This was one of the stranger opening days to a national political convention anyone can recall, but better safe than sorry. A storm system is nothing to mess with, and Isaac was no exception.... Of course, it really does call into the question the need for a four-day long convention. It's way too long. These confabs will surely get shorter in the future. Two days is plenty.
It also brings up the question of whether Mitt Romney lost a day he really needed. Romney is no closer to honing his all-over-the-map message. The sooner the convention gets started for real, the better off the Republicans will be. Maybe. Romney and the other convention speakers need to crank up the volume at this dog-and-pony show. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is sure to add some hot sauce to the gathering tomorrow night. How many ways can the bombastic GOP governor jab the president in one speech? We shall see...
And finally, New CNN polling numbers have Obama up by four in Florida and keeping it tight in North Carolina (Romney has a 1-point lead there) where the Democrats party next week. In a couple of weeks we'll know for sure if North Carolina is worth fighting for, or whether to just check off that state for Romney. Here is the link to the new CNN polling numbers.
by Ken Bazinetvia mobile edited by Amanda Lilly8/28/2012 2:06:43 AM
As GOP gets ready to officially make Romney the Republican nominee, it's interesting to look back and remember all the "not Romneys" who became front runners, if only briefly. Bachmann. Perry. Cain. Gingrich. Santorum. They'll be good soldiers for the GOP this fall, but don't be surprised to hear their harshest criticisms of Romney again -- in ads for Obama.
by David Morrisvia mobile8/28/2012 1:33:58 PM
Fun little fact - If Romney wins the White House, he'd be the first president elected with sons in 24 years. Last one was George H.W. Bush in 1988.
by Rich Sammon8/28/2012 5:56:37 PM
GOP is really hitting hard in Tampa "switchers" who voted for Obama in 08, but are with Romney in '12: t.co #kipcvn #gop2012
Call me a cynic, but the roll call of the states should be waived when the outcome is a foregone conclusion. As it is this year. As it is almost every four years. No drama means no viewers. That's why the networks are down to an hour of coverage a night. Can we please cut to the chase?
by David Morrisvia mobile8/28/2012 8:10:52 PM
On the tube, Mitt Romney's first appearance at this convention, hugging wife Ann Romney after her speech, seemed remarkably subdued.
by David Morris8/29/2012 2:34:31 AM
Chris Christie milks his "New Jersey Republican" roots after rousing bio video. He quickly has much of GOP convention crowd smiling. #kipcvn
In case you missed it, here's Governor Chris Christie's keynote address at the 2012 Republican National Convention last night. Kiplinger's David Morris notes that Christie's speech will be a tough act for Romney to follow on Thursday night.
by Amanda Lilly8/29/2012 2:34:47 PM
GOP wants convention to spotlight Romney, domestic economy and conservative values. But some attention, perhaps from Huckabee or Ryan tonight, should be paid to troops in Afghanistan and the many who have returned from Iraq with special medical issues.
by Rich Sammon8/29/2012 4:07:24 PM
In terms of firing up delegates and drawing distinctions between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee is the hit of the Republican convention so far. "I care far less about where Mitt Romney takes his family to church than I do about where Mitt Romney will take this country."
by David Morris8/30/2012 1:51:28 AM
Nice reception for Condi Rice in the convention hall. She immediately put her ntl security creds out front in her remarks. #kipcvn
Paul Ryan ceded the high road to Mitt Romney tonight. The GOP vice presidential nominee clearly played the roll of attack dog, straddling the line between budget geek and bomb-lobber. Sloppy at times, Ryan took aim at President Obama's economic policy, called him a failure as a leader and suggested a Romney-Ryan ticket could repair the standing of the U.S. abroad.
It was political red meat, and the GOP faithful loved it in the convention hall. Now Romney can play the good cop and keep his remarks positive tomorrow.
In a bit of a twist, the best speech of the night by a prospective candidate in 2016 doesn't go to Rand Paul. Not even close. Condi Rice swept the awards for tone, style, content and best speech by an unexpected contestant. She took on foreign affairs and she took a whack at domestic politics. It was powerful oratory worthy of a stateswoman. Condi's back.
Sen. John McCain earns mention for taking on an issue that has not gone well for Romney: Foreign affairs and national security. McCain called out Obama for failing to act with more resolve during the Arab Spring uprisings, but neglected to mention the late Osama Bin Laden.
by Ken Bazinetvia mobile edited by Amanda Lilly8/30/2012 3:35:11 AM
Message to both parties: You KNOW soaring Medicare costs must be reined in one way or another. So tell it straight, stop blaming each other.
The roll out of potential GOP candidates for 2016 and beyond resumes tonight when former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush takes to the podium. One of the real surprises in the 2012 cycle came when Jeb made the decision to skip this election.
Speculation as to why he took a pass ranged from it was too soon for another Bush to run for high office to President Obama is too popular in all the right states to unseat. It has, nonetheless, not kept Jeb Bush from playing the role of the conscience of the GOP. From immigration reform to the need for a bipartisan solution to the debt debacle and the nation's economic woes, Jeb has been out front in urging his party to do the right thing.
Now Mitt Romney will need Bush and a few other powerful Florida Republicans to help him secure victory in the Sunshine State. As we on the political team at Kiplinger have maintained for months now, if Romney doesn't win Florida, he doesn't win the White House.
by Ken Bazinet8/30/2012 9:54:35 PM
Romney and Ryan kick off the post-convention phase of the campaign Friday in one of the three states they need to win in November to oust the incumbent--Virginia. The others: Florida and Ohio.
by David Morris8/31/2012 12:30:41 AM
Romney notes Obama's lack of business experience. "Jobs to him are about government."
by David Morris8/31/2012 2:56:46 AM
The speech may pivot, and it should, but it still seems like a recitation of growing up, business credentials, not reaching out to national audience.. Romney may run fall campaign as near full anti-Obama campaign. It's a gamble. May work. May not.
by Rich Sammon8/31/2012 2:56:48 AM
Romney's focus on the sluggish economy is smart politics. He needs to keep that focus as the campaign moves forward if he is to overcome the powers of incumbency and a big gender gap.
by David Morris8/31/2012 3:11:14 AM
The Romney speech bounce will be similar to an old tennis ball your parents played with in the 1950s on honeymoon at tennis court at country club resort in Niagra Falls. Great then. Some bounce is still left. Question is from GOP convention is can this tennis ball compete in the 2012 U.S. Open? Obama team already working lines for Charlotte convention.
by Rich Sammon8/31/2012 3:54:02 AM
No rest for the weary: Mitt Romney headlines rally in Lakeland, Fla. today before heading to Louisiana to survey storm Isaac damage. #kipcvn
Expect to hear and see a lot more biographical information from the Romney campaign in the next few days. The consensus is the "getting-to-know-Mitt" content at the convention in Tampa was strong and came off very well. They'll build off that on the stump and in radio, tv and Internet ads. Paul Ryan will play a lead role in talking up Romney's past, but don't be surprised if you see some surrogates touting the candidate, especially in ads.
A lot of political observers have been shaking their heads, asking the question "what took you so long?" The line that Romney doesn't like to talk about himself is perhaps misplaced humility -- at least in this political arena, where blood sport dominates the dialogue and sets the tempo. Team Obama had a free shot at Romney for much of the late spring, detailing a darker and secretive side of the GOP nominee. Romney will try to use a huge cash advantage and a controlled autobiographical narrative in ads to climb out of the hole that Team Obama dug.
But, it certainly won't be all touchy-feely biographical ads and speeches out on the campaign trail.Team Mitt is getting some traction with it's small business ads that attack President Obama's you "didn't build that" comment. There will be much more of that.The theme Obama didn't keep his promises that emerged in Tampa will find it's way on the airwaves soon, too. Medicare ads that claim Obama is gutting the system are also in the works.
Both candidates are going to lob nasty shots at each other until the polls close on election day. Conventions are upbeat gatherings, but this election is going to mostly be traveled on the low road.
by Ken Bazinet8/31/2012 2:23:01 PM
President Obama's team is busy rewriting speeches and recasting tone for Democratic Convention following Republican. The Kiplinger team will be in Charlotte as well. Please join us for non-partisan judgment and analysis of what's happening and where we see it going in the fall.
by Rich Sammon edited by Amanda Lilly8/31/2012 3:29:57 PM