Mitt Romney gave a sound, if not particularly inspiring, speech accepting the Republican Party nomination as President. It consisted of a mixture of allusions to his business success, his political experience as governor of Massachussetts, several sentimental reflections about his personal life, some policy presciptions, and few somewhat clumsy appeals to immigrant and women voters. Romney's strongest feature of his speech was the way he linked all of his themes to the everyday lives and experiences of the average American. Whether this helps him “connect” with voters remains to be seen.
He opened his speech recalling the last Presidential election:
When that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have – optimistic and positive and confident in the future.”
This is good description of what the average Americans did after the election. Most of us, even the political junkies, do not wake up or drift off asleep thinking about politics. The Obama administration, of course, immediately went to work to fundamentally transforming the United States of America.
And what is the result?
“But today, four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future. It is not what we were promised.”
He continued the theme developed by Paul Ryan the night before regarding the incompetence of the Obama administration and the “we can do this” spirit of Romney-Ryan ticket.
“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. 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. With your help we will do something.
Now is the moment when 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!”
In one of the few attempts of humorous sarcasm, Romney tried to contrast the simplicity of his ambitions with those of our current President:
“He promised to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”
Finally, Romney laid out a five point basic agenda for his administration. Although he will find them elusive goals, they provide his audience at least with some perspective of where he is coming from and what he believes is important:
“First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.”
He concluded, like every candidate, with a promise to take us back to the future.
“If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.”