THE MIDNIGHT MAN
The Republican National Convention is upon us and Mitt Romney’s time has finally come. The RNC is a celebratory but serious four-day event filled with three days of speeches from Republican Party leaders culminating in the Republican Presidential nomination of Romney. After a long and hotly contested primary period where Romney was constantly pressed and challenged by his rivals, the RNC will serve as both a validation of Romney’s candidacy and an outlet for the American people to hear and understand his vision for the nation.
Though Monday officially marked the beginning of the convention, Tuesday’s “We Built It” day is the true start of the events. With a focus on President Obama’s claim that “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,” Tuesday’s speeches will likely stress the American ideals of individualism, smaller government and reduced regulation in the private sector. The speaker list is long, featuring Congressional leaders and Republican governors in key swing states. But the two most important speeches will be delivered by Ann Romney and the RNC’s keynote speaker, New Jersey Governor and Seton Hall School of Law alumnus, Chris Christie.
Expect Mrs. Romney, a gifted orator, to personalize her husband, helping Americans understand who Mitt is away from the campaign trail. Mrs. Romney will also likely attempt to appeal to women and tell them that if Romney is elected, their interests would be safely protected under his administration. Women voters always play a key role in presidential elections and Mrs. Romney’s speech will aim to close the gap between Obama and her husband.
Gov. Christie, a rising star in the Republican Party, will almost certainly go on the offensive as only he knows how. Never one to shy away from controversy, expect Christie’s speech to present harsh truths about President Obama’s administration that the media tends to downplay. Look for Christie to highlight how smaller government is successful as long as the person in charge is willing and unafraid to make tough and unpopular decisions. Finally, expect the governor to speak to Romney’s background as a successful businessman who will make the tough decisions to fix the broken American economy.
Wednesday’s “We Can Change It” day marks the official rise of Paul Ryan as the future of the Republican Party. While the speaker list is impressive [former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 2008 nominee Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Govs. Bobby Jindal (LA) and Susana Martinez (NM)], the night will be about the vice presidential nominee. Officially announced as Romney’s running mate only a few weeks ago, Ryan is considered to be one of the most knowledgeable and informed Congressman regarding our country’s budgetary, fiscal and healthcare issues. Already proven to be an adept public speaker, Ryan’s speech probably will attempt to explain to Americans the stark contrast between the Romney-Ryan ticket and the Obama-Biden ticket. Ryan likely will focus on how Romney’s ideas and solutions will bring America closer to its founding principles of smaller government and individualism, and that four more years of Obama will lead the country down an unprecedented path of “debt, doubt and despair.”
Thursday’s “We Believe in America” promises to be an important and historic day for the Republican Party. In the 7 p.m. hour, Newt Gingrich, Romney’s fiercest rival during the primary season, will lend his support to Romney. Gingrich’s support is important, as his followers represent a portion of the party Romney struggled to connect with during the primaries. During the 8 p.m. hour, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will re-emerge on the national political scene, delivering a speech specifically focusing on the importance of fixing the educational institutions in the United States. To begin the 10 p.m. hour, Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) will introduce Romney. Rubio is Republican Party’s new leader amongst the Hispanic-American population and represents an important link between America’s fastest growing population and the party.
After Rubio’s introduction, Romney will step up to stage and deliver the most important speech of his lifetime. While Romney undoubtedly will stress the differences between his and Obama’s vision for America, the most important objective for Romney is to relate to the American people. For the better part of a year now, Romney has been unfairly cast by the media as out of touch with the common American, more or less because he is a self-made millionaire who does not need to work two jobs while struggling to live. Romney’s speech will surely appeal to the Republicans in attendance and watching at home, but it is the degree to which his words connect with independent and undecided voters that will ultimately determine the success of his address.