Mitt Romney the man …. but is it enough

Over the course of the last several days, we’ve heard speeches from various politicians, creating the vision and message of what the Republican party stands for and how they see the future for America, and why Mitt Romney is the man to turn the course for the great ship, America.  Setting the stage for Mitt Romney’s crescendo  Thursday evening, we heard from everyday people whose lives Mitt Romney touched.  If the intent was to downplay the months of discourse trying to paint a vision of an uncaring, robotic, technocrat Romney, then the convention succeeded, I believe.  However, in these very troubled, unsettling times, was it enough to win over voters who are still on the fence, or answer the questions of, in this era’s lexicon, “Romney Democrats.”

Mitt Romney (AP photo)

Romney is not Reaganesque in his ability to communicate.  Reagan was at ease on a podium or in front of a camera.  That natural ease is innate, or the result of years of hard study and practice.   I’ve seen Romney give speeches in smaller venues, where he better connects with people.  It’s that connection and openness, where the trust that he can do the job and is different from his Republican predecessors, is established.  Last night, Romney probably did the best he could in establishing that connection with the nation as a whole.  Romney, himself, has the self-confidence and conviction to lead, but we’ll know shortly if Americans feel the same.

Although I’m in Romney’s corner, admittedly, I was listening for more specifics of ‘what are you going to do to get us out of this mess?’  I daresay, millions watching, were thinking the same.  Romney did lay out five sweeping, general statements, but with an audience of the size that was waiting for his speech, he was short on some of the specifics.  When you’re unemployed, or on food stamps, or watching your home foreclosed, or your business on life support, you’re seeking lifelines you can cling to and believe in.

And unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.

First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.

Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.

Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.

Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.

And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.

In the final weeks of the campaign, Romney has to make the sale.  Generalities in these times don’t work.  We know Romney the father, husband, friend, and church elder.  Now we need more of Romney the planner, the doer, and what the tools are that will move the country forward.  More important than the conventions are the debates, the venue where the “size ’em up’s” will be made, the contrasts between the two candidates drawn, and final decisions made.  For this voter, it’s Romney’s to lose.  Will he, or won’t he, is the question.

 

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