Friday, August 31, 2012

No surprises this week in Tampa, Fla. None likely in Charlotte, N.C. either

I have a confession to make. I didn't even bother to watch the speech Thursday night in which Mitt Romney formally accepted the Republican nomination for president, knowing full well that its content wouldn’t make much of a difference in the overall tone of the convention.
ROMNEY: Let the campaigning begin

The Republicans wrapped up their nominating convention Thursday night making it clear that this is the anti-Obama campaign for all the people whose hang-ups are such that they’d vote ABB.

CONSIDERING THAT THE Anybody But Barack people have been raging for the past four years, as far as I’m concerned the past week has been just more of the same.

If anything, the most interesting thing to happen this week was the comment by a pollster that tried to discredit the people who have been pointing out the factual errors espoused by Romney supporters.

“We are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,” was what that pollster said, sort of. It’s actually a truncated take on what he said that kind of exaggerates what he literally said. But in a way isn’t that far from what he actually meant.

Kind of like whenever someone quotes Baseball Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher as saying, “Nice guys finish last.”

POLITICAL SPIN HAS become so much a part of the campaign scene that some people just can’t envision doing without it. They’re certainly not going to listen to any version of reality other than their own.

So I didn’t need to really hear what Romney had to say to know it will follow the party line. Which means his speech given Thursday night was just the capstone to the abbreviated schedule of events that really amount to nothing more than an over-glorified political pep rally.
OBAMA: Gets his chance next week

We’re all hearing now about how the speech given Wednesday by Romney running mate Paul Ryan was nothing more than a series of exaggerations meant to make Obama look so bad that everybody in the convention hall would get all riled up and go back to their home districts and turn out the vote as heavily against Barack as they possibly can.

Although it seems that in Ryan’s case, the exaggerations were more a matter of omission – leaving out the factual details that would have made an anti-Obama argument much less convincing.

ALL OF WHICH should have been expected. The reason I can’t get all excited and angered about these tactics is that it is fully what I would expect from a Republican nominating convention being held in today’s political climate.

I’m not even all that upset by the moment when delegates persisted with drowning out a Republican official from Puerto Rico; chanting “U.S.A.” and “Get them out!” so that nobody would hear her speak. Or the incident involving convention attendees who threw peanuts at an African-American camera operator for CNN as though she were a caged animal

 It’s just more of the nonsense that comprises the modern-day nominating convention. I didn’t expect anything better. To tell the truth, I’m not expecting anything of any more substance next week when the Democratic National Committee holds its nominating convention in Charlotte, N.C.

We’ll get a bit of the Obama love-fest (although nowhere near the level of “Hope and Change” with Greek columns in the background that we heard and saw in 2008), and constant reminders of how a Romney victory would result in a massive undoing of every single policy measure that Obama has tried to implement.

THERE IS AN element of truth to that. There are some GOPers who are viewing this as an attempt to erase the Obama presence from our society (and, quite possibly, our history books).

But the point being that neither convention is going to give us anything resembling “high-minded” rhetoric. It’s all going to be a batch of trash talk – leading us into the two-month period leading up to Election Day when the campaigning kicks into high gear.

As if it hasn’t been intense enough to date.

This week’s nominating convention, along with the one coming up next week, are both going to fit firmly into what has become the theme of Election ’12 – Which candidate do you hate the most?


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