The Carmel Pine Cone, of course. Clint Eastwood speaks:
AFTER A week as topic No. 1 in American politics, former Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood said the outpouring of criticism from left-wing reporters and liberal politicians after his appearance at the Republican National Convention last Thursday night, followed by an avalanche of support on Twitter and in the blogosphere, is all the proof anybody needs that his 12-minute discourse achieved exactly what he intended it to.
"President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," Eastwood told The Pine Cone this week. "Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that's what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle."
In the first post-convention poll I've seen, Mitt Romney's national preference poll number has jumped 6 points since before the convention. Rasmussen has the race at Romney 48%, Obama 44% while Obama led by 2 before Clint Eastwood asked voters to "make my day" and let Obama go.
Since the link looks like it is to a continually updated page, I will excerpt:
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. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.
Just prior to this past week's Republican National Convention, Romney trailed the president by two. Todayís four-point advantage confirms that the GOP hopeful has received the expected convention bounce. See daily tracking history. Romney also has gained ground in the swing state tracking results updated daily for subscribers at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.
The swing-state tracking shows Romney and Obama even in Virginia, Colorado and Ohio, Romney trailing by 4 in PA and 6 in MI but leading by 1 in Wisconsin, 2 in Florida and 5 in South Carolina.
Honestly, I wasn't sure how Clint Eastwood's rambling appearance would play with voters, though I knew immediately how it would play with most Beltway types. For me, it was, without doubt, the most entertaining convention speech in memory -- hell, the most of any political event. But let's concede for the sake of argument that Eastwood's performance (with an empty chair as a prop) at the Republican National Convention is all the terrible things that Democrats and many in the media have been saying it is[...]
I have watched Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's speech three times now. I fear one more trip to YouTube might result in a restraining order.
But it struck me what the quintessence of the speech was. Of course, it was a superb and heartfelt speech, artfully delivered. If you can avoid corneal hydration during "the little girl from segregated Birmingham..." part you are broken.
Beyond even that, though, it occurred that Condi is the bridge from the Old GOP to the new. She represents the best of what President George W Bush (43) left us. The Sharanskyite appeals to the universal appreciation for liberty, American Exceptionalism -- American Greatness.
I harbor less antipathy toward our previous nominee than some around these parts, but Senator McCain's address was awful. He was preaching bellicosity to an auditorium of war weary Republicans to just-barely-polite applause. Rice was Reaganesque about American leadership without conjuring up mental images of Abu Ghraib and Karzai corruption.
I don't want to go back to No Child Left Behind, President Bush, Rep. Tom Delay, and Speaker Hastert, but the party did not begin in 2010. Rice bridges the best of both. The party of Lincoln.
You are now about to witness the strength of reason
Verse One: Paul Ryan
Straight outta Rand, crazy m*********** named Ryan
From the gang called GOP
When I'm called off, I take the gloves off
Rhyme a syllogism, and bodies are hauled off
You too, Walsh, if ya f*** with me
Mitt Romney gonna hafta come and get me
Off yo ass, that's how I'm goin out
For the punk m*********** that's showin out
Progressives start to mumble, they wanna rumble
I throw the math and they cry and stumble
Goin off on a m********* like that
with a sharp brain that's pointed at yo ass
So give it up smooth.
Ain't no tellin when I'm down for a rational mind move
Here's a budget rap to keep yo thinkin
with a debt like that, you should be blinkin
Reason is the tool
Don't try and call me no m********* fool
Me you can go toe to toe, no maybe
I'm knockin liberals out tha box, daily
yo weekly, monthly and yearly
until them dumb m********* see clearly
that I'm down with the capital R-A-N-D
Boy you can't f*** with me
So when I'm in your neighborhood, you better duck
Coz Paul Ryan is logical as f***
As I leave, believe it, I'm manned
and when I come back, boy, I'm comin straight outta Rand
The Refugee will commit the cardinal sin of a commentator by assuming that the reader knows what he's talking about. But, if you haven't been watching the RNC, then you won't have a clue. In more ways than one.
Huckabee: Surprisingly good warm-up act
Condi: Electric, goosebumps, misty eyes
Susana: Future Republican ticket. The only question is which line.
Ryan: Red meat, direct, real
The evening buoyed The Refugee's hopes for November. Way premature, but we've got a shot.
As a matter of logic, of course, an endorsement from the candidate's spouse ought to be heavily discounted. And while a lovely wife and family is one measure of a man's success, it doesn't ensure that he will be an effective leader. Obama is a case in point. But if the Democrats are going to take the tack of making Romney out to be some kind of beast, it doesn't hurt to have a beauty make the case for him. -- James Taranto
I admit to a restrained giddiness at the prospect of a Clint Eastwood cameo speech at the Republican convention, but I also found myself wondering how it would help win votes to have an angry old white guy give another speech endorsing Republicans. I can't see it moving the needle here in Colorado. Then I read Investors' Editorial page and learned that, beside Wisconsin, another midwestern state is in play.
No GOP presidential candidate has carried Michigan in almost a quarter-century, and four years ago Obama won here in a 16-point landslide. This November, however, Romney sees Michigan as ripe for a pickup.
Most polls show Obama leading here narrowly, but Romney strategists point out that their man is nearly tied with the president before the TV ad war between the campaigns has even begun. Michigan is one of 11 states where the Romney campaign is fully staffed with a battleground footprint and money flowing in.
And having just filmed a famous television commercial for a Michigan automaker, who better to connect with those "socially conservative Reagan Democrats in Macomb county" and the "2.4 million Catholic voters in Michigan" many of eastern European descent? The theme: The first half hasn't gone very well. We're not moving the ball, much less scoring points. For the second half, let's try a new quarterback.
I'll dispense with the trajectory of my appreciating Peggy Noonan, save to say it went way up once. And it stayed there for some time.
But she was a gifted speechwriter, and her opinion -- on a speech -- seems worthy.
The opportunity Ann Romney missed was to provide first person testimony that is new, that hasn't been spoken, that hasn't been in the books and the magazine articles. She failed to make it new and so she failed to make it real.
Iím not sure her speech was a loss but it doesn't feel like a gain. We'll see. The real reaction to a highly publicized speech emerges not overnight on twitter but over days and weeks as people chat in the office and on the sidewalk in front of school. So we'll see what they say, we'll see how it bubbles up.
What? She's kinder but just as strange to Gov. Christie. But I don't know...
I want to tell you they marched out of the hall Tuesday night on fire for their side. But I was there and they did not. They walked out like people who weren't quite sure what to think or how to feel but were hoping for the best because they love their country. A lot.
She was there and I was not. But my lengthening embarrassment of belonging to "the stupid party" halted and was regressed last night. That Republican Party I saw. The one with Govs. Haley and Sandoval and Christie. The one with Ted Cruz and Ann Romney. Yessir, that's the stupid party for me! I'll say it once and say it loud -- I'm a Republican and I'm proud!
If she was there in Tampa (I don't doubt she was there but suspect she may have written it off the written text so that she could earlier get to sleep or do body shots at Homocon, I dunno). If she heard Ann Romney on the floor in that mutual affection that came through the TV. If she missed that, it really is over between us.
I watched far too many of the speeches last night. However, I was struck by one thing. The Republican party has changed more in the past four years than perhaps any other four year period in my lifetime. All of the familiar voices of the party from previous years were absent. And Romney is a sharp, sharp contrast with Bush and McCain. In some ways, I think that Romney is a throwback to the Republican party of his father. However, in embracing Paul Ryan and the other younger voices in the party, he seems to be ushering in a new era.
The new voices are young, diverse, and predominantly fiscal conservatives (that latter characteristic may or may not be due to the current state of the economy and the national debt). I hear countless pundits claim that the GOP is the party of white people, and especially white males. However, the leadership within the party is becoming (has become?) very diverse. One is tempted to argue that this was staged to make them look more diverse. Perhaps to some extent. However, in these speeches, I didn't hear token Republicans talking. They were talking as much, if not more, about ideas as they were Romney, Ryan, or the party.
And, of course, Ann Romney was fantastic.
The other highlight for me was that when I was watching the early speeches, I did so on PBS. Newt Gingrich came on the set and stuck around to talk about the speeches and it was fantastic watching the speaker tear apart the liberal talking points of the PBS hosts. For example, one of the hosts mentioned the point about the Republican party being predominantly white and the speaker asked the host, "have you even been watching the speeches? Does this look like a parade of white males?" and proceeded to rattle off the names and heritage of a number of the speakers. He also had a great line about diversity when one of the commentators on PBS said that Romney couldn't win Hispanics because of his draconian view on immigration. I am paraphrasing, but Newt said something like this: "I understand that immigration is an important issue, and especially so for Hispanics and admittedly there are differences within the party on the issue. But regardless of the party's stance on immigration, at what point does unemployment become too high? At what point do gas prices become too high? At some point, people of all races and genders have to realize that the president has failed and failed critically at an important time in this nation's history and frankly I think that is far more important to people right now than any other single issue." Ah, the speaker is his proper role...
That was the Drudge headline after Ann Romney's speech on the opening night of the GOP convention. I heard it, and it's a good fit. Here are some highlights:
Iím not sure if men really understand this, but I donít think thereís a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!
And thatís fine. We donít want easy. But these last few years have been harder than they needed to be. Itís all the little things -- that price at the pump you just canít believe, the grocery bills that just get bigger; all those things that used to be free, like school sports, are now one more bill to pay. Itís all the little things that pile up to become big things. And the big things -- the good jobs, the chance at college, that home you want to buy, just get harder. Everything has become harder.
Weíre too smart to know there arenít easy answers. But weíre not dumb enough to accept that there arenít better answers.
That was 42 years ago. Now we have five sons and 18 grandchildren and Iím still in love with that boy I met at a high school dance.
I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a "storybook marriage." Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or breast cancer.
A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.
I know this good and decent man for what he is -- warm and loving and patient.
But let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next president:
No one will work harder. No one will care more. No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live!
It's true that Mitt has been successful at each new challenge he has taken on. It amazes me to see his history of success actually being attacked. Are those really the values that made our country great? As a mom of five boys, do we want to raise our children to be afraid of success?
Do we send our children out in the world with the advice, "Try to do... okay?"
And let's be honest. If the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this attack on Mitt Romneyís success?
Of course not.
This is the man America needs.
This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can't be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.
I canít tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment: