I keep doing this and it never works out. I title a blog with “Blah blah blah, Day 1” and imply that I will write later about Day 2 or 3 or Day 74. I did it with the whole college tour thing. Today I am writing about Day 1 of the Repubican National Convention. Who knows if I’ll even watch Day 2, let alone write about it. But, I did have a few salient (ha!) thoughts after watching some of the Day 1 speeches.
Nikki Haley’s Speech:
I realized Nikki Haley is kinda cute. A tad sexist, I know, but I’m just being honest here.
Ann Romney’s Speech:
Blown away. One of the greatest speeches I’ve heard in a long time. I know her mission was to make Mitt Romney seem more like a regular guy, but the key line was “this man will not fail.” Seriously, look at his career and ask yourself, “will he fail as president?” It’s a hard job so there are no guarantees, but track records do mean something and he has consistently taken on very hard jobs and has always succeeded. You may or may not like private equity as a profession. I wrote about how private equity really works so maybe that will help you. But, I don’t really care what you think about it, here’s something I can tell you with certainty from inside the profession. It is insanely difficult. Many have tried; few have succeeded. For every successful Bain Capital, there are probably 100 firms that have come and gone. Mitt built (without the government’s help) a very successful business in one of the toughest industries there is.
Take this to the bank: Mitt will not fail. I buy it.
Now, back to Ann’s mission – to make Mitt more likeable. As a political matter, I understand the necessity. People vote for candidates they like. So, Ann has to talk about Mitt making her laugh in high school, being a good husband, father, and grandfather, etc. All very touching stuff, but, seriously, why do you care? Chris Christie (more on his speech below) put it best. You can be loved or you can be respected. Jimmy Carter was loved. Ronald Reagan was respected. You choose.
Folks, this is not an election for 6th grade student council president where the popular kid always wins. This is about turning around the largest economy in the world, one that is currently in serious trouble and in need of long-term solutions. The current president, likeable though he may be, has failed miserably. Are you really going to vote for him again because you like him? It may be the case that Obama is more fun over a beer than Romney, especially since Romney’s faith prohibits him from drinking a beer. But, we’re not electing someone to have a beer with. We’re electing someone to fix big problems. Mitt is obviously the guy. Polls show it; data confirm it.
Rick Santorum’ Speech:
I didn’t pay much attention to this guy during the primary and, frankly, my bias was negative. I wouldn’t have changed my support from Mitt to him (see above) had I listened more closely, but I was impressed. I loved his point that if you (1) graduate from high school, (2) work hard, and (3) wait until you are married to have children, you have a 2% lifetime chance of being in poverty. I have no clue where one would get such numbers, but they feel directionally correct and give us a lot to think about.
Chris Christie’s Speech:
Wow, what passion. I love this guy. He will be fighting Paul Ryan for the nomination in 2020. His strongest point was the bit about love vs. respect. ‘Nuff said on that.
But, he also made a very important point about solving tough problems, something he has done in spades in liberal NJ. There are two types of politicians: the ones that tell you you’re going to have to suffer some pain as we solve our economic and budgetary problems and the ones that lie to you. Mitt is the former. Obama is the latter.
Again, the choice is simple.
More after Day 2, uh, maybe……