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Somebody Grab A Mop

December 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.

You see, Mr. Hewitt found it necessary to post not one but two gush sessions over this, the likes of which would make Peter North cower in the corner in intimidation:

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.

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13 comments

  1. […] Chenzhen likewise takes a rather superficial tone scrutinizing the speech. […]


  2. […] ‘The Speech’ That Should Sink Mitt Romney Junkyard Blog: Give it a rest already, Hugh Chenzhen: Somebody Grab a Mop Hot Air: Hugh Hewitt: Mitt had an objectively great day, and if you disagree, well, you don’t […]


  3. HAH!! Me gotsa ping =)
    Let’s hope my young little blog ditches its fear of other pings as well..


  4. You know, this was what I was trying to say and couldn’t. Thus my lame entry on The Speech.

    I felt obliged to comment on it, even though my real reaction was to shrug my shoulders and say, “Yeah, it was okay.”

    This was very over-hyped for a good, but not great — much less legendary — speech. After this kind of hype, I was hoping that he’d reveal a cure for cancer, the ultimate solution for climate change, and the Ultimate Question (to go with 42 as the Answer).


  5. Day 2 of expert analysis and deconstructing of The Speech™

    Forget the Mormon part…do we really want a president named Mitt?


  6. Forget Mitt … that’s his middle name. His first name is … well, … shared with a certain TV weatherman who liked to talk about people on their 100th birthdays.

    Yes, he’s Willard Mitt Romney.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you …


  7. Am I the only distinguished member of this group who was outraged by Romney’s scathing remarks to secularists? Am I the only one who was outraged that this candidate got such an unprecedented amount of air-time compared to his opponents? Am I the only one who saw the speech as nothing more than pander-fodder for the fundamentalists?
    Please tell me I’m not the only one…


  8. kip- I try not to get too outraged when I can see right through a calculated maneuver like this.


  9. Transparency.


  10. I am embarassed I know who Peter North is….


  11. I am embarassed I know who Peter North is….

    LOL. Or, what he’s famous for?


  12. I need to stop bringing out the toilet humor everywhere I go….


  13. A couple of choice witticisms on Romney’s speech from the Oregonian Newspaper’s David Sarasohn:

    “In Houston, Kennedy argued, as the Constitution says, that there should be no religious test for office. By contrast, Romney argues that there indeed should be a religious test — but that he passes it.”

    “John F. Kennedy, as a Catholic, went before an audience of conservative Protestants and told them he and they shared the same Constitution.

    Mitt Romney, as a Mormon, spoke to a national audience of conservative Protestants and told them he and they shared the same enemies.”



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