Friday, August 31, 2012
Thoughts from the US Republican Convention 2012
(Image from here).
Earlier today, I turned on the TV over lunch to find a live broadcast on the ABC news channel from the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida. After warm up speaking acts that included Clint "Make my day" Eastwood, among others, I heard Mitt Romney's speech as he formally accepted his nomination as the Rupublican US Presidential candidate.
There were the usual outpourings of adulation from the wildly enthusiastic audience waving flags and signs, and applauding at just about every word that came out of his mouth. A few people there were even in costume. One guy looked like he might have come dressed as Christopher Columbus. I guess it's all part of the atmosphere.
Anyway, I thought Mitt was strong on style, but lacking on substance. I suppose that finer details weren't really necessary because at this point he's just accepting the nomination and quite clearly he was preaching to the converted. He did make a solid attempt to win over women voters, and the low income earners. But he seems to have the idea, in a similar vein to Gina Rinehart's recent comments, that people without much money just need to work harder and start up their own small business to get ahead. If only it was that simple.
And there were plenty of comments from Mitt and the other speakers I heard about repealing Obama's plans for healthcare reform if the Republicans get into the White House. One guy said that having two systems (ie private and public) "hadn't worked in any country it had been introduced in" or words to that effect. I'm not so sure it's been a failure here in Australia. I think it's great that people who can't afford private cover have a free healthcare system that they can access. It's not perfect, sure, but it means everyone's looked after. And a society that shows care and concern for the vulnerable is a good thing, I think.
I didn't end up being won over by much of what Mitt said. And he had this weird look that he seemed to deliberately put on during pauses in his speech when he was looking directly at the camera. A bit smirky and self-satisfied, I thought.
Or maybe it's his name that I can't get past. You know me, small things amusing small minds and all of that. But all along, I've found it rather amusing that his name is also the name of a well-known item of sporting equipment. Or for those of us in Australia, an oven glove.