— Thank God for the hurricane; I don’t think I could have taken four nights of this.
— Off to a weak start tonight with Connie Mack mouthing platitudes and the Gingriches not adding much.
— Jeb Bush should have been the nominee. In fact, he should have been the nominee back in 2000. He was great tonight.
— It is heartening to see Bush, Condi Rice and others pushing education to the forefront. Rice called it the civil rights issue of our time. Me, I’d rank it second after immigration.
— Too damned many musical interludes.
— I feel like it’s my job to be cynical about the tearjerker stories, but I have to admit they were very effective.
— All the personal stuff — the tearjerkers, the business stories, the Olympians — were, I think, extremely effective.
— It does seem to me that the Olympics stuff plays right into the Obama narrative of Romney as a man who’s devoted his life to unhealthy competition, but the average voter is unlikely to make that connection.
— Clint Eastwood is a man of awesome talent, and the crowd seemed to like him, but I can’t imagine there was anything in this speech to win over an undecided voter, and they sure squandered a lot of prime time on it.
— Marco Rubio proved, as expected, to be a fabulous orator, not that he always made a lot of sense. (The stimulus created “more debt than jobs”? In what common unit is he measuring debt and jobs?)
— And here comes the main event. I’ll record a few reactions at more or less random moments:
— Romney says that now, for the first time, the majority of Americans doubt that their children’s lives will be better than their own. If that’s true, I’m pretty confident the majority of Americans is wrong, no matter who wins this election. And I’m pretty sure Romney knows that too. (Added later: Later in the speech, he explicitly denies knowing it.)
— “When the realtor told you that to sell your house you’d have to take a loss, you knew this just wasn’t right”. So — it’s intrinsically wrong for a price to change? You might want to run that by someone who’s currently shopping for a house.
— “When the world needs someone to do really big stuff, you need an American”. No, what you need is someone who’s good at doing what you need done, and it really doesn’t matter where he was born. The failure to grasp this is a major failure in a leader. Would the Mitt Romney of 1980 prefer to have been governed by Jimmy Carter or by Margaret Thatcher?
— He actually just argued against defense cuts because they would “cost jobs” — effectively repudiating everything he claims to believe about the folly of spending for the sake of spending.
— He’s certainly more animated than I expected. He’s clearly been practicing.