US election 2012: Why Mitt still needs to polish his sales pitch
Clint Eastwood's bizarre "empty chair" ramblings at the Republican Party Convention may have stolen the headlines, writes John Avlon. But beyond the farce, Mitt Romney still needs to prove he has the policies for presidency.
Team Romney apparently considers the unruly populist force a problem when it comes to winning a general election. It's no coincidence that Sarah Palin was not seen within 100 feet of a podium this week – Fox News even dropped her commentary during the convention.
Instead, every step was focused on warming up the Republican brand – not changing any of the policies, mind you – but softening the edges with a human touch. And so there were testimonials all emphasising that Mitt Romney is a man of compassion and faith. His photogenic family was captured in a video diary that communicated the genuinely sweet love story of Ann and Mitt. All of this is admirable, but little of it addresses what he would actually do as president.
But the prescription for this revival was thin – more a repudiation of Obama's real and imagined sins than a proposal for specific new policies. Foreign affairs received only a few sentences. The middle class was assured of Mitt's empathy but without actionable plans to alleviate their struggle.
In the place of answers there was only an empty chair.
Beneath all the convention bunting and bumper-stickers, beyond the carefully re-crafted biography of a candidate, there is an obligation to propose as well as oppose. And that was missing from Mitt's big night.
His sales pitch still needs more substance.
Read it at The Telegraph: