President Obama.  He's done a great job at laying out some figures saying why Obama is bad, but there's a lack of discussion regarding his budget and proposals.  If Romney doesn't present some ideas tomorrow, the convention's key opportunity to lay out the plan...

...wait, wait, there it is.  It's starts with the 20% of GDP federal spending cap.  Let's see if he continues with it.

08/29, 10:42p:  "Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate, we want this debate, and we will win this debate."  Love the fact the he used the word debate - he's right, we need to hear and have it.

08/29, 10:38p:  "Obamacare comes with 2000 pages of laws, regulations, fees, fines, and new taxes that have no place in a free society."  Paul Ryan continues to rock it.  "The biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare punishes the elderly...$716 funnelled out of Medicare by President Obama."

08/29, 10:36p:  "That money wasn't just spent and wasted.  It was borrowed, spent, and wasted."

08/29, 10:32p:  For those of you who think Scott Walker doesn't have a heart, CSPAN just showed tears streaming down his cheek.

08/29, 10:30p:  "Mr. Chairman.  Delegates, and fellow citizens.  I'm am honored by the support of this convention for Vice President of the United States."  No direct acceptance of the nomination to start.  Acceptance of the duty.  Acceptance of the responsibility.  Maybe it's the final line in the speech.

08/29, 10:22p:  Susanna Martinez is really taking advantage of her time to shine.  Latina.  Helped in a family business.  Former Democrat.  "I'll be damned...we're Republicans!"  This woman is really making a strong play for both Hispanic voters, Independents, and moderate Democrats.  Well played, GOP.

08/29, 10:19p:  Just to confirm her credentials for the crowd assembled, Gov. Martinez tells the convention she carried at 357 Magnum that weighed more than she did.

08/29, 10:12p:  Just when you think Condoleeza Rice can't be any smarter than she already is, she starts laying down the law on domestic policy.  Yes, yes...this woman is brilliant.

08/29, 10:09p:  "Ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement. We have not believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well. We have not been envious of one another and jealous of each other’s success. Ours has been a belief in opportunity and a constant battle – long and hard -- to extend the benefits of the American dream to all – without regard to circumstances of birth."

08/29, 10:04p:  If there's one person qualified to speak about foreign policy in the GOP, it's Condoleeza Rice.  It's quite scary that the U.S. has negotiated only 3 free trade agreements whereas China has negotiated 15 with 18 more in the wings.  It's damning that we're getting beat at free and open economics by a Communist regime.

08/29, 9:59p:  Condoleeza Rice addresses the convention hall who are clearly excited for her to be there.  One man even screamed "We Love You Condi!"

08/29, 9:54p:  And yet more from Mike Huckabee:

"The Democrats say we ought to give Barack Obama credit for trying. That sounds like the nonsense of giving every kid a trophy for showing up. Friends, we're talking about leading the country, not playing on a third-grade soccer team!  I realize this is the man who got a Nobel Peace Prize for what he would potentially do, but in the real world, you get the prize for producing something, not just promising it." 

08/29, 9:50p:  More from Mike Huckabee, who proves as an orator he's one of the best in the GOP:

"Let me clear the air about whether guys like me would only support an evangelical. Of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama, and he supports changing the definition of marriage, believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the womb or even beyond the womb, and tells people of faith that they must bow their knees to the god of government and violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls health care.  Friends, I know we can do better!"

08/29, 9:46p:  "I'm sure the press will tell you [Romney] isn't perfect.  But for the past four years, we've tried the one the press thought was perfect, and that hasn't worked out so well for us.  We can do better!"

08/28, 9:42p:  Huckabee starts off by launching into Wasserman-Schultz.  I have always had higher hopes for Mike's joke making capabilities.  However, he's giving a good speech that isn't focusing on the social conservative values that he's defined by...so far...

08/28, 9:36p:  Well, it was bound to happen at some point.  Pawlenty is just laying into Obama and Biden, although he's not the one everyone expected to be the attack dog.

"Next week, Barack Obama will plead with America to give his failed ideas another chance. He's asking Americans to give him more time and more money.Well sorry, Mr. President, but you're out of time, and we're out of money. Barack Obama's failed us. But look, it's understandable. A lot of people fail at their first job."

08/28, 9:32p:  Apparently, Tim Pawlenty's kinda pissed he's not going to be President.  He's basically tearing into Obama and Biden like no other at this convention.  Interesting.

08/28, 9:28p:  MSNBC is apparently pissed they've lost the monopoly on minority representation.  From Townhall.com editor Guy Benson: 

"@guypbenson: MSNBC -- shockingly -- not covering Fortuno's speech. #GOP2012"

08/28, 9:21p:  I can't remember such an emphasis on hearing from minority members of the GOP like at this convention.  Tonight alone, we're hearing from Gov. Fortuno of Puerto Rico and Gov. Martinez of New Mexico.  It's really encouraging that the GOP is focusing on successful individuals like this.

08/28, 9:16p:  Sen. Portman highlighted the fact that Obama's budget proposals weren't too popular in the Senate.  Here's an article from the Washington Times covering the issue: 

"President Obama's budget suffered a second embarrassing defeat Wednesday, when senators voted 99-0 to reject it.

Coupled with the House's rejection in March, 414-0, that means Mr. Obama's budget has failed to win a single vote in support this year.

Republicans forced the vote by offering the president's plan on the Senate floor."

Read more: Obama budget defeated 99-0 in Senate - Washington Times 

08/28, 9:07p:  Sen. Portman just called foreign consumers that we must sell American products to "those people."  Obviously, he's a racist.

08/28, 9:04p:  "America is tired of waiting.In business, if you don't move rapidly, you are out of business. You are finished. We want a president who operates at business speed not government speed.President Obama says he deserves reelection because his economic policies have worked."

08/28, 9:02p:  Rob Portman is not pulling any punches in the compare and contrast piece.  But he asks an important question - who would you trust to invest your life savings?  Portman was a potential VP candidate, and by the looks of it, he would have been a solid choice.

08/29, 8:56p:  As promised, the Ron Paul tribute video played earlier this evening at the convention.


08/29, 8:51p:  I love reviewing the tweets that are coming out with the #gop2012 hashtag.  Most common criticism of the GOP Convention - rich, old, white guys are running the place. 

"@Hokuboku:  Now is the moment we have a rich white guy who owns pipelines in three states speak about how great pipelines are. #GOP2012 #RNC"

High quality stuff there.

08/29, 8:45p:  The GOP is really doing a great job by continuing to bring in private entrepreneurs sprinkled in with all the elected officials.  Doubles down on the economic focus of this convention, although Tad True just referred to the State of Wyoming as great.  I grew up there.  I'll respectfully disagree.

08/29, 8:42p:  "He understands what it takes for businesses large and small to thrive. This knowledge doesn't come from a textbook (although he's read plenty of those). It comes from decades of rolling up his sleeves and getting the job done. It comes from recognizing the strengths and contributions of every individual. His experience tells him that the most valuable insight can be gained - not by lecturing - but by listening. And when he does use his presidential bully pulpit, it will be to champion the cause of small business and make it clear to all companies that it is safe to hire again." - Sen. John Thune (SD)

08/29, 8:38p:  John Thune begins his speech with an awkward challenge to take on President Obama in a 1 v 1 on the half court.  More importantly, though, he takes the GOP Convention back to where it should be - individualism, free enterprise, and the economics of the Obama Administration that is hampering the American recovery.

08/29, 8:33p:  Do you want any more rhetorical questions?  NO!

08/29, 8:30p:  Sam Olens and Pam Bondi are the backbenchers to the current crop of future leaders.  When we see Ryan, Christie, and Rubio taking up the fight at the national level, these two will be taking the reigns at the state level. 

08/29, 8:15p:  John McCain just set back the momentum the evening had going.  A speech on antiquated foreign policy objectives is clearly not what the GOP needed.

08/29, 8:07p:  Let's see.  Rand Paul - Republicans need to understand some defense cuts are okay.  John McCain - Republicans cannot allow more defense cuts.  

Programmers just demonstrated an epic fail.

08/29, 8:05p:  "But what Mitt Romney knows, and what we know, is that our success at home also depends on our leadership in the world. It is our willingness to shape world events for the better that has kept us safe, increased our prosperity, preserved our liberty, and transformed human history."  Okay, John, but not really.  Our stagnation right now is the primary concern.  We cannot hope to be a strong global leader if we are rotting from within.  Once again, the old guard that grew up through the Cold War shows exactly where their issues were in their heyday.

Given that, commentary on the talk circuit today focused on many of the up-and-comers, and this blog is no different.  One commentator said it best - Rubio, Ryan, Christie and the others provide an intellectual base to the emotional base of the Tea Party in 2010.  They are coming to embody that emotion in governance, and it's something that can take the Republican Party forward for years to come.

Indeed.  Thanks, Sen. McCain.  You were a good guy when your time came.  You continued to stick it out after 2000, and you did your best in 2008.  We can take it from here.

08/29, 7:54p:  Good way for the GOP to honor the Bush presidencies without making them a centerpiece of the convention.  Did we see Bush 41 say "Not gonna do it, Wouldn't be prudent?"


08/29, 7:48p:  Here's what made Rand Paul so, so perfect for the Republicans tonight:

Individuals create American greatness, not the state or collective society;

Republicans have to acknowledge defense spending can be wasteful, just as Democrats have to acknowledge social programs can be wasteful;

There's nothing to apologize for when protecting what you built and what you earned.

Democrats promptly stumble over what to attack Republicans on after that speech.

08/29, 7:42p:  We have nothing to fear except our unwilingness to defend what is naturally ours, our God given rights."  Rand Paul is setting a high bar for the remaining speakers tonight.

08/29, 7:39p:  A key statement from Rand Paul's speech:

When I heard the current president say, "You didn't build that," I was first insulted, then I was angered, then I was saddened that anyone in our country, much less the president of the United States, believes that roads create business success and not the other way around.

Rand Paul is taking the necessary step to explain why Obama's Roanoke speech is so antithetical to the American dream.  His collective approach misses a fundamental reality of American society - without the wealth produced by hard working individuals in America, we would not have the capabilities to build roads, hospitals, and other infrastructure.  More from Paul's speech:

Mr. President, you say the rich must pay their fair share. When you seek to punish the rich, the jobs that are lost are those of the poor and middle class. When you seek to punish Mr. Exxon Mobil, you punish the secretary who owns Exxon Mobil stock. When you block the Keystone Pipeline, you punish the welder who works on the pipeline. 

08/29, 7:32p:  "The whole damn thing is still unconstititutional.  This debate is not new, and it's not over!"  Rand Paul speaking about Obamacare.  "The powers of the federal government are few and defined."  Rand Paul's a good replacement as the standard bearer for the liberty loving Ron Paul.  It's as if they're related or something!

08/29, 7:23p:  Give the programmers of the RNC Convention credit.  What's the easiest way to wake up old folks lulled to sleep by Sen. McConnell?  Loud devil music!

08/29, 7:18p:  "He hasn't been working to earn reelection. He's been working to earn a spot on the PGA tour."  Humor doesn't become you, Mitch.

08/29, 7:15p:  Mitch McConnell comes out to chants of "Ron Paul!  Ron Paul!"  Needless to say, the very vocal minority that hasn't left the convention feels a bit more inspired by that tribute to Ron Paul (regardless of how forced some of those legislators may have seemed to comment in the video).

Also, pay close attention to a good representative of the standard bearers on the way out.  Mitch McConnell has proven to be a decent, if not agressive, Senate Minority Leader.  However, the individuals that you saw last night will prove capable of taking the Republican Party forward.  Much appreciative, Sen. McConnell, but we're looking forward to the new generation.

08/29, 7:10p:  Wow, are we seeing this correctly?  The RNC has a moving video as a tribute to Ron Paul?  Cool!  I'll try to get a link to the video as soon as possible.

08/29, 6:54p:  I hope your day has been eventful, at least more eventful than the floor action of the RNC Convention.  Just as a blast to the past, here's a little warmup speech with Paul Ryan...from the 2004 RNC Convention in New York City.  He already deserves a bit of respect because he chose to buck the trend and avoid the "Great State..." prefix in reference to his home state.


08/29, 10:59a:  Found the article that Wasserman cited (and he was actually a source for).  It didn't talk about House races, but specifically Obama's performance in counties with Cracker Barrels, Whole Foods, and both.  You can read the article here, but here's a very telling statistic cited:

In 2008, President Obama carried 81 percent of the counties that have a Whole Foods outpost. He won only 36 percent of the counties that have a Cracker Barrel, according to Wasserman's figures. Just 60 counties in America have both a Whole Foods and a Cracker Barrel. Most of the Cracker Barrel counties Obama won also have a Whole Foods outlet.

08/29, 10:52a:  Another interesting comment from the discussion, this time with editors from the Cook Political Report.  In discussing the outlook for the House races that Republicans face, David Wasserman was sharing some of his insight into the problems that the Democrats face in taking back the House.  In citing a statistic shared by the moderator Reid Wilson, he noted that a good number of Cracker Barrels in districts Republicans picked up in 2010 to young Democrat professionals.  Apparently, a young woman raised her hand and asked "Don't you mean Crate n' Barrel?"  Exactly the problem Democrats face right now...

08/29, 10:28a:  CSPAN is airing an interesting discussion about the GOP's chances in legislative races with Rob Jesmer of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Guy Harrison of the National Republican Congressional Committee.  Harrison had an interesting comment in regards to a question about negative advertising.  To paraphrase:

All advertising is negative at some level.  People don't make a choice on similarities, they make a choice on differences.  The best negative ad of all time was Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" commercial.

08/29, 9:29a:  Just found this interesting.  The practice podium for speakers backstage at the convention.  You wouldn't think it's difficult, but it's actually quite a task to keep pace and read teleprompters at the same time.  Then again, if you're Ted Cruz, you buck the podium and go right to the front of the stage.

08/29, 8:53a:  A new day at the RNC Convention.  Here's a little more detail on the brouhaha with the Ron Paul delegation from Nevada.  Here's a bit of advice for both sides:

To the Paulinistas - Get over it!  I was with you, I voted for Ron Paul in the Georgia Primary, knowing full well two undeniable facts.  1) He wasn't going to win the nomination, and 2) He was a horrible choice as a manager of people, which is a skill required as President.  We needed to reintroduce a sense of individual freedom and liberty to the Republican Party, which at some level, the Paulinistas have.  However, given the shenanigans that I experienced here in GA, and the apparent derilection of responsibility at the national convention by Nevada's delegates, it's hard to see how that message will be taken seriously when the messengers are throwing fits.

To the Establishment - You're going to have to learn to let go of control a little bit if you want this party to actually achieve long term success.  Your power won't erode if you let in some outsiders that don't necessarily share the socially conservative values you do, and it certainly won't hurt the Republican Party to jettison some of the more overbearing sentiments of religious morality that permeate our platform.  Take a step back, ask yourself what we all agree on, and start with that.  You'll find a lot of these die-hard Paulinistas aren't cult followers of the Honorable Ron Paul of Texas, but rather die-hard defenders of freedom and liberty.

Having said that, if people listened to me more, I'd probably be a bit more wealthy.  Since they don't, I'll leave it at that and move onto some of the highlights we will see on Day Two.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez:  Remember the bench Republicans showcased in the first night? It continues with America's first Latina Governor - a Republican, by the way - in a coming out party of sorts for her as much as Haley, Christie, and Walker.

Attorneys General Sam Olens and Pam Bondi:  Two agressive AGs that challenged Obamacare, and certainly rising stars within their respective states.  Olens is from GA and is a likely future candidate for Governor.  Bondi is from FL and I would venture to guess she might share some of that same promise.