The speech turned out to the best written, best delivered, and most appealing that Romney has ever delivered, at least in my presence.
He passed the convention test impressively. His speech is likely to propel Romney and running mate Paul Ryan out of the convention with momentum and maybe even with a bounce in the polls.
And, at least tacitly, he laid down a challenge to President Obama that went something like this: “I’ve got a plan to stir the economy, create jobs, and halt America’s decline. Where’s yours?” If Obama fails to offer one at the Democratic convention next week in Charlotte, the whole country will be aware.
Romney has a knack for coming through in stressful political situations. In the primaries, he improved his skill as a debater when rival Republican candidates were attacking him in televised debates. His speeches got better. He became a better candidate. If he hadn’t, he probably wouldn’t have won the GOP nomination.
He followed the script for the convention flawlessly. He criticized Obama, but not harshly. Like other speakers, he suggested that voters had good reason to be excited by Obama in 2008. But the president had let them down by not following though on his promises of progress on the economy. So as actor Clint Eastwood, a surprise speaker, said, “When somebody doesn’t do the job, you’ve got to let them go.”