Friday, August 31, 2012

Romney fails to offer olive branch in speech

Mitt Romney's acceptance speech last night did have some touching family moments.  The convention has been about "humanizing" the candidate and a good deal of the speech was autobiographical.

Let's compare his words with the 2008 nomination acceptance speech of Barack Obama.  Here is a tag cloud generated from the 2008 transcript:

The word that stands out is "promise" and the speech did have a theme focused around America's promise.  Another important keyword is "time."  Obama frequently used the phrase "now is the time" in his address.

Here's a similar word cloud for Romney's nomination acceptance speech from last night:

One of the important repeated words in this speech is "business."   Romney talks about his own business experience and he also makes appeals directly to small businesses.  Another important keyword he uses is "jobs," while Obama instead used the word "work." 

Now as to my personal impressions after listening to the speech last night, it appeared divided into two main parts.  One that told his personal story and the other which attacked the Obama administration.  As a contender against an incumbent, Romney must come out against the president.  However, the speech was weak on Romney's plans to change things if he should become president himself.

The only thing that stuck with me without having to go back and read the transcripts is that he would work to repeal Obamacare.  He did mention other things, but not in a very inspiring way that made an impression on me, at least.

He made what was probably an unnecessary poke at people who are concerned about our environment when he talked about Obama wanting to "heal the planet."

While Obama often referred to "Democrats and Republicans" in his speech, Romney does not mention the opposing party.  He does talk about a "united America," but never reaches out to work with Democrats in the future.

His idea of a "united America" may be hard to swallow for those who have followed Republican obstructionism in Congress.

Independents may see Romney's speech and the night in general as rather divisive.  While there was talk of unity, there was no real hand of cooperation offered.

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