Anna Sale is the host and managing editor of Death, Sex & Money, a biweekly interview podcast at WNYC. A veteran public media reporter, Anna covered politics for years, including the 2013 New York City mayoral race, the 2012 presidential campaign, and the statehouse beat in Connecticut and West Virginia. She is a frequent fill-in host for The Brian Lehrer Show and The Leonard Lopate Show and has contributed to This American Life, NPR, Marketplace, Studio 360, PBS Newshour, and Slate.
RNC Dispatch: What We Learned From Mitt Romney's Acceptance Speech
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Mitt Romney is coming for you, disappointed Obama voters. The Paul Ryan pick looks to have consolidated the base around the Romney ticket, and he’s ready to make a play for the persuadable middle. “Hope and change had a powerful appeal,” Romney said in his nominating speech. “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.
At the same time, the Romney campaign is doubling down on the narrative of American decline under Obama. “To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right,” Romney said. “I am running for president to help create a better future.”
Romney’s saying the M-word now, but he’s still downplaying its difference. “We were Mormons,” he said bluntly in his speech, and explained that there weren’t many in the Michigan neighborhood where he grew up. But, he said, “my friends cared more about what sports team we followed than which church we went to.”
The Romney campaign knows where he’s weak. Before Romney’s speech, the campaign rolled out a powerful series of testimonials aimed at answering his vulnerabilities. A parade of business owners testified to the ways that Bain Capital and Romney had helped them. Romney’s lieutenant governor ticked off policy highlights from his tenure in the Massachusetts statehouse. And, most strikingly, after downplaying his religion through the campaign, fellow Mormons took the stage and offered moving accounts of Romney’s service and intimate counsel during times of trial.