Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  GOP DEATH WATCH

Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Ann Romney: Only One of Them Remembers Mitt at the GOP Convention

Even Hurricane Isaac can’t blow away the stench of doom that surrounds the GOP convention. The convention was shortened by a day because of the hurricane, which may have been a blessing in disguise. There are Ron Paul supporters who are incensed at party rules that seem intended to diminish their influence. Paul himself pointedly refuses to endorse Mitt Romney. The party was still trying to distance itself from the Todd Akin mess, even as another GOP Senate candidate, Tom Smith of Pennsylvania, compared his daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy to rape.

So it was up to the speakers to try to revive the party and focus voters on why they should vote for Mitt Romney. On that last point in particular, the night was a flop.

Rick Santorum, the darling of the religious right and a repository of disdain for all things Romney, was true to form during his address, lashing out at marriage equality by linking it to welfare dependency.”The fact is that marriage is disappearing in places where government dependency is highest. Most single mothers do heroic work and an amazing job raising their children, but if America is going to succeed, we must stop the assault on marriage and the family,” Santorum proclaimed. “Under President Obama, the dream of freedom and opportunity has become a nightmare of dependency with almost half of America receiving some government benefit.” (It’s worth noting that single largest segment of these freeloaders consists of people getting Social Security.)

Now Santorum was on display to rev up the right, which remains tepid about Romney. But his focus on social issues doesn’t do the party much of a favor in a election year when they are trying to steer clear of them. It plays to a loud portion of the base, but there’s a reason that Santorum isn’t the party’s nominee, because that portion of the base isn’t the same as the party establishment. Why surrender valuable prime-time real estate to someone who is going to reinforce stereotypes (that happen to be true) that the Republicans are fixated on social issues while the economy suffers.

By contrast, Chris Christie, the husky governor of New Jersey, offered a broader vision for the party–broader not just because of his girth but because he seemed to have been pitching himself as the party’s future. Christie is a Tea Party favorite for his bluntness, and Tuesday night he used the bully pulpit of the keynote address to position himself as, well, a bully. “The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected,” Christie told the delegates. “She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love. Now, of course, she was talking about women.”

In other words, better to be Tony Soprano than Jesus Christ.

In a sign that the party is already thinking about a 2016 campaign that isn’t about re-electing Mitt, Christie laid out a future for the party replete with references to the Founding Fathers, shared responsibilities and his own accomplishments. What Christie didn’t do, at least for the first 15 minutes of his speech, was mention the presumed nominee, which is usually the point of the keynote speech. The verdict from political pundits: “a primetime belly flop,” “off key,” and “disappointing.”

Perhaps the hardest task fell to Ann Romney, who had to deliver a speech that humanized her husband. (By comparison, solving the nation’s deficit problem would be a walk in the park.) Ann comes to the convention with a built-in reservoir of good will, as a breast cancer survivor and an MS patient. But she didn’t exactly knock it out of the park either. She used a lot of rhetoric to try to convince women that the party was on its side. Even a conservative flag-waver like Ramesh Ponnuru called the speech “clumsy pandering.” Ann’s role should have been to be (or at least appear) relentlessly apolitical and warm, and the Romney campaign squandered that opportunity by making her a mouthpiece for ham-fisted messages it wanted to deliver to women. At least she focused on Mitt, which is more than the other speakers did.

The party convention is supposed to be a highly scripted, relentlessly positive and politically sophisticated infomercial for the candidate. So far, the Republicans have delivered mixed messages that indicate that the party isn’t altogether behind the nominee, hasn’t settled on a message and can’t control the egomaniacs and splinter groups in its midst. If that’s a sign of what the fall campaign is going to be like, you might as well start programming your DVRs now to record Obama’s second inauguration.

 

 

By:           John Gallagher
On:           Aug 29, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

  • 7 Comments
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries


      “The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one:

      *
      *
      … You can gobble more with a fork in each hand.

      Aug 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brandon
      Brandon

      The biggest problem with the Republicans right now, is that despite how much they want to tell you the current state of the country sucks, they cant say nearly half as much to convince you of how Romney is the right man to fix it. When it comes to actually Selling Romney to people, they are doing a terrible job. Most of that is due to the fact that they are having a hard time selling Romney to themselves.

      Just look at the whole primary from the beginning, they were screwed from the start. The Tea Party hijacked the whole thing and made the Republican primaries a race to be the craziest backwards conservative of the group. Most of the candidates simply self destructed due the the insane positions they were having to take to appeal to crazy tea part primary voters. Romney is the victor only because he said the least about what he actually believes, and now their part is left with the one busted car still standing after the demolition derby of stupidity is over.

      So now, months later, you have an entire party tripping over themselves trying to find ONE COMPELLING THING to say about the man, and failing miserably. There’s always 2016, and maybe a huge loss will get the moderates of the party a backbone again. But by then they may have Hillary to beat, and lets just say that wont be easy with her having the highest approval ratings of ANYONE on the hill.

      Aug 29, 2012 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      Of course Ann Romney focused on Mitt.. if she didn’t, he might dump her for one of his other wives.

      Aug 30, 2012 at 2:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob LaBlah
      Bob LaBlah

      Condoleeza Rice, so far, is the only speaker who made sense at this sad gathering of what is left of the GOP. I couldn’t help but notice how uncomfortable she looked sitting next to Mittens the other night and even caught a few grimaces on her face when other speakers ranted about the “failed” policies of Obama. Her speech is well worth googling for those of you who might think that the ENTIRE GOP rank and file has gone totally insane.

      Personally, I think about 99% of them have for supporting Mitt. Why not just tell the truth and admit “we have NO candidate this time around whom we think has a snowballs chance in hell of winning”.

      Ann Romney reminded me of Elizabeth Dole’s pathetic attempt (remember “the man I love” speech she gave back at the GOP convention in ’96?) to get people to like that old troll of a husband she is “supposedly” still with (Bob Dole, for those of you too young to remember).

      As you well know, not one mention was made of how to fix the mess Obama inherited from W. that would have not included a full scale depression that would have wiped the one back in the 1930’s off the history book. I would really do wonder if Chris Christy, everyones favorite beached whale, thought about what he was saying when he mentioned his father getting a G.I. Bill benefit and going to school to better himself. Could he have done that without the government handout (in the form of the G.I. Bill)? I doubt it.

      The same goes for tonights former twink (an assumption I do admit, but still) named Paul Ryan, who mentioned how his mother took a forty mile bus ride every morning to go to school and better herself. Did he stop to think how the bus she rode was subsidized by the very government that he thinks is to “giving” to those in need? I doubt it.

      Nor did twinkie mention that the G.M. plant Obama promised to keep open closed it’s doors before he took office. Or what the country would have looked like if G.M. was NOT handed that bailout. Pathetic ranting indeed.

      Let us hope the American public heard what you and I heard and can think for itself. If not, those who need HIV meds and other assistance are going to be in big trouble. Imagine a situation where there ARE NO LIVING WAGE JOBS available and McDonalds, Burger King and the like are asking for B.A. and M.B.A.’s before you can apply on line. Or are we already there and don’t know it?

      Aug 30, 2012 at 4:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      Fuck the 2party system of war, poverty & erosion of civil liberties.

      Aug 30, 2012 at 4:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alexoloughlin
      alexoloughlin

      I find it hard to believe that the Tea Party considers Christie a favorite. He recently called them a bunch of “crazies”. Their favorites are Santorum and Ryan, two extremists.

      Aug 30, 2012 at 8:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MK Ultra
      MK Ultra

      Get over it Christie. No one wants a massive coronary episode as president. Not now and certainly not in 2016.

      Aug 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.