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Ryan, Rice Warm up the Crowds at the RNC

Posted on the 30 August 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost

Mitt Romney is going to have to turn on the charm in his RNC speech. Mitt Romney is going to have to turn on the charm in his RNC speech.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has to give perhaps the most important speech of his life Thursday night, at the final night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Florida.

His performance comes on the heels of electrifying speeches from his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, and former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice – the crowd is primed, but can Romney, who has been accused of being a flesh-covered robot in the past, deliver?

Why is this speech so important?

It’s certainly not the last one Romney will give before election day in November, but it is probably the most important, Brian Montopoli reported for CBSNews. “Successful acceptance speeches can give candidacies a major lift coming out of the convention, as demonstrated by the boost enjoyed by George H.W. Bush in 1988 and Al Gore in 2000. And while Romney is unlikely to see a huge bump in this era of a dramatically polarized electorate, a good speech could help him gain crucial ground ahead of next week’s Democratic National Convention.” Of course, his reception from the Republican delegates at the convention is likely to be positive: “It’s the rest of the country that’s the far larger challenge.”

Mitt has an empathy gap – but is it a deal-breaker?

Romney faces a significant “empathy gap” as compared to President Barack Obama, Montopoli reported for CBSNews: “most people simply don’t believe that the wealthy former Massachusetts governor understands the problems they face.” But does that matter, as Montopoli noted, voters also say they trust Romney more on the most important issue – the economy? Maybe. While some political analysts claim that it’s that one issue, the economy, that will decide the election, others point to the fact that past three presidents were widely seen as being elected on their likeability.

Five tips for Mitt

Maggie Haberman, writing at, offer Romney some advice on how to maximize his effect: Pitch his own, “bold” plans and show voters the path forward; avoid too harsh criticism of Obama, which may turn independent voters away; voice his disappointment in Obama, which may strike a chord with voters; name regular Americans with whom he has connected on the campaign trail and their circumstances; and talk about his father. “If Romney were to change his approach Thursday night and explain what his father meant to him, what he learned from him, how he taught him to be the man he has become — with details, and some emotion — it would add more definition to the candidate than anything else he’s done so far.”

He’s not Obama

Romney is trailing Obama in likeability, but not by much, Michael Barone noted at right-leaning National Review Online; he’s likely to use his speech at the RNC to show his “human side”. But in this election, likeability might not actually matter as much as it has in the past – and Romney’s most important characteristic is that he’s not Obama. “This year, people want something different. Romney offers that. Obama offers more of the same. Emphasizing that contrast, the Romney people believe, is a winner.”

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  • Jared Diamond shames Mitt Romney

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