So, after three days and nights the Republican National Convention, what did we learn?
Marco Rubio is a very good speaker, with a huge future. Chris Christie is also a rising star, with a very old-fashioned message of self-sacrifice unusual in today's climate. Ann Romney is the new Republican sweetheart, and Condoleezza Rice is, if anything, more respected and beloved in the party then when she left office.
The party also made a real and concerted effort to court both women and Hispanic voters, crucial moves, but moves that may not have any effect if the party's policies continue to make a majority of both groups unhappy and uncomfortable.
You simply will not be able to win the presidency in America without tremendous support from those two constituencies in the future.
As for the candidates, both Ryan and Paul acquitted themselves well, smooth speakers who are confident in their message. That message itself was clear in its aspirations, but not so much in the method by which they'll be achieved.
Romney did more tonight to explain his plan, with his five points toward prosperity, but even those were more goals than blueprints. The strategy here was an election plan, with no thought to governing, and the idea was the same throughout the convention.
Pound Obama. Pound unemployment. Pound the deficit.
Fair enough, they are real problems.
But swing voters may want to hear more about what Romney will do differently before they reject Obama.
The grade for the convention overall? B, I think.
That, at least was what I got from an occasionally warm but rarely hot crowd of Republican devotees. Romney can win this election, but he's going to have to do more than he's done so far, to convince the swing voters not to vote against him, and perhaps, to convince some Republicans to get off the couch and vote for him.
Your plan, Mr. Romney. You have to share it if you want to win, and we haven't heard it yet.
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