Andrew Malcolm @ Investors.com:
Seriously, was that really so hard?
Lead by a series of friends and associates who shared their own memories of Mitt, Romney finally told his story to the American people Thursday night, the last day of the Republican National Convention, that included the candidate’s eagerly-awaited acceptance speech. (Scroll down for full text and video.)
In 4,087 well-crafted words delivered in 38 fast-moving minutes, including ample time for audience applause, the former governor and businessman described himself, contrasted his vision with an attacking incumbent’s and outlined the kind of country he seeks to restore.
It was a crucial night for the would-be Oval Office occupant. He has given opponents plenty of evidence to mock his stiffness and alleged inability to connect with ordinary Americans, who genuinely want to like their leaders.
In fact, despite the scandals, the aloofness and ineptitude, a majority of Americans say they still find Barack Obama more likable than Romney. That’s a polling stat that’s inexplicable to many but one that does explain why the Democrat with no substantive economic achievements is still even in this race, according to polls.
Through endless speeches, Obama has constructed an image of himself that’s built a reservoir of good feelings in the minds of more voters than should like him, based on his poor performance in economic revival.
Romney got in some punches go the Democrat’s nose. But they were crafted more as oblique shared thoughts that might give Obama supporters an excuse to let him go:
“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.”
A political challenger in America’s presidential sweepstakes has a higher bar to oust an elected incumbent. The two times that’s happened in the last half-century — to Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992 — the incumbent suffered from economic challenges and the challengers — Ronald Reagan and William Clinton — presented themselves as likable alternatives.
Obama’s got the economic challenges, all right. No incumbent has ever been re-elected presiding over an unemployment rate above 7.2%. Ours today is 8.3%. But Romney’s reserved manner in public has denied himself the likability.
Without a major course correction in his perceived public personality, the 65-year-old Romney seemed virtually certain to snatch electoral defeat from the jaws of what should be an inevitable victory on Nov. 6.
For someone said to be congenitally uncomfortable talking about himself, the newly-forthcoming Romney was impressively open last night. It seemed as if, out of public sight sometime in recent days, the guy graduated summa cum laude from an advanced Dale Carnegie course.
He shared personal details, previously unknown to most of us. How his father placed a single rose on the bedside table for his wife to find upon awakening every morning of their 64 years of marriage. And the one morning he didn’t, she knew he had passed away.
It’s through an accumulation of such seemingly tiny personal details that we come to believe we “know” a leader. Where he was when Neil Armstrong took his lunar leap off the lander. The sibling struggles of his five sons. The fleeting glimpse in a holiday home movie of an unprepared Ann Romney waving the camera away.
Even from 20 arena rows back, Romney also manifested a different countenance than recent campaign months. He moved more smoothly, not as if he had a yardstick down the back of his shirt. As he delivered his thoughts and lines with impressive timing, Romney looked more confident, almost strangely serene for someone under such pressure to perform before a national audience silently watching and listening beyond the TV camera lens.
You’ll see several clever lines in his speech text below. Our favorite shows an earthbound Romney ribbing Obama’s proclivity to grandiosity, in contrast to the businessman’s more practical approach:
“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans…………and heal the planet………..
“MY promise…..is to help you and your family.”
One of those moments that should be viewed by everyone:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZlB7aR-2h8[/youtube]