Mitt Romney formally accepted the Republican nomination and kicked off the general election on Thursday evening with an impressive RNC convention speech that touched on everything Republican voters needed to hear. He covered a lot of ground in his speech, and made up for deficiencies in his campaign until this point.
Going into the speech, Americans needed to see that Romney is a hard-working, small town American just like all of us. We needed to see that he is not just a billionaire business owner with no understanding of the middle class. Romney did just this, by defending his work at Bain Capital and revealing his biographical stories of when his company came close to failing and discussing the times when no one believed in his company. He made his story of Bain Capital one of hard work and dedication that the middle class can relate to.
He also appealed to a large voting bloc that his campaign had previously neglected: women. He began by highlighting strong female leaders including his own lieutenant governor, and the majority of his cabinet in Massachusetts, and then he moved on to the importance of mothers. He gave compelling anecdotes of Ann Romney’s contributions to his own family. He described long nights away from his family, while Ann stayed home with their five children, and referred to her as “heroic.”
Romney also needed to show in this speech that he has a plan for America’s future, and not just a broad set of ideals with no plan for action. He laid down a plan of five specific ideas to get this country set in the right direction. Among those ideas were complete oil independence, giving “every child a chance, and every parent a choice” in schools, reworking trade agreements, slashing the deficit, and boosting small businesses through reducing taxes and regulation.
Finally, Romney had to prove to voters that he is competent on foreign policy. He bashed Obama’s continual talks with Iran. He also criticized Obama’s ability to maintain strategic allies. He finished with his own solution, appealing to democratic ideals and American exceptionalism. He spoke of “uniting the world” and “building the greatest economy in the world.”
Republicans needed to be inspired and motivated by Romney tonight. They needed to believe that he is not just the anti-Obama candidate, but a choice worth believing in. Romney accomplished just this in his speech tonight. Romney created strong momentum in his speech that will fuel him for a strong battle against Barack Obama.