Politics Explained: Romney and Obama’s Convention Speeches Compared

The national party conventions are the most prime opportunity for a candidate to make his/her case for the presidency. The national news networks are finally all tuned in and giving their undivided attention. For the first time, they have a national audience, and they, the candidates, get to set the agenda. This moment was very important for both the President and Governor Romney but for different reasons.

Politics explained: Romney vs. Obama

Different Conventions, Different Speeches, Similar Goals

President Obama needed to stand up and convince America that he deserves four more years. He needed to explain why his leadership, that we’ve all seen, will be good for another term and then go on to explain what he’d do with it.

Governor Romney on the other hand had the task of explaining why he, the man without four years of presidential experience, would be that much better than the current option. He needed to lay out his plan for America’s future and show that America is not currently on the right course.

We’ll start with looking at Romney’s speech since he gave his first, and part of Obama’s speech was in response to Romney’s.

In the most basic terms, Romney’s speech was a success. Something that I’ve been noticing about Romney recently is that he is making his case for the presidency by acting presidential. After being introduced, Romney walked in from the back of the hall. To many observers, it was very akin to the way in which the president enters the House of Representatives, from the back, just before delivering the State of the Union address. There was a lot of hand shaking, hugs to friends, and one slightly awkward moment when Romney had to ask a lady not to touch his face because he was afraid of her ruining his stage make-up (before you laugh about him wearing make up, remember it was stage make up that helped JFK win in the presidential debates against Nixon. The debates were televised for the first time, and Nixon refused to put on make up…JFK looked better).

Politics Explained: Romney at Convention

Romney delivering speech to RNC

Then once behind the podium, he spoke to his purpose. Remember, that purpose was to make his case for the presidency. He started by first making the case that people should be considering a change in leadership. He asked the country to really ask themselves, “are you better than you were 4 years ago?” He supplied evidence to the fact that they weren’t. After getting people to consider new leadership, he explained what that meant. He laid out a five point plan to economic and job recovery which included energy independence by 2020 and stronger trade relations abroad. He ended by expressing his love for America, and all that politician fluff.

Exactly one week later, Obama spoke to his party. His entrance was a lot different, instead of coming from the back of a well lit room, he came from back stage of a dark room under a spotlight to the tune of a Coldplay song. The Obama people are really good at theatrical drama and evoking the most emotional response from their audience. This is no exception.

Politics Explained: Obama at convention applauding supporters

Obama applauds supporters

The speech itself, again, should have been aimed at laying out his plan for his next term as a way of convincing people that he deserves more time. He started with an acknowledgement of the historic nature of this election. He then went on to attack the speeches given by the republicans, throwing in the word God at every opportunity, just in case people still remembered how the DNC almost removed all instances of God from their party platform. He then laid out a long list of democratic party principles. He said that they could add thousands of jobs in multiple areas, and the only thing that he needs in order to do that is our help.

So what do we learn from this? Well, we just get confirmation of what we already know. This is a fundamental difference, in my opinion, between the Romney campaign and Obama campaign. Romney speaks to the country as a whole and offers a plan to help the whole; Obama seeks to divide and conquer.

Romney Speaks to the NAACP

Romney Speaks to the NAACP

Another great example of Romney doing well what he did at the convention was during his speech to the NAACP. There is an organization which is made up almost entirely of Obama supporters, but Romney went to them anyway. He realized that if he is going to be President of the United States then he will be president of all Americans, not just Republicans. He went into that meeting with the NAACP, and gave a very similar speech to those he gives all over the country. He was even booed at one point for saying some unpopular things. But the thing is, Romney will not pander. He will not change his message because of the color of people’s skin or their social standing. He is to be a president of all Americans.

Politics explained: Obama campaigns with strategy of divide and conquer

Obama seeks to divide and conquer

But Obama knows that in a system of winner take all, he doesn’t need all of America to agree with him, heck he doesn’t even need half of America to agree with him. He just needs more people to agree with him than with Romney. And so how does he do it?  Obama’s strategy has been to divide the people then gather up enough groups to secure his victory and save the needy and oppressed, as he feels that he is doing. This is seen in his divisive rhetoric against the business class of the country. He rallies the poor and middle class around the idea that the rich Americans don’t really care about the country or people who are under them. He attacks the successful for the purpose of gaining the support of those who want a share of their profits.

That’s what he did at the convention. If you listen, you’ll hear that he was speaking directly to his base. He was preaching to the choir to get them to sing louder. This wasn’t a speech for the undecided voter, like Romney’s was. If it was, he would have given more concrete ideas, and not abstract hopes and dreams for the future.

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Politics Explained: Romney & Bain Capital

Video

If you haven’t heard, quite recently, the Obama campaign released an attack on Mitt Romney which was then spread throughout the main stream media ( i.e. CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc.). The implication was that Romney lied about when he left his company Bain Capital. Romney has held to the claim that he left in 1999 to go run the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, but the Obama campaign presented what they saw as evidence to the fact that he was there 3 years longer.

There is a video posted at the very end of this post which is a report from CNN (which normally is seen to have a democrat bias) that debunks those lies which were spread by the Obama campaign. If you already know the back story, go ahead and skip to the end to just watch the video. If you still aren’t sure what this is all about, keep reading.

So what? Why should we care? Well, the Obama camp (“camp” being jargon for campaign) wants to use Romney’s time at Bain Capital to paint the picture of a greedy business man more interested in money in his pocket than creating jobs for American workers. Before I go much further let me explain briefly what exactly goes on at Bain Capital.

Bain Capital is a company that specializes in taking over failing companies and making them profitable. Kind of like flipping a house. You find a house that is run down, you buy it at a low price, you put time, effort, and money into it, then sell it hoping to make a profit. Bain Capital does just that, but instead of flipping houses, they’re flipping businesses.

If you’ve ever watched any of those house flipping reality TV shows, you will know that flipping a house is not always successful. Sometimes it happens that the house simply has far more problems than could be seen on the outside. Other times it happens that those doing the flipping really have no idea what to do and make a series of dumb decisions which leave them with leave them losing money. The Obama camp would like you to believe that Romney is like that bickering couple on TV that decides to knock down a wall that turns out to be a supporting wall, and in doing so, the entire second floor comes crashing down. It’s one thing when that happens to a house, but it’s another when the damage results in hundreds of workers losing jobs.

So back to this allegation about Romney being at Bain longer than he has claimed. If that is true, then the Obama camp will be able to point to Bain Capital failures and blame Romney. They are already trying to portray him as the dumb house flipper who haphazardly knocks down walls, not caring about the consequences. This would simply give more ammunition.

Romney, on the other hand, would like you to look at his record with the point of view that, “You know what? Business ventures aren’t always successful.” It is true that not every single investment made by the Bain Capital, under the direction of Mitt Romney, has turned out to be successful. He claims that it’s not because he was incompetent but that, just like some houses have more problems than can be noticed until you rip up the floor boards, there are unseen factors that have made it impossible to turn a company around to make it profitable. You have to understand, it’s not like Romney took successful businesses and drove them into the ground. These companies were on the verge of destruction and he with the resources of his company would come in and try to save it. It didn’t always work, but most of the time it did.

So that’s the essence of the debate. Obama wants you to believe that Romney is a greedy, heartless, Mr. Moneybags type capitalist, who will run a company into the ground just to make a buck. Romney would like you to believe that in the instances where the companies did fail, it wasn’t due to a lack of trying and in fact he worked until the bitter end to save the companies and the jobs of those employed.

Before I conclude, just one more thing about this Bain Capital business. The debated date of departure from Bain Capital revolves around Mitts decision to leave the company to go run the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City which were on the verge of bankruptsy after a huge scandal. When Mitt went to Salt Lake, he did it, not for profit, but out of a sense of duty. You hear them mention that on this CNN video. Romney was putting behind a very successful part of his carrear so that he could turn the Olympics into a successful even not only for Salt Lake City, but for America and the World. Not only did he go, but he succeeded. This man is a patriot and he’s good at what he does.

Romney with Olympic torch

Now who can think of a more run down corporation than the government of the United States of America. Who better to turn this around then a man who made a career out of taking ineffective businesses and making them profitable. Remember, profitable means more jobs. The more money that comes in, the more jobs that can be created so that even more money can be made.

Obama may attack Romney’s time at Bain Capital and refer to it as Romney’s greatest weakness, but I along with many other Americans see it as one of his greatest assets.

To end, I want to point out that this lie spread by the Obama camp is another effort to try and show the voters that Romney is a shady character that does not want to tell you the whole truth. Unfortunately every example I use to try and prove he is an honest man can be twisted by the other side to show that he is corrupt, so I’ll leave you with this thought. In his recent address to the NAACP, Romney stated, “I believe that if you truly understood who I am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of… American families, you would vote for me for President.” I also believe that to be true.

Now for the video where CNN points out the lies coming from the Obama Campaing.

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Politics Explained: Taxing the Rich

President Obama has been travelling around recently pushing what he has called the Buffett Rule on taxes. This basically is a call to raise taxes on the rich. The name comes from billionaire Warren Buffett who himself thinks it is unfair that he is paying at a lower tax rate than his secretary (though no doubt he is paying exponentially more in total). Obama just latches on to this rhetoric like ant to a sugar encrusted stain on your counter.

Obama will be running a campaign on the issue of economic equality. He feels that the wealth gap is widening and he wants to level the playing field by penalizing the rich (this is labeled by conservatives as class warfare). These sound like good things. I mean, who doesn’t want the poor to be more successful? Who wouldn’t like some more free stuff from the government? And if you want more free stuff, then by all means vote for Obama. But let me tell you, that free stuff comes with a price, and that price is economic hardship for all.

In his most recent State of the Union Address, President Obama called for taxes to be raised to at least 30% on all those who make more than one-million dollars a year. This is part of a campaign to end the Bush Era Tax Cuts. Currently, depending on how the money is acquired, millionaires are paying anywhere as low as 14% to around that 30% in taxes. Obama wants to raise that so every millionaire is paying 30%. But they can afford it right? I mean these guys are filthy rich right? Why not give up some of their money to help us? Why can’t they just be willing to make a little more of a sacrifice which even isn’t that bad in order to benefit the country? Why? Because more money to the government means more money wasted.

Money wasted? What are you talking about? Obama has done good things with our tax dollars!…Umm…consider this. Take a look at this chart:

Politics Explained: The National Debt

I know this image is small, but this is showing just how much money has been added to the national debt by our dear Barack Obama. We were not in good shape when Obama took office and then we were only at $9 trillion. Can you fathom the significance of what was just said. If you told someone 4 years ago, “At least we are only $9 trillion in debt” they would think you’ve gone mad! But now look. In less than one term as president, Barack Obama has close to doubled the national debt. Doubled! But it was worth it, you say. Really? What has Obama done with this six plus trillion dollars? Are your streets paved with gold? Cause mine sure aren’t. Fine, enough with the facetiousness, but what about the economy? Sure the unemployment rate is dropping but here’s a little fact the White House won’t tell you. They stop counting people in the unemployment numbers when they stop looking for work. They don’t count people who have given up because it’s simply too difficult to find a job. Okay, I know some people reading this are going crazy now. Fine, I’ll give it to you that the raw number of jobs has slightly increased as of late. But after 3 years and $7  trillion I would sure hope so! The argument here isn’t that government spending can’t have a positive impact on the economy. The argument here is that government spending is inefficient and money in the hands of individuals would be far better than in the hands of politicians looking to give hand outs.

Let’s think about this. Say we take a wealthy man who makes, let’s say $10 million a year. Okay so this guy is pretty loaded. He’s no Donald Trump, but this guy doesn’t really want for anything. According to Obama’s new plan, this man would pay $3 million in taxes! But now let’s think. What is the government going to do with this $3 million dollars? Well, if it’s anything like the $7 trillion it’s already had to borrow, it’s not going to do much. [Side note: Keep in mind that the national deficit number does not show how much money is spent, just the amount of money borrowed to keep spending. So it spends every penny of your tax dollars PLUS $7 trillion more]. That money would probably go to funding some socialized health care bill, or go to support some green energy plant that goes bankrupt like the rest, or on a less cynical note, maybe it goes to creating another branch of a government agency, thus creating more jobs. Well that’s good right? More jobs? In this case no, because what are people producing in these government agencies? What goes on there that stimulates the economy. Short of providing a pay check, absolutely nothing.

Now let’s continue our hypothetical and look at our millionaire. What could he do with that $3 million? Well he could put it directly into the economy. First off, if this guy is making lots of money, it is likely that he owns some sort of company. With $3 million, he could expand his business, open up new branches in new places. Do you know who then runs those new branches? New employees! And what are they doing? Well a lot more than wrapping us up in red tape at the DMV. They are coming up with some sort of product or service that people want and will pay for. People get their product or service, new employees get a nice pay check, rich man gets even more rich! Wait a minute, why do we care about the rich guy getting more rich? Because then he can go and spend it! You know all of those specialty products that are made by small business but are too expensive to buy? You know, those like gourmet cheese, or engraved crystal glass ware, or strawberries dipped in 50 types of chocolate. Well, rich people buy that stuff. But why do I care if the rich people can eat weird looking cheese?! Because when they buy it, the small business owner who makes it gets money, then small business owners can become big business owners and guess what, open a new store and hire new people. Do you see the cycle here?

So next time Obama cites Warren Buffett’s poor secretary (and believe me he will) think about this. Instead of raising the taxes on the rich, let’s cut useless government spending and lower taxes on everyone. Let’s put money in the hands of the people, not the government.

Mitt Romney, in a Wisconsin campaign speech said, “The Declaration of Independence guarentees the pursuit of happiness, not the outcome… this is a land of opportunities, [not handouts]” You would be amazed what things we could accomplish if we didn’t have the government trying to dictate our lives.

For more politics explained on this issue, see an earlier blog post called The Specter of Success.” Also, for more information presented in plain, clear English, be sure to “like” our Facebook page by clicking this convenient link. You can also follow me on Twitter @PPLvI.