Somebody Grab A MopDecember 7, 2007
Well, today was the day for Mitt Romney’s much-anticipated (for those who care, anyway) “religion” speech (aka “The Speech”). For the better part of a week, the media and the blogs were discussing this thing, referring to it as a make-or-break political maneuver for a Mormon desperately trying to hold his ground as we enter the home stretch of this race. From the outset, I was thinking that Mr. Romney was banking more on the hype than the content of the speech itself, since this was, in fact, being hyped. Tremendously. I really couldn’t figure out why this was made out to be such a big deal. I mean, what do presidential candidates do when they’re campaigning? Why, they give speeches!
Needless to say, there was a lot of chatter about this today because The Speech finally happened and the various pundits out there had their liveblogging gear all ready to go for the big event. It appeared that just about eveyone had an opinion on this, but the one that stood out above the rest in the category of “largest cyber wad blown” belongs to…Hugh Hewitt.
Mitt Romney’s “Faith in America” speech was simply magnificent, and anyone who denies it is not to be trusted as an analyst. On every level it was a masterpiece. The staging and Romney’s delivery, the eclipse of all other candidates it caused, the domination of the news cycle just prior to the start of absentee voting in New Hampshire on Monday –for all these reasons and more it will be long discussed as a masterpiece of political maneuver.
I’d actually agree with some of that, albeit on a somewhat less enthusiastic level. However the Romney camp did it; whatever calls had to be made, emails sent, or blog entries posted…it certainly did get hyped. It was Mitt Romney day today. Of course, whether that hype pays political dividends is something that remains to be seen.
As for the content of the speech, I’ll say that it was well written but delivered in a manner that lacked passion. It was a speech that, to your average conservative, probably looked good on paper, but watching it I couldn’t help but be reminded of that public speaking course I took in college. You know, the one where half the class falls asleep while your fellow classmates regurgitate the performance they gave to the mirror the night before. It can be summed up pretty quickly: He’s a) a Mormon, b) hopes you’re OK with that, and c) wants you to trust him that he won’t be taking marching orders from some polygamists meeting in secret in barns on some compound somewhere. The rest of it was material that could have been delivered by any of the candidates (including a few of the Dems).
Anyway, I thought I’d close this entry with another Hewitt howler (hey, maybe I could coin that?); after he gave examples of all the prominent conservative pundits that gave the thumbs up to
the speech The Speech, he posted this:
Here are seven of the most influential conservative commentators in the U.S., and their opinions on the Romney success are all aligned with mine. Thus, objectively, the speech cannot be judged as other than an extraordinary success for Romney.
I’m not exactly sure what brand of logic that is. If Romney’s goal for the speech was simply to get glowing reviews from blowhard pundits, he probably could have opined about his love for Cap’n Crunch as long as he bought all seven of them a fully loaded Tahoe for Christmas. Ultimately, positive reviews are never a bad thing, but people have to actually show up at the theater (so to speak) before phrases like “extraordinary success” get thrown around, right? Objectively speaking, that is.
Update: Even the folks at Hot Air are with me on this one, which is kinda rare, actually:
Exit question: Does Hugh need to “sit down”?
LOL. It’s too bad that I can’t comment over there. I was going to say “take a nap”.
Update: Iowahawk parodies Hewitt; definitely worth a link: In My Objective Opinion.