Monthly Archives: August 2012

Why didn’t the RNC trumpet Clint Eastwood’s appearance in advance?

Featured image Having a mystery speaker at the Republican National Convention was a nice touch for the delegates and for committed Republicans planning to view the convention at home, and many of us had fun guessing who that speaker would be. But surely the bigger priority for the Party was to maximize the television audience for Thursday night. Listing Clint Eastwood as a scheduled speaker would have served this objective better than »

Thanks To Our Readers

Featured image For the month of August 2012, Power Line has received well over eight million page views, the most in our history for a single month. We have a blast running this site. We think we do some good, and we even make a little money. But we wouldn’t have made it to 2003, let alone 2012, without the constant encouragement, feedback and–occasionally–abuse that we get from our readers. So thank »

He would never talk to Gene Hackman like that

Featured image Scott has saluted Clint Eastwood’s appearance last night at the RNC, concluding that it worked. I think it probably did too, and said so at the time. I know that my wife, who is a not a Republican, enjoyed it and saw nothing amiss. For many in the anti-Obama camp, the inquiry ends with the political calculus. But Eastwood’s performance left a slightly sour taste in my mouth. Eastwood got »

A Meme Is Born

Featured image Paul and Scott reacted differently to Clint Eastwood’s performance last night; Scott loved it, Paul didn’t. I didn’t know what to make of it. But it apparently got to Barack Obama; he tweeted in response that “this seat is taken.” So the empty seat (with its own teleprompter) has quickly become a campaign theme. Glenn Reynolds noted conservative mockery of Obama’s seat tweet, and posted this beautiful photoshop by one »

A salute to Clint Eastwood

Featured image I thought there was a kind of genius in Clint Eastwood’s endorsement of Romney in his appearance at the RNC last night. The party conventions have become so controlled and scripted, you have to wonder if we’ll ever see its like again. I acknowledge that reasonable people can disagree about this — the Los Angeles Times calls it “a stunt that may go down in history as the strangest televised »

Turn it up

Featured image Winding into a holiday weekend, it can’t be wrong to remember that Van Morrison — singer, songwriter and artist — celebrates his sixty-seventh birthday today. Morrison is an artist who has absorbed all the strains of American popular music and recapitulated them in his own unique voice. Born in Belfast, he stands shoulder to shoulder with the greats in the pantheon of the Cosmic American Music. Beginning with Astral Weeks »

Explosive Confrontation In Jerusalem?

Featured image The Blaze reports on the continuing deterioration of relations between the Obama administration and the government of Israel: The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot headlined its Friday paper “The Confrontation” with a photo of Netanyahu on one side and President Obama alongside U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, on the other. Veteran diplomatic correspondent Shimon Schiffer reports that during a private meeting last week, Netanyahu very undiplomatically attacked Obama and his »

Joe Biden Offers Interesting List of Swing States

Featured image As regular readers know, I have had quite a bit of fun with the shrillness and dishonesty of the Democrats’ many fundraising emails. Today, however, I got one from Joe Biden that is worth noting for a different reason. Biden writes: John — If we win this election, it will be because of what you did in moments like this to help close the spending gap. Because this is real: »

The Question for Mr. Obama

Featured image The Economist nails it with their cover question this week: From the text: Three million more Americans are out of work than four years ago, and the national debt is $5 trillion bigger. Partisan gridlock is worse than ever: health-care reform, a genuinely impressive achievement, has become a prime source of rancour. Businessfolk are split over whether he dislikes capitalism or is merely indifferent to it. His global-warming efforts have »

“A bundle of wasted opportunities”

Featured image That’s what my friend Bill Otis calls Romney’s speech: I thought Romney’s speech was a bundle of wasted opportunities. If the idea was to introduce “Romney the good family man,” to soften his image as a rapacious Bain capitalist, the idea was all wrong and poorly executed to boot. It was wrong first because it buys into the Democratic idea that the country wants and needs a President “who understands »

The One Line To Rule Them All

Featured image I generally agree with Scott that Romney’s speech could have been a lot stronger, and still had the same personal structure and done what he wanted to do with it.  Who are his chief speechwriters, I wonder?  Is it the same crew (McConnell and Scully) that did Paul Ryan’s speech?  Of course, much of Ryan’s speech is harmonious with, and drawn from, Ryan’s many previous speeches, which adapted easily for »

Short on Cause

Featured image Abraham Lincoln thought long and hard about the intersection of politics and principles. In his Temperance Address of 1842, he admonished his audience: When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and true maxim that “a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” So with men. If you would win a man »

The Bar Wasn’t Very High, and Romney Cleared It Easily

Featured image I agree with Paul’s brief comments last night about Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech. Under the circumstances, Romney was more than good enough. With the exception of the last moments of the speech, he wasn’t as impassioned as he is on the stump. His speech wasn’t as crowd-pleasing to the delegates as Paul Ryan’s or some of the others, because it was soft-edged and lacked red meat. But the delegates, and »

How High Was the Bar?

Featured image So how did Mitt Romney do tonight? I think it depends on how high the bar was. If he needed to deliver a virtuoso performance, it didn’t happen (that was last night). If he needed to portray himself as a decent, highly competent guy who would make a solid president, I think cleared that bar. I don’t believe he needed a virtuoso performance. Given Romney’s solid speech, Paul Ryan’s great »

Marco Rubio’s speech

Featured image He sounds flat to me. Is it because I’ve heard him many times before, including some of the same lines? Is it because I’ve listened to too many speeches this week? Or is Rubio simply coming up short? What do you think? JOHN adds: I thought he was great. I had heard a lot of it before too, but I thought he came across very well. I think most people »

Clint Eastwood’s speech, or whatever it is

Featured image Actually, I would have preferred it if the Republicans had not tried this stunt. Eastwood is combining some solid common sense and some pretty good humor, with some howlers and poor taste. My position on actors in politics is the same regardless of which party tries to use them. They shouldn’t have speaking parts at this high level. But right now, the real question is how Eastwood went over with »

Romney and the Olympics

Featured image Excellent testimonials from Olympic stars. Mike Eruzioni captain of the 1980 Miracle on Ice team does a nice job of praising Romney. But Derek Parra, a speed staking gold medalist from the 2002 games that Romney saved, is the show stopper, with his recollection of the opening ceremony in which he carried the tattered flag that had flown at the World Trade Center. That’s two powerful themes — the Olympics »