Friday, August 31, 2012

Three Views from the Last Night of the RNC

In our household we actually watch both conventions - not with the airheads of the cable networks but in the unvarnished world of CSPANN.   For me there were three memorable highlights.   (Although I think some of the prep speeches on Romney's business background were helpful.)

#1 - Clint Eastwood - He was funny.   I enjoyed it live, his timing was subtle but good.   But then I heard all the yammering by the cableheads saying he was dottery or that he actually believed Obama was in the chair or other such nonsense.   So this morning I re-looked at the whole eleven and a half minutes - you see a guy getting in some very successful digs.   I think it plays well again and again.  Clint Eastwood is old - but last night he was effective and funny.

#2 - Marco Rubio - Rubio showed himself to be one of the front runners for the next presidential cycle - whenever that comes.   What the week also highlighted was some other clear future national leaders - Nicky Hailey, Susanna Martinez - are both going to do great things.   Those two present a sharp contrast to the likes of either Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Nancy Pelosi.   Rubio was both eloquent and substantive.

#3 - Mitt Romney - Romney had two tasks last night - to make a clear case about who he is as an individual and to make a clear case for change.   He did both quite well.   The President is still pretty well liked on a personal level so any cuts at the him had to be done with care - and Romney made the case that while we may like the person - the incumbent has not lived up to expectations.  But he also made a case for change - not the laundry list of policy proposals that come from most politicians but a better grouping of the differences between the candidate and the incumbent.   The New York Post said this now becomes a battle for the heartland.  And all three pieces play well in those couple of states.

This election is far from decided.  But Romney and his team effectively helped to dispell to of the memes that the democrats have tried to sell - that Romney is a rapacious businessman and Ryan is an ideologue.

As I flipped to the cable networks last night after the speeches - I noticed the same old tired BS from the supposed expert commentators.   At one point I tried to anticipate what David Gergen would say and for a couple of minutes - my words were ahead of his remarks.  The Tsk/Tsk, Tut/Tut crowd are losing market share - that seems to make them even more shrill.   What is unclear is whether the new forms of media including the net and mobile are following or diverging from the commentariat.   One final comment - ratings for this convention were down from four years ago - in part based on the limited coverage that the networks offered.  But two facts came out of the overnights.  First, the Fox viewership was almost larger than the three legacy networks combined.   Second, something close to six percent of the total viewership on the convention had shifted from cable to mobile or the net.   Those trends are huge.

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