Traditionally, the national party conventions in the United States serve to nominate a party’s candidate formally for election to the presidency. Presentations made during a national convention rally the party faithful to step up their efforts to elect their candidate, and inform the voting populace of the policies expected when one party and its ticket prevails over the other on Election Day.
But, much more was expected of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Plagued by attacks from the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign, the Republican Party and the Romney campaign were required to provide clarity to the American public on several fronts.
Through themes selected for each day of the Convention - “We Can Do Better,” “We Built It,” “We Can Change It,” and “We Believe in America” - the party sought to convey its ideals, showcasing party leaders who spoke of their diverse American experiences as immigrants, small business owners, African Americans, Hispanics and women. (Even Clint Eastwood appeared perhaps in an effort to court the senior vote.)
Speakers criticized the policies of the Obama Administration and defended Mitt Romney’s work at Bain Capital and with the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Through these speakers, the Party attempted to re-package the identity of the “Grand Old Party,” and to convey that its ideals do not alienate seniors or those that are not part of the “1 percent,” but rather, to demonstrate that its policies foster success and would restore American greatness worldwide.
In an opinion piece dated August 31st, 2012, in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Mitt's Speech Gamble”, the author indicates that it was also important for Mitt Romney to demonstrate that he is not “heartless, scary or extreme.” Ann Romney, one of their sons, Craig, as well as representatives from the Church of Latter Day Saints, highlighted the candidate’s devotion to family, faith and community.
Some indicate that in all this re-packaging, real substance was sacrificed. However, Mitt Romney did outline an approach to address what most voters consider the critical issues facing America today - jobs and the economy. During his speech, excerpted here, Romney set forth the following five point plan to create 12 million new jobs in four years:
- First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil, coal, gas and nuclear and renewables.
- Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
- Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
- Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
- And fifth, we will champion small businesses, America's engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Thus, one could argue that the various objectives of the Convention were addressed. It is now up to the American voters to determine whether the objectives will result in a victory for the Romney campaign and the Republican Party in November.