Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Awe and the Awkward of Mitt Romney's Speech

Posted By on August 30, 2012, 10:49 PM

Romney delivered his speech in true robotic fashion: awkwardly in talking about human feelings, and like a cold, calculating, campaign killbot when attacking President Barack Obama’s record.---

Try as he might, Romney’s delivery of his fateful nomination speech ranged from Chuck-E-Cheese-animatronically compassionate to plain ol’ Terminator-mean. But if nothing else, when Romney challenged Obama’s record, he delivered some lines with the kind of brutal efficiency that would make a slaughterhouse robot wince.

Awkward:

I know it’s customary to open a talk by acknowledging the talk of the running mate, but right out of the gate, Romney spoke of Rep. Paul Ryan like he was introducing his fiancé for the first time to his family.

“By my side I,’ve chosen a man with a big heart from a small town.”

Geesh, what happened to defending the institution of marriage?

As Romney’s hard drive continued to warm up, he started by speaking of Obama’s first term and then delivered this one with facial configuration set to 90 percent “earnest:”

“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed.”

Which is why he’s been campaigning nonstop since he lost the nomination in 2008.

Then he gave a shout out to recently departed astronaut Neil Armstrong.

“God bless Neil Armstrong. And tonight ,that American flag is still on the moon and I don’t doubt for a second that Neil’s spirit is with us.”

I know there’s nothing wrong with that, but I could have sworn he nearly blurted out that he didn’t doubt “Neil’s spirit is guarding the moon from the Chinese” Almost!

Romney then took a Stuart Smalley detour

“You know, if every child could go to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family and God’s love, this world would be a far more gentle and better place.”

Or wrapped in jobs perhaps?

Then Romney told a story about how his father gave his mother a rose every day -- which is surely an amazing testament to true love. But the way Romney presented the line about how the interruption in this routine is how his mother found out about his father’s death was delivered almost like a fun fact.

“Every day, dad gave a rose on her bedside table. That’s how she found out what happened on the day my father died.”

From “aww” to “agh!” in .6 seconds.

Awesome and Awkward:

There was an overlap between awkward and awe-inspiring putdowns of the night and that’s when Romney stuck it to Obama’s environmental pledges. This zinger was delivered with perfect comedic timing.

“Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”

It got a huge reaction from delegates and put things in perspective for citizens hurting from a moribund economy. But in hindsight, maybe the ocean’s-rising bit wasn’t as well received by the Republicans in New Orleans whose homes were washed out by hurricane Isaac yesterday.

Just Awesome

Despite awkwardness about matters involving “feelings,” Romney had some hits that were pure, unadulterated awesome as far as political punches go.

“In America, we celebrate success; we don’t apologize for success”

Suck it, occupiers!

Then came the foreign-policy gut punch. Romney cited Obama for throwing Israel “under the bus” and for promising to be more flexible with Russia “after” the election. This in reference to a gaffe Obama had in March where he told Russia’s President Dmitri Medvedev that he would have more flexibility in negotiating with Russia after Obama wins reelection. To which Romney delivered this one-two.

“Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty and Mr. Putin will see less flexibility and more backbone.”

Boom!

But the message that hit relentlessly again and again throughout the night was jobs. Romney threw this attack in bunches of punches. Robotic? Yes, but the flurry of “jobs” punches Mitt “Rock ‘em, sock ‘em” Romney threw landed every time -- especially this one:

“It doesn’t take a government commission to tell this country what it needs. What Americans need is jobs, a lot of jobs.”

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