Montclair Delegate: Clint "Funny," Mitt Did Not Disappoint
Montclair's honorary delegate Roland Straten issues his last report from the Republican National Convention. He's there with his wife, Susan, a delegate.
I am sitting watching giraffes and zebras outside my room at Disney’s Jambo House Lodge. It is a different scene from just two days ago, but one that is full of meaning. Suzy and I walked into the park holding hands
having been inspired by the Romneys’ marriage and children. We were stopped by a Disney Greeter entering the animal world park saying that it was not allowed for anyone over 21 to hold hands in Disneyworld. We assured him that we were under 21 and he gave us a great description of the park. Watching the families and children enjoy the park further convinced us that we live in a great country.
But I digress. I am writing about the final day of the Republican National Convention. As usual we attended the morning briefing and picked up our credentials. The water finally calmed down enough for us to take a swim in the gulf, which we did. Then we enjoyed a final lunch with the NJ delegation.
We decided to take a ride through St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg is a charming city with a huge marina and park on Tampa Bay. We love to
sail and there were many sailboats in the marina. It was clean and it was easy to understand why a lot of people retire to Florida. We took a drive through a palm-shaped canal community (Dubai was not the first to make palm-shaped residential areas). There were many for sale signs on the
When we got to the convention, Newt and Callista Gingrich were speaking. We went to the convention floor. All the seats were taken and it was standing room only. Even the seating for subs was full, so we went to the top level, found two seats right in front of the stage and settled in for the show.
And what a show it was. We listened to a number of minor speakers, if you can call Newt Gingrich; Bob White, the campaign manager; Craig Romney, Mitt’s brother; the CEOs of major corporations; Jeb Bush; and other Governors minor.
Then a cast of Olympians came on stage to support Romney and create a link to his leadership at the Utah Winter Olympics. They were roundly cheered, especially Mike Eruzione, the captain of the men’s hockey team that defeated the Soviet Union in 1980.
Clint Eastwood was the mystery speaker and he was really funny. At first I wasn’t sure whether this was another case of an old star who, having lost it, was trying to make a comeback or not. His hair was disheveled, he looked confused, and he appeared to be at a loss for words. Then his dry humor hit us and we realized we were watching a master performance.
Marco Rubio then came on to make the introduction of Mitt Romney. Marco is a rising star of Cuban descent who many thought would be the VP choice. His talk about his background, the difference between life in the USA and Cuba, the family support he received, and the importance of the country moving in the right direction was inspiring.
Mitt Romney looked and sounded very Presidential. He put together all the previous speeches: his family, his business, his religion, his Olympic experience, his childhood, his vision for America, and detailed promises.
To this reporter, there were two key moments: promises & jobs.
Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. Romney promised to help us and our families.
I cringed when Romney said that he would bring 12 million jobs back. Was he going to be crucified for not providing details on how he was going fulfill this promise? He needed to follow up with something very good and he did not disappoint. 1) Energy independence by 2020, 2) School Choice, 3) Free trade, 4) Control spending and reduce debt, and 5) Champion small business.
The finale was like the grand finale of a fireworks show. The crowd’s cheering slowly rising to a crescendo with Mitt’s voice in quick staccato bursts promising to work for us with all his energy and soul to make the future better. Fireworks were showing on the multiple screen monitors behind him.
There was no doubt that he convinced the attendees.
Did the same enthusiasm come through to the TV audience? Tomorrow we will watch recordings of the convention and compare the two impressions.
Did he convince those who voted for Obama last year? That we will learn in November.
Thanks for reading my reports. Shame on those who called me a liar or
political hack and wrote personal attacks. I hope Shelley finds a delegate going to the upcoming Democrat convention who will repot to the Patch. I will be watching with much interest.