So, to review: the Republican National Convention ended with a confusing, embarrassing routine by Clint Eastwood, followed by a barn-burner of a speech by Mark Rubio, followed by a safe, well delivered, and, to anyone paying attention, massively dishonest
acceptance speech by Mitt Romney.
If you're wondering what that's all about, here's my theory.
Let's assume, for now, that the GOP is looking at the same analysis of the polls as I am
. Barring another war, an economic implosion, or some other catastrophe, Obama is a two-to-one favorite to win re-election. The GOP needs a game-changer in order to turn this around. How, then, do you accomplish this?
You accomplish this by doing something bold and daring (or, if you prefer, crazy and stupid). You bring in a huge draw like Clint Eastwood to get otherwise disinterested voters watching. And then you follow with your strongest speaker. And then you follow with your candidate.
Honestly, I'm impressed. Clint Eastwood was a freakshow, but I think disinterested voters probably stayed for Rubio and Romney, and I think that might have made an impression. Whether it's enough to be a game changer is up in the air - we'll know better after the post-convention polls come out. But I think it's safe to say that if Mitt Romney wins this election, it was because he followed after Clint Eastwood and Mark Rubio tonight.
(It follows, by the way, that I do not believe that Romney is still pursuing a crank-the-base strategy; he's done consolidating his base, and he's going for uncommitted voters.)