Ten Random Notes on Tampa
Lots of 2016 posturing, lots of vagueness...and, I'm guessing, not a lot of bounce.
1. It was interesting that Romney didn't mention last night that Obama has "gutted" welfare. Are they going to move away from that now and just try to get the focus back on the economy? Or they just didn't want to tell that big a lie right out of Romney's mouth in front of that many people, is more like it.
2. You saw how little he, and everyone except Huckabee, talked about cultural and social issues. This means Democrats will talk a lot about them, as well they should. The D's can pick up huge points, especially among women, if they do this correctly next week.
3. Romney didn't lie on a Ryanesque scale, but he still came up with some whoppers. The imaginary (that word again!) apology tour. The same old Medicare lie. (Again, in case you've missed this: Romney's plans, if carried out as promised, would force cuts of nearly 30 percent to Medicare in his first term.)
4. Combined with his ridiculous vagueness, which several commenters have criticized, I think he gives the D's an opening to say that he's not being straight with voters, or doesn't respect the voters, or something like that. Accuse him of lying, it just gets his back up, and he gets all righteous, and it's just he said/he said. But accuse him of not respecting voters enough to level with them, and he may get nervous and twitchy like he does sometimes.
5. Three high-profile speeches--Christie, Rice, and Rubio, one each night--had people obviously positioning themselves for 2016. Doesn't say much about their confidence in their man this year.
6. I guess Stuart Stephens was in charge of this thing. He gets a pretty lousy grade. The Eastwood nonsense first and foremost. But letting the above three give the speeces they gave, also. I guess only Christie was inexcusable, but he was the keynoter. But in organizational terms, thematic terms, this convention was very leaky.
7. So it turns out, according to Sondra Locke's longstanding testimony, which Eastwood hasn't to my knowledge refuted, that she had two abortions at his urging. Democrats might not make a big deal out of this, but just imagine if a Hollywood person involved in business like that had spoken at a Democratic convention.
8. For the record, the day I voted for Obama wasn't the peak of the last four years as far as I'm concerned. The day we got bin Laden was a good day. The day don't ask, don't tell ended was a good day. The day health-care passed was a good day, and Dodd-Frank, and the equal pay act.
9. I wouldn't be shocked if this is the next-to-last three-day convention we ever see, next week's being the last.
10. Bounce? I think minimal. Some polls will inevitably register a couple of points, and some nothing at all. The automated overnights are more likely to show a bump in Romney support, and I'd bet the more legitimate polls don't show much. I'd be surprised at more, but who knows.