, Salem, MA


September 1, 2012

Pluses, minuses for Romney's convention


The convention speakers “put a really good reinvigoration into what the Republican Party is all about,” GOP strategist John Feehery said. “It’s not about the Todd Akins of the world, it’s about a bigger, deeper bench and more varied experiences.”

Obama campaign senior advisor David Axelrod said voters tuned in to the GOP convention hoping to hear “practical solutions to the challenges we face. What they got instead were some snarky lines about the president, some gauzy reminiscences of the past and some buzzwords for the base.”

Some of the most highly anticipated speeches fell short.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s keynote address Tuesday was called a flop by many critics who saw it as an overt play for personal publicity at the expense of promoting Romney. And while Ryan’s well-delivered speech drew raves from many party activists, it contained several factual inaccuracies that threatened to contradict the Wisconsin congressman’s image as a self-professed truth teller.

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz dubbed the convention an “infomercial for their candidates for 2016” that had little to do with a Romney presidency.

Then there’s the matter of Eastwood, the 82-year old actor and director who addressed the convention before Romney. Eastwood’s rambling, imaginary interview of Obama, with a chair intended as a stand-in for the president, competed for attention with Romney’s own speech.

Romney visited New Orleans Friday to investigate hurricane damage — a hastily added event which helped him reclaim some visibility amid the Eastwood flap. But the Obama campaign was only too happy to keep the issue alive with a reaction on Twitter — a photo of Obama in a chair at the White House and a caption that read, “This seat’s taken.”

Romney’s wife, Ann, offered a diplomatic response when asked if Eastwood’s monologue was a mistake.

“He’s a unique guy and he did a unique thing last night,” she told “CBS This Morning.”

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