By Ian Duncan
In the midst of classes starting, work beginning, football opening and, of course, tailgating, it was easy for most Vanderbilt students to forget the Republican Nation Convention in Tampa this week. Fortunately, this publication found time to review and analyze the events that unfolded and we found three characteristics that really defined the week.
First, for all the criticism of Governor Romney as an out-of-touch, wealthy white American who has comparatively faced less adversity than others who have accepted the Republican nomination before him, the convention organizers selected a diverse group of speakers who varied in race, gender, affluence, and biography. Seemingly trying to reach out to voters to say “You may not be able to look in the mirror and see a Mr. Romney, but there will be people in his administration and in this party who are similar to you”. Time and again, from the young and humble Mr. Ryan to the Latino Senator Marco Rubio to all the many powerful republican women who spoke, this point was hammered in.
Second, there certainly was some surprises. No one thought Ann Romney would make such a profound speech, and no one thought Clint Eastwood would make such a bizarre one (Invisible Obama apparently is very feisty). The Hurricane wasn’t as bad as predicted, but Ron Paul supporters brought a storm and then some. Overall, everything, planned and unplanned, balanced itself out- and the small extra level of excitement may have helped ratings.
Finally, the convention may have been predictably decisive. All partisans right of centre were more than prepared to answer Mr. Romney’s battle cry against Mr. Obama. The practical politics of public policy at the congressional and state levels were swept aside for words of ideology and personality. Mr. Romney has drawn his line in the sand, and its now in the hands of a relatively small subset of voters to decide his fate.
Overall, this publication views the RNC as good publicity for Mr. Romeny and his party, a chance for the public spot used efficiently. However, next week Mr. Obama and his party, which contains no less amount of power orators and certainly no less diversity, will take the stage and make the case for “four more years”. For the political junkie, its like being a freshmen on frat row the first weekend.
Ian Duncan is a junior in the college of arts and sciences. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org