Some late thoughts on the political conventions

After a two-week vacation and working on some publication deadlines, I'm back to the blog. There are a lot of things I wanted to comment on during this time but couldn't. For example, like everyone else (or most everyone else who is a political junkie), I watched the party conventions. I was thoroughly bored by the Republican convention, with its superficial sound-bite speeches and its phony effort to portray itself as a multicultural party when in reality, when the TV cameras spanned the hall, all you saw were white, mostly middle-aged people. There was nothing inspiring about this convention and little that would sway uncommitted voters to vote for Gov. Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan. To add insult to injury, the Clint Eastwood appearance was a disaster.

By contrast, the Democratic convention was more lively and substantive. No question that former President Bill Clinton was the star and chief explainer of the difference between both parties and candidates. I have never seen such a masterful speech that showed how you can use data in a speech and still make the speech captivating. He explained the agenda of President Barack Obama better than Obama himself. We could look back and conclude that Clinton's speech represented the decisive turn to the election.

Since the conventions, it seems everything has been going wrong with the Romney campaign.

His impulsive and ill-thought-out response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya only added to his un-presidential appearance. With no evidence and clearly with the intent to score political points at a tragic time for the nation, he basically accused the president of disloyalty to the country by suggesting the president supported the terrorists. How un-presidential and un-American this response was. Then came the revelation of his speech to a fundraising audience last spring when he dismissed almost half of the country as being free-loaders and of not representing real Americans, or at least not his version of who is an American. I believe Romney and many Republicans believe this, but you don't say it if you want to be president of the United States.

Recent polls show Americans are beginning to see the distinctions between Romney and Obama. Unless something dramatic occurs in the next few weeks to change conditions, I don't see how Romney can win the election. If he doesn't win, it won't be just because he ran a poor campaign, but because a party and a candidate who show such disregard for most hard-working Americans and who want to take away as many social safety nets as possible in order to further support the very rich deserves to lose.

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