Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2008

Mitt Romney

Got a surprisingly warm welcome, pumping him up, but he was unable to sustain the crowd for the duration. He gave a boilerplate conservative speech that hit every buzzword from Nixon to Limbaugh. Gentlemanly (or boring) and optimistic (or cloyingly pollyanish). He had harsh words for the Denver Democrats, China, and Islamic jihadists and snide words for Al Gore's private jet and liberal Washington. He talked a bit about the economy, his signature issue, and elicited some happy, patriotic cheers of "USA!" Kept things relatively short, looked flawless as always, made sure to punch the McCain-Palin pairing, and tied the standard 2008 "change" message to a conservative change for the better. No doubt he would have preferred tonight's keynote slot (or tomorrow's main address), but he did his duty with stolid good humor. The current 2012 Republican frontrunner if McCain-Palin loses, but he has a lot of work to do on his speechifying if he wants to keep that crown.

by Mark Halperin