The weather tried to dampen it, the media tried to dismiss it, but the Republican National Convention went on last night undeterred and triumphant.
This morning’s analyses have their share of naysayers. That’s a given. But what did the peanut gallery think? We liked it. We more than liked it. It inspired us.
Rep. Artur Davis delivered a fantastic speech. The former Democrat excelled at delivery and content. Welcome to the party, pal. I mean that in all sincerity. He’s a great guy to have on our side.
Didn’t you want to stand up and cheer when he said this?
To those Democrats and independents whose minds are open to argument: listen closely to the Democratic party that will gather in Charlotte and ask yourself if you ever hear your voice in the clamor.
Ask yourself if these Democrats still speak for you.
When they say we have a duty to grow government even when we can’t afford it, does it sound like compassion to you — or recklessness?
When you hear the party that glorified Occupy Wall Street blast success, when you hear them minimize the genius of the men and women who make jobs out of nothing, is that what you teach your children about work?
When they tell you America is this unequal place where the powerful trample on the powerless, does that sound like the country your children or your spouse risked their lives for in Iraq or Afghanistan?
Do you even recognize the America they are talking about? And what can we say about a house that doesn’t honor the pictures on its walls?
John F. Kennedy asked us what we could do for America. This Democratic party asks what can government give you. Don’t worry about paying the bill; it’s on your kids and grandkids.
I also liked his reference to Denver 2008, when he introduced then Senator Barack Obama to the convention. He said the “phony columns didn’t wear well…This administration has been in the weeds on the economy for three years and counting.”
It was hard to tell if the audience was responding to him as forcefully as we at home. Former GOP Chairman Lang Wiseman tweeted, “Not sure if it came through on TV, but the energy in the convention hall during Artur Davis’ speech was incredible.”
Next, Nikki Haley, Republican governor of South Carolina, spoke. She had pointed things to say about the Obama administration’s attempt to stop non union work in her state. I marveled at her aplomb. She hasn’t been in the public spotlight long, but she looked like a natural.
When Ann Romney entered to speak, the enthusiasm for her came across. She spoke a little too fast for me, as did Chris Christie, but I imagine they were pushing to get in their complete speeches before the alphabet networks cut them off at 10.
“He was not handed success,” Ann said of Mitt. “He built it.” That brought the house down. Other good lines included this one about Romney’s helping others: “He doesn’t talk about it because it’s a privilege, not a politicized talking point.” I imagine anecdotes fleshing that out will be released in the near future. From my understanding, there are many examples to draw upon.
“Dreams fulfilled help others fulfill dreams,” Ann also said. When she insisted “This man will not fail,” you know she meant it.
Although many have criticized Chris Christie for not mentioning Mitt repeatedly, he did a very good job of drawing a picture of Republicans vs. Democrats. He also continued the narrative of the GOP and women that Mia Love, Nikki Haley and Ann Romney started.
“In the automobile of life, Dad was just the passenger, mom was the driver,” Christie said. He explained how many of his traits come from such a strong mother.
He noted there is “doubt and fear in every corner of the country.” How true! And I liked when he said, “the power of ideas is what attracts people to our party.” It’s something we forget or let the media disparage.
His finish, calling for a second American century, expressed the desire older Americans understand and care about. “We have never been victims of destiny. We have always been masters of our own.” Exactly.
It was a great start to a convention.