As Mike Winder noted in his blog today, conventions these days are highly scripted affairs. There
are no surprises; the nominee is a foregone conclusion. All that
remains is firing up delegates with emotional jumper cables. And, hopefully, a "surprise" visit by a Hollywood badass like Clint Eastwood will seal the deal.
But the pressure is on -- in accepting the nomination tonight, will Mitt out-rock VP candidate Paul Ryan's flame-throwing magic from Wednesday night? I hate to say it, but based on speech highlights released in advance (and unless Eastwood is here to coach Romney in his delivery), Ryan may be the one to "lead from behind."
You be the judge. Are these the things you've been waiting for Mitt to tell you?
*** Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us. When that hard-fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have – optimistic and positive and confident in the future.
*** I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something.
*** My mom and dad were true partners, a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men about the great decisions facing our nation?” I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. As Governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman Lt. Governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.
Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship
with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to
the community, it was welcoming, and as the years went by, it was a joy to
help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church. We
had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregations of all walks of life
and many who were new to America. We prayed together, our kids played
together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different
*** But for too many Americans, these good days are harder to come by. How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America? Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I'd ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.
*** Today, the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us. To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations. To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be. Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this president but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America. What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn't take a special government commission to tell us what America needs. What America needs is jobs. Lots of jobs.
*** To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: If Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right. I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon. And unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs.
*** President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise ... is to help you and your family.