Republican Convention

Parties, the Convention, and Trump

Featured image Donald Trump’s populist uprising has, for some, cast the parties and their somewhat Byzantine nomination procedures in the role of anti-democratic anachronism. Ross Douthat sticks up for the parties: As Donald Trump attempts to clamber to the Republican nomination over a still-divided opposition, there will be a lot of talk about how all these rules and quirks and complexities are just a way for insiders to steal the nomination away »

Celebrating diversity at conventions, then and now

Featured image In 1972, I felt about President Nixon roughly the way I feel about President Obama now. Thus, I was very disappointed by the 1972 Democratic Convention, which seemed to me long on celebrating the Party’s new-found diversity among delegates and short on strong criticism of the Nixon administration. Back at law school a few weeks later, I was eating dinner with a group that included some brand new law students »

A tale of two conventions

Featured image Barack Obama says, correctly, that this election offers the American public a stark choice with respect to policy and national direction. So far, the two political conventions also present clear differences in approach. The Republican Convention was, in some ways, an understated affair. The Party devoted huge amounts of time attempting to show how nice Republicans are, especially when it comes to woman and Hispanics. This time could have been »

Was there a bounce?

Featured image There was, indeed, at least according to Rasmussen: The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns 44% of the vote. . . .Just prior to this past week’s Republican National Convention, Romney trailed the president by two. Today’s four-point advantage confirms that the GOP hopeful has received the expected convention bounce. Romney also has gained »

Dirty Harry revisited

Featured image Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry films have an underlying theme. I would say it is the need to go outside the rules set by the hidebound bureaucrats and politicians of the administrative state to get the job done. Harry Callahan is, after all, a detective in the San Francisco police department. It’s the San Francisco of the early ’70s, to be sure, at least in the first Dirty Harry film, when »

The MSM spins Clint Eastwood

Featured image As Scott has said, reasonable people can disagree about Clint Eastwood’s presentation to the Republican National Convention. I have stated pretty forcefully my mostly negative view of it. But, as Scott has shown, the theme being peddled by the pro-Obama MSM — that Eastwood indulged in incoherent rambling — is false. As such, it should be regarded as a mixture of denial and blatant partisan spinning, mostly the latter. Washington »

Bouncing BeBe [Updated with video]

Featured image The Washington Post looks into the politics of the musicians who performed at the RNC last week: The lineup of musicians scheduled for the big show or affiliated events include some of showbiz’s few vocal Republicans: Country star Trace Adkins and rock star Kid Rock, set to headline concerts at Tampa’s Liberty Plaza, have both endorsed Mitt Romney. Conventioneers inside the hall will hear from the likes of the Oak »

Sudden Impact

Featured image The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza gives his coveted Worst Week in Washington award to Clint Eastwood. According to Cillizza, at the RNC “Eastwood did everything but stick to any sort of script that would have given the audience a shot at understanding whatever point he was trying to make.” Poltico has posted the text and video of Eastwood’s remarks here. The delegates in the hall didn’t seem to have any »

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 »

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 »

“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 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 »

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 »