Any one still have doubts that Mitt has the goods? If you didn't watch last night's acceptance speech by the next President of the United States, we have the full video posted over at Blogs4Mitt. Before you answer the question, watch the speech.
Last night was the first night I actually watched more than the headline speech. I watched off and on for, I dunno, an hour and a half or so before Mitt's speech. So I caught all of Clint Eastwood's er, what would you call that? Stand up routine?
I know people are defending Eastwood, but it was just .... sad. I was embarrassed. Not by the implied "go f*ck yourself" jokes. I don't think those were inappropriate. It was the delivery. He just seemed like an old man who couldn't get his thoughts straight. Which is sad on so many levels.
Mostly it was embarrassment for him. He really is one of the greatest Hollywood has ever produced. To see him reduced to this? Whoever decided to put him on stage without a script needs to be fired. I hope that if and when I ever begin to lose my faculties that no one will think it a good idea to hand me a microphone. It's a matter of dignity. And I'm pretty sure this is why Nancy Reagan kept Ronnie out of the spotlight during his twilight years.
That was the only bummer of the night, everything else was excellent.
My favorite speech of the night actually came from someone else who was ill prepared to appear before millions of people. It was the couple that was in Mitt Romney's congregation, the ones who had lost their son. The husband was a retired fire fighter and you could tell he was way nervous. [UPDATE: SH found the video and I've added it below]
But unlike Clint Eastwood, the veteran professional actor who you'd expect a smooth delivery from, this guy's nervousness actually made the speech better. And when he starts reading his wife's lines and you can kind of see her quietly trying to get him to stop, it was priceless.
When he was talking about his son's death and Romney's involvement in helping them? I just lost it. It was touching.
I guess two can play the Oprah game. But unlike Obama's handlers who I expect will march people on to stage telling stories about how Obama saved them because of this or that government program, these people had been actually touched by Romney personally. This is real human interaction, not the phony interaction of "caring" President through the medium of government bureaucrats.
It was a home run in the Shackleford household. If you didn't see the speech I'm talking about, you really need to. I can't remember the name of the couple, but if you find the YouTube video do me a favor and drop a line. UPDATE: Video added below.
But I came out of last night feeling energized. Which was the whole point of the affair. It worked.
I know some of you have been skeptical about Mitt's conservative creds, but do you have any doubts now? If you do, I would suggest that you aren't being fair.
Normally, one would expect last night's speech to be the one where the Republican candidate began his turn towards the center. But it wasn't. Mitt covered every conservative theme on the books. It's because Mitt really is a conservative, not the moderate some naysayers suggest.
Over the summer I spent an evening with one of Mitt Romney's former aids who happens to be an old friend of mine. We talked about where Mitt was politically. If I understand what he was saying correctly, Romney is certainly more conservative than, say, a George W. Bush on most issues and definitely more than a John McCain.
While he's certainly to the left of me, I've never thought of myself as anything other than on the libertarian fringes of the party. Think of a Ron Paul guy tempered by a little thing I like to call "reality". In other words, I don't necessarily consider myself in the mainstream.
And if I would go all Chris Matthews last night and get a serious tingling sensation up and down my leg as Romney articulated the greatness of America as not lying in government programs, but in the liberty to pursue our own economic interests free of government control -- then we have to give credit where credit is due: Mitt Romney isn't just an acceptable candidate, he's a damn good one!
And I'm guessing he'll be a damn fine President as well.
UPDATE: Here's the video below that I was talking about.
UPDATE: And apparently Ed Morissey and Byron York agree about the moving story of the Oparowskis. But it wasn't just the story, it was the fact that they came off as real people. Not just some teleprompter reading partisans.
I'll also add that Geraghty over at NRO agrees with me about Romney's knockout of a speech.