Thoughts on the Republican National Convention...

A few quick thoughts on the RNC after watching sporadically over the first two (full) days:

1. Although I still believe in some form of an 'incumbent advantage' in American politics, I also think that it is a lot easier to generate enthusiasm for the cause when 'the other guy' is in power. This becomes doubly true when things aren't perceived to be as good as they could be. Barack Obama served up a perfect example in 2008 as Bush-fatigue drove a lot of people to vote for 'anyone but another Republican'. Mitt Romney seems to be benefiting from some of the same this time around.

2. While I criticized the Romney campaign over the weekend for not hitting back harder on the Bain issue, it is clear that last week's Op-Ed in the Journal was merely a well-timed opening salvo. During the course of the convention, he has let the hounds loose on the issue of building wealth through success on too many occasions to mention. Romney is clearly not shying away from the fight on this issue, he was merely waiting for the right time to fight back in force.

3. Anyone looking for a neutral analysis of the proceedings should tune in to PBS. While their coverage seems to wrap right as the networks are taking over (it has been 10:00 pm when the heavy hitters come out) it has been a pleasure to see their panel at work. When they interview people, the questions aren't softballs, but they aren't spiteful. They analyze, criticize and even note positives in speeches without being fawning. In short, they are doing what we used to call reporting, and it has been a breath of fresh air.

4. Cynics might have their own thoughts on this, but the Republicans have done a great job of reminding people that there are some members of their party who aren't 50+ and white. This hasn't always been apparent in the crowd shouts we are treated to ad nauseum, but it has been reflected in a very impressive speaker roster.

5. What will most certainly be called the 'We Built It' convention by future generations has made me very excited to see what the Democrats roll out when it is their turn; if you can't get excited about the election during Convention season, you probably shouldn't bother tuning in to anything else in between now and the election.

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