A lot of people seem to love Condi's speech. I must admit I don't always come away with the consensus view. I had thought that Christy's speech was kind of good-as far as it went. But it's been almost universally derided.
I do agree that it didn't have much to do with Mitt Romney and I laughed at that headline yesterday that read Ryan Speech Interrupts Christy Campaign.
I 100% agree that Christy's speech was a Eat Your Spinach speech. Of course that's the GOP way. No matter how much we suffer, they are always the ones who worry that we've had it to good that the-virtually nonexistent-social safety net is "becoming a hammock."
While I don't like the premise, it is largely what Republicans believe. What I guess they try to avoid is packaging themselves as Scrooge, in the 1970s Jude Wanniski taught them to be a different kind of Santa Claus.
Christy didn't sound like Santa Claus on Tuesday. Worse of all, he said that respect matters more than love-I certainly find that unappealing as many do.
Yet, I think that what's unappreciated in Christy's speech was a certain genius. It was inspired to come from the standpoint of saying that, he's a Momma's boy, his Mother's son. The reason this is brilliant is it disarms us somewhat.
Because saying that what matters is respect not love, that maybe love comes later but first there must be respect is a very masculine, indeed patriarchal idea. It's the severe Daddy, who doesn't ever really love us quite like Mom does.
So if he had explained this as the tough lesson that his Father taught him it would be too much. But he makes it clear that the important authority figure in his life was his Mother not his Father.
He goes as far as portrays his upbringing as Matriarchal, as female-dominated. According to him, his Mother set the rules, gave him his standards, his Dad largely was just another passenger along with the kids. This is subtle but it makes the listener more open.
We may not trust Daddy. We may suspect him of not loving us, or at most loving us conditionally. But we believe Mom loves us unconditionally. So we know her rules are based on love-they are for our good, not to hurt us or trick us.
I'm not saying I like Christy's tough love spiel. But starting from his own Mother is clever and more effective. Basically he learned the Daddy Code from his Mommy. This is the rather inspired twist.
Yet, his speech has mostly been given the raspberry. What gives? Part of it it politics. Christy, it seems, came in having stepped on some important toes. The icing on the cake was that Ny Post piece where people close to him argue that Christy didn't want to be VP and sees Romney as probably losing.
And then, the speech was all about him. I notice people are comparing it unfavorably with Obama's 2004 speech, and saying it's like Clinton's 1988 speech which was universally derided as being way too long. Yet notice that both Clinton and Obama went on to win the next election, so what does it all mean?
Ryan's speech on the other hand, was preordained to be great-whether it was or not. So was Ann Romney's. In many ways the Republican job would be a lot easier if this were the pre Internet era, maybe even pre Cable. Yeah, I know, they have Fox. So probably their Golden Age for messaging was the late 90s-when they had Fox, but prior to MSNBC and all the liberal websites.
In the network era with just the big three, if the networks colluded, it could give the GOP a virtual lock on media opinion.
Those who didn't like it had no alternative outlets to get their information. They need the media to agree with them that the Ann Romney and Paul Ryan speeches were epic, historical, even. They aren't getting it.
So how about Condi? Everyone seems to love her speech. I notice that Christ Matthews, who was one of the few who agreed with me that the Christy speech was decent, loved Condi, ate her up with a spoon.
I was less than impressed. What she really conjures up for me are the memories of George W. Bush's saber-rattling. I listen to Condi and I can smell her passion for more foreign entanglements and adventurism, more Iraqs, more red meat for the NecCons.
Seeing as we've just gotten out of Iraq, and are finally winding down in Afghanistan, is there really more appetite for more Bush style hawkery? I sure hope not.
And that's what I hear when I listen to Rice. On the other hand when she talks domestic policy, I feel like she doesn't know what she's talking about.
What is her game? Some have suggested that this might put her in line for running for Governor in California-oh, God! Tell me no. Not that I live there but I was hopeful we wouldn't have another Republican Governor in California for a while at least.
What I also notice about her is that she was chiding people about "still blaming George W. Bush" the other day, and in her speech last night she did everything she could to try to get him some credit. She argued that the President has to at least share credit for killing Bin Laden with Bush-though he said back in 2003 that he was not all that concerned with "just one person"-Romney too, back in 2007 didn't see it as very important. Now they uncharitably claim that anyone could have done what the President did.
She also tried to get Bush some praise for "three trade agreements." I also see that Jeb Bush has been on this recent jaunt about how Obama needs to "stop blaming my brother."
Evidently, he plans to actually demand this in his speech tonight and claim that we should want more like W in public life. He went so far as to claim that Obama needs a spanking-if only I were kidding.
Jeb ought to ask himself if it's just Obama that blames his brother. The American people still rightly see it as his policies rather than the President's that got us here. The GOP knows this-why else is Bush himself not allowed anywhere near Tampa?
When you have to tell people to give Bush credit, clearly he doesn't deserve any. What a contrast with Bill Clinton-whom everyone wants to be seen with today-sometimes it seems, especially the Republicans themselves.
He more or less now seems to be their favorite person in the world-and they have a pretty high estimation of Hillary Clinton, to boot.
I guess there is a thin line between love and hate. You'd never know to listen to them, that they tried to destroy this guy every day of his Presidency, right up to achieving a party line impeachment vote over his private extramarital affair.
Yet, we're to believe that it was an golden age of bipartisanship. Truth is, as Clinton says himself, they said and did everything to 'Clinton they now do to Obama.