I knew very little about Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota going into this event. I knew he was well-liked and respected. This was another chance for me to listen and be educated. I really was open minded with each of the candidates, looking to see which one would have the "IT" factor, the leadership qualities, and the rhetoric I could support.
He was greeted very warmly by the crowd. Not the rock star reception of Trump, but definitely with more excitement than anyone else before him. He immediately launched into some of his standby stump stories about his family legacy before turning on Obama. "Obama has failed the American people!" In reference to the jobs report, "You can't solve a crisis if you don't see the crisis. And Obama doesn't see a crisis!" He quote Reagan a few times. (Actually all of the speakers quoted Reagan multiple times. Reagan hasn't been quoted this much since we was in office himself.) Romney also said he wants to return many federal programs to the states and private sectors. (Can I get an AMEN!?) "I believe in the principle of limited government." He also spoke on balancing the budget and free enterprise.
Don't be fooled by the girl taking the picture, Ron Paul did not have a hundred people taking his picture. She just got in my way as I took the shot. More than half the audience left when Mitt did.
While I did find Pawlenty to be a good man, he was lacking the it factor. He was good like my favorite college professor was good, but he was not a commanding presence, or charismatic like Trump or Romney were. The it factor was the only thing that got Obama elected. I'm pretty sure everyone was blinded by his charisma, and didn't hear a word he was saying. (Otherwise, what were they thinking?)
From the notes-
"Obama's fluffy rhetoric doesn't fill the tank or feed the children."
He got a huge applause when he said he was running for POTUS.
He wants to phase out ethanol subsidies (he said with a quick apology to those from Iowa). I wanted to stand on my chair and cheer when he said that!! I hate how much of our country is run on corn, not because it is best for us, but because Iowa is the first caucus state, and it gets the most kickbacks. Kudos to Pawlenty for standing up to Iowa!
"Wall Street needs to get its snout out of the trough."
Very proud pro-marriage stance.
"We need a POTUS who will stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel."
Believes in a balanced budget.
"We followed Greece into democracy, but we won't follow them into bankruptcy."
Talked in 2 lines about the jobs report, but did not offer job creation solutions.
All in all, I liked him. I wasn't wowed by him. But I liked him. He's not a bad choice.
Jay Sekulow was next. Another talking head type. He was focused on legal issues and the Middle East. He used one of my least favorite phrases, "Only in America." There is nothing I hate more than people who use that phrase implying that only in the US will you find hard working, free, entrepreneurs, who are self-made men. Every time I hear that expression I think, "You don't get out much, do you?" There's a lot of Australians, Japanese, Brits, Czechs, Italians, and many many other nationalities who should be offended by that expression.
And then it was Mitt time. And oh boy was it ever.
He did not touch on health care or any moral issues. And religion was not brought up once.
|Hey! Down in front!!|
Another interesting note, like Trump, the crowd of picture takers never dwindles while he spoke. No other speakers had that happen.
He did receive a few standing ovations throughout his speech. But it is what happened as he left the stage that surprised me the most! All of the previous speakers had received a standing ovation, and quickly left the room. But as Mitt tried to leave the stage the audience rushed him! Tons of people came rushing to the front of the ballroom to take his picture and shake his hand! No one, not even Trump (granted he did have some huge NY muscle bodyguards nearby) got a stage rush like that!
It must be said though, that no one was faster than my dad in getting to the stage. Did I mention that there are certain members of my family that are on a first name friendly basis with Mitt? (Note: I am not one of them. I've met him quite briefly, but never really met him.) My dad broke through the crowd to be one of this first up to him, and even got a hug, and a quick conversation while the mob took over!
And some more of the Romney mob (to get these pictures I actually jumped up on the stage. There was no hope for a good picture on my little point and shoot camera. Hundreds of cameras were flashing in the dark room. And there was constantly jostling and pushing in the crowd.) Keep in mind this was all happening at the front of the room, while a speaker (I think it was Ralph Reed) was trying to calm the room and introduce the next speaker.
So what poor, unlucky speaker had to follow that rock star? None other than Ron Paul himself. Again, as stated previously, I really wanted to hear him speak. I was open minded to him, and wanted to give him the chance to convert me.
As I said with Pawlenty, I was looking for the it factor. The thing that says, "THIS PERSON HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO SIT IN THE MOST POWERFUL OFFICE IN THE WORLD." Ron Paul is not that person. He is not a commanding presence. He has no charisma. He even looks sickly on stage. And I just realized he said so few things of interest, that I didn't take one note on what he did say. I just remember him talking about delivering babies. For the life of me I do not see what it is about this man that spurred so many grassroots efforts on his behalf.
He is smart, and he is moderately well-spoken. But he does not belong in the Oval Office, he belongs in a professor's office, or writing books or columns. But he does not scream Commander in Chief material.
I just don't get the appeal.
There were a few more speakers to follow him, but no candidates. My family (with about 2/3rds of the remaining room) quickly got up and left at this point.
|The baby sis, Mom (with uncharacteristically straightened hair), and me (I had been up since 5am, and it was about 11 pm).|
|Mom, Dad, Steph|
|Is it just me or does my skirt look like a hotel carpet?|
If you managed to read this far, I am absolutely shocked. Thanks.