Sunday, September 2, 2012

Talk to the Chair

By Charles Cullen

It's never good to get upstaged on the night you accept your nomination to run for President. It's even worse if you're upstaged by a seemingly unhinged elderly man, engaged in a lively debate with a chair. But that is exactly what happened to Mitt Romney on the night he was set to give what (to that point) would be the most important political speech of his career. Clint Eastwood put on a bizarre and somewhat offensive display that took too long, and shifted the media focus from Mitt (who actually acquitted himself quite well) and onto the sometimes impromptu ramblings of a very good actor/director. And, as it turns out, absolute train wreck of a convention speaker.

This was supposed to be Romney's hour but the damage had already been done by the time he entered the spotlight. He took the stage too late, when all but the people who were going to vote Republican no matter what had turned off the television, and delivered a perfectly passable acceptance speech. He'll never reach the oratorical heights of President Obama, but few can. The real problem was that night, and the next day, people were talking about and trying to figure out just what the heck Eastwood was doing. The comedy shows had a well deserved field day with Eastwood's antics, and the rest of the media was left scratching their collective heads.

Most, including NBC political reporter Chuck Todd, reckoned that Romney's only path to victory was to increase his popularity among "Undecided" voters, despite most polls showing that there aren't enough truly undecided voters to put Romney in the White House.

Lies, money, and voter suppression are the only way Romney wins this race. And judges around the country seem to be trying to keep an eye on voter suppression.

That doesn't mean every good Democrat should take the race off. In fact, they should work like hell to get the President re-elected. But a couple of days of joy at the damage done to Mitt Romney can certainly be excused.

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