Romney Opens Up, but Not Completely

  • Share
  • Read Later
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / GettyImages

Mitt Romney pauses while speaking during the final day of the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Aug. 29, 2012 in Tampa, Florida

In Tampa on Thursday night, Mitt Romney delivered what was probably the best, most effective and most revealing speech of his life. But the bar for that achievement was low. And while Romney was smooth, warm and at times endearing, his speech was not quite the command performance that might solve the lasting problem of his personal image.

To his credit, Romney touched multiple subjects that had seemed almost taboo, and had contributed to a sense that he hasn’t presented an authentic self in this campaign. He made a rare mention of his Mormon faith, quickly dispatching the fraught topic with a graceful, light touch, noting that his faith “might have seemed unusual or out of place” when he was growing up, “but I really don’t remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than which church we went to.” Message: No big deal. Most voters probably agree, but may also have appreciated hearing Romney finally identify that elephant wandering around the room.

(PHOTOS: The Rich History of Mitt Romney)

When it came to Bain Capital, Romney gave his best-yet account of that much-maligned firm, reminding people that his early business career was not without risk. He mentioned that his father had been born in Mexico, a potentially confusing fact to some voters, but another example of shedding welcome light on his previously murky biography. (To be sure, Romney wasn’t completely transparent: He had almost nothing to say about the centerpiece of his political career—his time as governor of Massachusetts.)

Romney also spoke touchingly about family life, raising children, and heaped loads of praise and admiration on his wife, Ann—continuing a key theme of the convention that mothers are overworked and underappreciated. Romney may hold this belief strongly, but he’s also surely aware of Obama’s daunting lead among women.

(PHOTOS: Republican National Convention 2012)

The rest of Romney’s the speech was a fairly familiar case against Obama’s record at home and abroad. Much as Paul Ryan did last night, Romney described Obama’s failures more in sorrow than in anger. He suggested—probably with swing voters in mind—that electing Obama in 2008 was understandable, but that it’s now time to try something new. “Hope and Change had a powerful appeal,” Romney said, adding: “You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.”

(MORE: Will Romney’s Convention Speech Change the Campaign’s Tone?)

Romney also seemed to invite voters to empower themselves. To a nation that feels frustrated and even impotent, he suggested the prospect of decisive action. “This isn’t something we have to accept,” he said. “Now is the moment when we can do something,” Romney said. “With your help we will do something.”

There had been much talk in Tampa about whether Romney would finally “open up,” reveal himself in a new way that might change his image. That didn’t happen. (A biographical video aired in the convention hall before his speech was a more effective window into his life, especially when coupled with powerful live testimonials from fellow Mormons about his unrecognized good works. But all of it preceded the network’s live coverage and therefore went unseen by millions of voters.  The video at least should have filled the slot given to Clint Eastwood’s downright bizarre performance.) But Romney passed on the opportunity to tell tear-jerking tales about, for instance, his wife’s health battles, or his own brush with death after a severe car accident.

(VIDEO: RNC Buzzwords: A Political Word Game)

Still, Romney presented something close to his best face. He seemed a softer, realer figure than usual. He is not and probably never will be a star on the political stage, however. If he beats Barack Obama in November, it will be because of the case he makes about the American economy, not because America has fallen in love with him. That simply may never happen.

MORE: Mitt’s Moment: Can Romney Finally Open Up?

TIME’s new book, The Essential Voters Guide, offers a revealing look into the 2012 presidential campaign.  Learn about the hot-button issues and get to know the candidates and their families.  Get your ringside seat to the election here (www.time.com/votersguide

57 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Keepinitreal50
Keepinitreal50

The Romney plan is clear enough… Spew blatant distortions and misinformation to a lazy media who will repeat them often enough to become “facts”.  The Ryan-style math of his budget doesn’t tally, his flip-flops on major issues are pathetic, his job creation record as Governor was awful and his accomplishments as Olympic organizer overblown.  What remains is Bain capital and all the personal wealth he amassed, yet he still refuses to release his tax returns. 

 

The Republican “plan” has no foundation in principle, truth or even rationality.  This etch-a-sketch candidacy will fail.

imagine_peace
imagine_peace

Rommey is an accomplished man with many success business

stories to his name.  He took failing

companies and brought them to life and prosperity.  He designed and crunched numbers until they

made sense, and brought the expected profit to him.

 

I have yet to find a story where the human capital of those

companies was taken into account.  In

most of his success business stories, human beings welfare was neglect able

(except himself of course), and I have not seen much compassion for the human

consequences of his profit-oriented decisions.

 

Does someone’s life style change from 100.000 million to

200.000 million?  Human solutions could

be a more expensive that market solutions, yet human beings are the ones that

sustain the economy, both at the production and consumption levels.

 

How fast we forget Obama’s inauguration, when Bush handed

him over a country going through the worse economic crisis in US history, which

translated into real human despair through out the country.

 

We need economic solutions that would improve the whole,

they exist, and they are possible.

 

 

 

  

 

ahandout
ahandout

So, when is Barry going to "open up"?  Let's start with Reverend Wright.  20 years is a looooong time to not really know what your MENTOR stands for.  What a joke Time is, along with the rest of the liberal media.  Open up...Barry and the media cover up Barry's past.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

Am I the only one who has noticed the wing-nut Republikkkraps

have never tried to attack Obama's "character" the way they did with

Clinton? 

 

Then again, their nominee is a member of a white

supremacist polygamous cult that thinks 40 year-old-men marrying 13-year-old

girls is OK. 

 

So it's not a stretch that they would haul up an

actor who’s had a palimony suit and multiple baby-mammas .

 

The look on Ann Romney's face during Eastwood's

speech was PRICELESS. You'd think a drunk old uncle was spoiling her husband’s

funeral.

 

The only thing missing was Sarah Palin, talking

to an end table.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

   Spin

it any way that makes you feel better: the fact is that Eastwood was

the best thing that could have happened to Obama in the GOP orgy of

self-adoration.

Mr. Obama couldn't BUY a gift like that!

Mitt "Don't Let Fact Checking Get In The Way" Romney in the White House? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!

Thanks, Clint "“Do you just—you know—I know—people were

wondering—you don’t—handle that OK" Eastwood!  Real Academy Award-worthy

performance!!!

GOBAMA 2012!!!

Citizentobe
Citizentobe

Boo, boo......I am sorry. you lame duck!

GoldenGir1
GoldenGir1

Just because you have the ability to bash and talk trash about your opponent does not prove anything about you. You have to prove that you are of substance and worthy of the job you are trying out for.

So far, you have failed miserably Mitt.

Anyone can talk cr!ap about others. Only the leaders can provide solutions of feasible scenarios and proper calculations. Obama hasn't been doing too well, but Romney has yet to show us anything.

Richard Giles
Richard Giles

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that Romney and the Republicans are owned and controlled by "the money", the 1% of the population that they cater to.  Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, Bachmann, McConnell and others have consistently demonstrated it in their stubborn concentration on "the money's" interests and their arrogant focus on their own political ambitions, no matter what the costs to the people.  Norquist, Cheney, Rove, the Koch brothers, SuperPacs and others make it clear as they use the 1%'s mega-millions to coerce their own to assure unity behind "the money's" interests, to recruit and sell "puppet" candidates who will perform as their "strings are pulled", and to constantly bombard the people with their propaganda.  The deceptive propaganda alone is proof enough but that takes people checking their emotional loyalties so they can't be conned and instead see reality.

The Republicans have become cocky confident after being emboldened with past successes in the manipulation of the "conservative" Christian (2000), the Swift-boat propaganda (2004), the Tea Party movement (2010) and the flooding of Wisconsin with many millions in that states recent recall election; all being well designed, well directed and well funded efforts to sway voters in the same single direction.  Their confidence represents their surety that they can take the people for granted, insultingly assuming that the public can just be used as "pawns", to be manipulated by the abundant subterfuge paid for by "the money' - with nowhere in there being any honest concern for the people's interests.

Romney leaves no doubt as he cultivates the substantial support of "the money",  collecting mega- millions while promising his support for their interests - once again catering to exactly those who caused our problems.  Romney's demeanor, attitude and history all identify he is part of the 1%, is focused on serving their interests and won't and can't really understand the needs of the majority - he very apparently feels above that and without the humility to relate to those needs.  He offers the people nothing but criticism of Obama and the arrogant request "I know how, just trust me" but without a history to show he even cares or that he can move beyond the interests of "the money".

It is up to the people, the voters with their first challenge being to resist the aggressive and substantial efforts aimed to use them, to con and manipulate them with the abundant mega-millions spent on bombarding them with propaganda.  If the majority can't look beyond the subterfuge to see reality, to recognize that "the money" is trying to use them for their own purposes and that there really isn't any concern or conscience for the people, then we are just apt to be returned to "more of the same", Bush-Cheney style, and once again incur the drastic costs there for the majority.  

The people need to see that while reducing spending, the deficit and "big government" are worthwhile goals, they aren't the source of our problems and actually, are simply the intentional distraction to keep attention from what is the cause of our problems and what they want to assure continues - that being the exploitation by "the few" allowed by permissive and co-responsible politicians, encouraging run-away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence, resulting in the repeated crises that not only brought our economy down but also spread around the world.  When the people clearly see the 1% are constantly feeding their insatiable "more" (never enough) appetite while substantially costing the 99%, as is proven by their constant gains and the majority's continual losses, then maybe the voters will refuse to support it, refuse to be propagandized and instead totally reject their "puppet" politicians who just subordinate themselves to "the money's" interests.  This really isn't about "conservative" versus "liberal", or even about Romney versus Obama, it is about the survival of the middle-class.

wyl5326
wyl5326

I could relate to Mitt who don't want to call attention to oneself, just like most conservative Asians too. Media's bias coverage even faults his campaign for not showing the authentic testimonials when it is their failure to find out the real Mitt without himself parading his own great character ! I could only attribute his reluctance to talk about himself as a product of his trying to live by his religious faith without talking much about it. The difference between Barack and Mitt's religious practice is clear now and I could even indict that Barack used his church attendance to network and gain acceptance as a brother but pretends not knowing anything much about his racist flame-thrower Pastor ! Barack was then forced to threw him only under the car when videos ultimately surfaced  ! That is the complete difference between Barack and Mitt in their religious faith ! I think it is high time for media to do a comparative in-deep study to find out who is more an authentic person between the 2 protagonists. One thing is sure though, Barack was first one who threw attack ads and he even personally participated and dragging down his Presidency to unprecedented low level ! He even coined the term Romneyhood ! Media should challenged him about hearing my coined term of Barackhood and Obamahood and asked him about his own reaction to those coined terms !  

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

Barry "Barack" Hussein Soetoreo-Obama gets caught flat-footed yet again.  

Rushing to change his schedule, Barry is found zipping through the skies headed for Louisiana to see what he could do to help out with all the flooding.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

JohnnyReason
JohnnyReason

It's interesting that Romney went into his grandfather's history in Mexico. But, of course, he didn't mention why his grandfather emigrated there from the U.S. -- to practice polygamy with impunity at a Mormon compound. Red State America would spit out its drink over that one.

wyl5326
wyl5326

Mexico have Civil War then that forces his Grandfather to escape to US !

MrObvious
MrObvious

No they wouldn't, they went from Herman all the way through all the other candidates before the sighed and saddled for Romney. He could be found a flaming homosexual that think going 'commando' is to do the gardener in camo and they'd still vote for him.

Talendria
Talendria

"...a potentially confusing fact to some voters..."?  

Are American voters really that stupid?  If so, the voter registration process needs to include an IQ test.

borisIII
borisIII

How many hours did the Republican party give speeches without stating what policies Romney would promote to fix the economy?  None, because he would lose the election.  You know the Republicans are desperate when their campaign slogan is from a sentence Obama said that was taken out of context.  They ain't got nothing.

Obamarrhoids
Obamarrhoids

What?????  All the Republicans have been talking account is the economy.  Are you even watching the convention? While Obama is vilifying Romney because he was mean to his dog (even though Obama ate one) and of being successful in business (as if that's bad) and accusing Romney of killing a working man's wife (most vicious political ad ever), Romney and Ryan are talking about real issues.  Stop being a sheep and think for yourself. 

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

People like MrObvious go to bed at night going "baaaaa  baaaa   Baaarack".

LOL

Stupid people will always follow blindly, that's why we have liberals.

outsider2011
outsider2011

 That's probably just his rash.

He isn't aware of irony

MrObvious
MrObvious

Stupid people will always follow blindly

Right

Rod the irony must be burning.

MrObvious
MrObvious

You need to stop mixing and matching your talkingpoints. Obama never made fun of Romney strapping his dog the the roof; other people have. And Obama have not faulted him for being a succesful businessman, in fact most people are charitable in the praise - what they note is that Romney in his success sure managed to destroy a lot of middle class jobs.

wyl5326
wyl5326

you obviously did not saw TV news video documenting he did and even drew laughter from his over-juice followers !

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

Yes he did.  You as usual LIE.

Only a week ago, it was the Romney campaign crying foul and Obama’s team lamenting the demise of political humor after the president made a joke about the Romneys’ now-infamous 1983 drive to Canada, during which the presumptive GOP nominee crated the family dog on the roof of a car.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://bostonglobe.com/news/po...

MrObvious
MrObvious

Well, Obamarrhoids, by your ID it seems that the notion that you're 'thinking for yourself' is somewhat of an overstatement.

Bain was good at saddling companies with debt and even when they failed they made sure they got their fees - socializing all the costs to you and me and capitalizing all the gains.

Obamarrhoids
Obamarrhoids

I'll say this to you too. Stop being a sheep. Think for yourself. Romney created many more jobs at Bain Capital than they took. They started major companies like Staples for example. Business fail sometimes; that's not Romney's fault, that's life. 

djamerican
djamerican

Romney is a policy free zone, waiting to be filled by any prevailing GOP fad.  The real power in the house is Ryan.  Ryan has toned down some of his beliefs by claiming that Romney is top of the ticket, but Republicans have undeniably moved to the right and many Americans dont want to follow them there.   If you want to unseat an incumbent, you need to offer a bit more than 'give me a try because I'm not the other guy.'  The Presidency is far too important for that.   The 2008 hype that swept Obama to office was ridiculous, no one could have lived up to the Hope and Change promised, but people were genuinely tired of politics as usual.  Obama has had a mixed record at best, but he was dealt a dreadful hand by the Wall St suits who crashed the world economy.  Is the US going to turn to one of their ilk to restore economic and political purpose?  Really?

Romney is not an orator.  That should not be a fatal flaw.  But, by design, he is a mystery within a conundrum within a riddle.  His recent international jaunt was an unmitigated disaster.  His tax affairs are glossed over.  Mitt the Governor is supposedly no indicator of Mitt the President, so what is a voter to do?  The choice of 2012 is not Romney vs Obama, but Not Obama vs Obama.  That is clearly an inadequate state of affairs and the GOP needs to add some definition before November.

Citizentobe
Citizentobe

Andrew Crowley: Are you stupid or what. Your piece is so lame and shallow!

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

If you're going to be rude, at least get his name correct.

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

One thing Obama has that Romney will never come close to.  Obama has that "cool" factor going for him.  

But, how many "cool" guys have failed miserably at what people "hoped" they would achieve at?  More times than not.

America has been built by the "steady Eddies".  Those that get up everyday, each day and go do the job.  Working tirelessly at jobs day in and day out.  

Obama doesn't have a clue as to what that kind of life is.  What REAL job has he ever done before going into office?  ZILCH.  Obama represents exactly what this country doesn't need right now.  A showy politician with absolutely no experience.  No integrity.  No character and no substance what-so-ever.  

Flowery speeches are great when you are down and out and someone just bombed the Twin Towers in New York.  But that's not the deep hole we are in right now.  The hole we have allowed people like Obama to dig, needs REAL leadership to get us all out of.  That's Mitt Romney.  

wyl5326
wyl5326

Barack may have the cool factor, but he has no authenticity but only full of Words as Hillary correctly warns us in '08 and lots got fooled by him as a different one ! Yes indeed, he is a different kind of Snake Oil Salesman that can even sell ice to Eskimos !

wagedronenumber9
wagedronenumber9

The hole we have allowed people like Obama to dig, needs REAL leadership to get us all out of.  That's Mitt Romney.

It takes a pretty might leap to believe that a guy who made his fortune leveraging debt on to the companies he bought is the REAL leadership that can deal with the federal debt. What is he going to do? Streamline the park service and then sell off all the national parks?

wyl5326
wyl5326

Start by cutting huge waste in Budget that piles on year after year and nobody knew how much it have grown. We can try to go with zero-based Budgeting and see how much was really need yearly instead of just adding an assumed inflation rate to old budget figures ! That procedure has built in waste and over the years will be so huge ! Look at how GSA that manages empty office buildings with huge budgets that allows them to hold seminars in Vegas at that !

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

Ah yes, leveraging debt.  Obama has "leveraged" debt onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.  Is that what you mean?   

Obama's only plan right now is to tax the very rich.  But when  you look at those numbers, it means NOTHING.  Obama is spinning a class warfare scenario to get more votes.  It's not a plan and he knows it.  For someone to say not less than 4 years ago that raising taxes during a recession is the worst thing a President could do, to today calling for the wealthy to pay out more in taxes.  It just doesn't add up.  

No one is calling for selling off our parks or national forests.  No one is calling for dirty air and water.  Those are all scary talking points from democrats just like you.  

What is Obama going to do?  He hasn't proven anything, and demonstrates he doesn't know what he should do next.  

wagedronenumber9
wagedronenumber9

I'm talking about how Romney earned his money off making the companies he took over to assume massive debt to cover his investments up front. 

Streamlining the park service and then selling the parks would be exactly how Romney ran his business.

When 25 of the 100 companies with the highest paid CEOs paid less in taxes than what they paid their CEOs, then there is an obvious need to change tax rates. Giving special tax breaks to the rich for being rich is class warfare.

http://www.latimes.com/busines...

jason024
jason024

You make it seem as Mitt has a sterling record as a leader. Yet he messed that up as well. Even past GOP MA governors say his tenure was a failure. Come on man we get it you hate Obama and liberal ideas.....just don't say Romney is the leader we all have been looking for when he is not.

wyl5326
wyl5326

show me the money instead of just relying on another politician word from other party ! Budget and school records can't be faked !

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

Got any links to back up your claims?  I don't see anything.

Todd Jones
Todd Jones

When your convention is built around a lie "You didn't build that" you know your candidate is in trouble...

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

Romney has trouble revealing both of his faces at the same time. It must be confusing even for him.

AfGuyReturns
AfGuyReturns

He could try "smoke and mirrors"....

The "mirrors" would definitely help him do that.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Not a bad speech but I think what Clint pulled will be on peoples lips more then this one.

outsider2011
outsider2011

Romney doesn't open up, because frankly - there's nothing inside. 

wyl5326
wyl5326

actually it is Barack who is empty and Hillary correctly warns us in '08 that he is all WORDs and nothing more and results now shows that Barack is really an empty shell and giving us Solyndra fiasco, together with GSA employee seminars in Vegas and other exotic hotels they have t fly to !  Number of employees attending seminars numbers in hundreds and just calculate the waste they have been bilking the taxpayers with no holds barred !

cent_fan
cent_fan

He's simply painted into a corner.  The political calculator chip in his brain is about to short and burn because he can't reconcile what he has to do and say to keep the big donors happy with what can be printed in bright lights by the Democrats if he reveals anything more about the intended direction of the country.  Open the parks for drilling, open the markets for any game in town, drop us into a shooting war with Iran to boost defense spending and citizen "loyalty", bring back legally binding indentured servitude, apply a theological litmus test to all governance even if the result is counter to most theological teachings...  These things he can't articulate until he's locked in the chicken coop with the farmer's gun.

JamesTee56
JamesTee56

Here is an analysis that uses polling in twelve swing states to show which Presidential candidate currently has the greatest chance of winning in November:

http://viableopposition.blogsp...

outsider2011
outsider2011

 That's just Rusty saying he can't refute your post, but he's angry you made it.

Don't mind him.

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

You've heard the analogy I'm sure that everyone has an opinion, right?

Ahra Ah
Ahra Ah

this charlatan will start another war just to cover the mess at home. they all promise the world before the election , all of them but lets see if he can and will deliver any one of them and if he can not will he undertake to resign within one year ? 

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

MC, given this post’ title (did you write the title or did someone else? That’s been an issue here before), it’s possible Romney did open the kimono as best as he could …with the obvious exceptions of the tax returns and his church stuff, of course. So what you saw was it. Maybe he really is a Blade Runner replicant learning human emotions as best as his programming allows. We’re not seeing / reading many stories of his wild side. Maybe there is none. Ann did her best to show his best side, but short of literally unzipping the Real Mitt on-air is there anything left to show?

ERenger
ERenger

We want to see Magic Mitt.