If the Obama campaign was hoping that Mitt Romney would come off as a stiff, unrelatable rich guy last night, they were sorely disappointed. Giving an at-times emotional and often rousing speech to the Republican National Convention, Romney broke through a number of barriers and personal subjects his supporters have long hoped he would broach.
As BuzzFeed's Ben Smith remarked on Twitter last night: "The thing about Romney: He does deliver. This is the speech he needed to give."
From the story about his mother knowing his father had passed when the daily rose he'd leave her wasn't on the bedside table in the morning, to joking about not wanting to go to Hell for losing his Church's money, Romney came off as a more likeable and relatable person than ever before in his career.
He also was able to give a searing indictment of Obama without coming across as mean spirited or overly partisan.
A few of our favorite lines:
"President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family."
"If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him."
As extensive polling and focus groups have noted, the American people still want to like Barack Obama because of the excitement he generated four years ago. But mostly these days they are disappointed in his epic inability to turn the economy around and produce the kind of change he promised in 2008.
Romney's speech was directed at exactly those kind of people.
The best sign it succeeded? The first spin MSNBC's Rachel Maddow could spit out was that he read the speech too fast.
When MSNBC's leading left winger can't come up with anything better, you know it was a good night for the Republican nominee.
(Romney RNC Fist Bump GIF via Buzzfeed)