OPINION – It all becomes real tonight.
For months now, Mitt Romney has been the “presumptive” presidential candidate for the Republican Party. Tonight, in prime time, he gives his first speech since being formally named the GOP’s nominee.
It changes dramatically at this point.
Although he has been taken seriously since early this year, the fact is, now Romney’s got the seal of the Republican Party. How many GOP stalwarts line up behind the party flag bearer remains to be seen.
I mean, there are a few who have, all along, been reluctant to support Romney for a number of reasons. The same, in all honesty, can be said for President Obama.
But what once looked like a slam-dunk win for the Democrats is suddenly becoming a genuine horse race, if the polls are to be believed.
I am only sorry that I won’t have the opportunity to see it all go down.
You see, my wife and I will be doing some hard traveling, driving up the Baja for a return to the United States to take care of public relations and promotion for my book ‘plygs,’ which simply cannot be done from so far away. So, we will be somewhere on the Baja California Sur peninsula when Romney makes his speech.
I am sure that in the ensuing days I will be able to catch up to his remarks online, but it will still not be the same as taking it in live, not to mention the curiosity factor in seeing how, during the convention, Republicans will deal with the maelstrom that has sucked it down the last few weeks.
From dealing with the aftermath of recent statements by Todd Akin, Mike Huckabee, and Paul Ryan to dealing with Hurricane Isaac, this has not been a good time for Republicans.
One, of course, is a natural disaster. The other is totally manmade. The only thing worse that could have happened to the GOP would have been to have signed country singer Randy Travis to perform the national anthem and prayed that he showed up for the gig, sober and clothed.
I don’t think there will be a lot of answers in Romney’s speech tonight. Instead, we will see a lot of finger pointing at the Obama administration and probably more than one play on words using the word “change.”
The conversation? Well, it will be a lot of very rich white folks talking to a lot of other very rich white folks. You and I would merely be party crashers in this world of the über-wealthy. Let’s face it, in that world, we would barely qualify as busboys or as part of the valet parking crew.
There will be a lot of talk about the economy, with the emphasis on the investor and entrepreneur rather than the working men and women.
Talk about women’s rights and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community will be predictable, all geared to pro-life and pro-hetero discussion.
I understand we can also look forward to Donald Trump making an appearance to, as some people are predicting, address the president with his trademark: “You’re fired!” He will surely whip the Sean Hannity – Rush Limbaugh crowd into a frenzy.
But, as a television icon from another era once asked: “Where’s the beef?” Where’s the real meat of the discussion? Where is the real plan, other than to ensure that the rich remain rich and the poor lose even more of the social services vital to their mere existence? Where is the bridge to humanity? I mean, we’ve already heard Romney express how he thinks U.S. military intervention in the Middle East is a good idea, and how we must be prepared to defend our allies, whoever and wherever they may be. The “nuke ‘em ‘til they glow” crowd will be beaming over that bit.
Next week, the Democrats will get their turn, and I expect their speakers and platform will be as repugnant to those from the right as the GOP platform and speakers are to those on the left. It’s how politics goes these days, you know, especially now that we are in the homestretch of what already has been a nasty campaign.
Look, the bottom line is this: I don’t like your guy and you don’t like mine, which is fine and fair. It’s how our political process works, but, frankly, it will come into play even more after the election than during the run-up.
That’s when things will really get interesting.
No bad days!
Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.