Mitt Romney did a competent job of presenting himself as a competent candidate Thursday night. He humanized himself, presenting a side of himself that most Americans had not seen, and he competently delivered the standard conservative critique of the perceived shortcomings of Barack Obama in largely positive, unthreatening tones.
He also didn’t keep the fact-checkers busy deep into the night, as his running mate Paul Ryan had the evening before, largely because his speech lacked details or specifics. That’s fine; he and his speechwriters had clearly decided to hit on big themes and to stress the candidate’s softer, more humane side, and again, they succeeded in doing so. But I’m doubtful that the American people came away wowed by the performance or by Romney himself.
The talk of the night, instead, focused on Clint Eastwood and his empty chair. They were clearly the weirdest tandem of the evening, which is saying something when Newt and Callista are also on the bill.
– Jay Bookman