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NEW: MA Political Experts Give the Grades to the GOP Convention

Friday, August 31, 2012


Top Massachusetts Democratic and Republican political experts, pundits and politicians give their grades on the Republican Convention, Mitt Romney and the biggest blunders.

How did Romney perform?

Mitt Romney's speech was somewhat uneven. It was very personal at times and made for those independents watching on television as opposed to those at the convention. I believe he accomplished what he needed to in the speech. I will give it a solid B. Tim Cahill, former Treasurer of MA and GoLocalWorcester MINDSETTER™

Great close in the acceptance speech. "A" Sandy Williamson, GOP Activist

The speech earns a "B minus/C plus". There's substance and knowledge in there but they are like islands in a large ocean of words. If Mitt becomes President, and he has a very good chance to do so,
you won't be staying up late to listen to his speeches. Churchill he's not. Tom Finneran, Former MA Speaker of the House

Mitt knocked it out of the park by reviewing the facts about Obamas failures as president and his own successes at Bain placing the blame on President Obama's lack of qualifications for the job when he was elected. The take away from the speech for me was "Its about jobs, stupid", 12 Million new jobs. Chris Pinto, Worcester GOP Leader

The speech was the same old rhetoric we always hear. It honestly was nothing we haven't heard already. He did have some more chutzpa than he usually does but this was not a redefinition or a game changer. C-  David LeBoeuf, leading Democratic Organizer in Central MA

What was the highlight of the Convention?

No single moment, but they did a great job introducing viewers to the Romneys and the Ryans. "A" ; Honorable mention: Clint's comedy partner - "the empty chair" with a potty mouth. Sandy Williamson, Central MA GOP Activist

The fact that the Liberty Republicans did get a hearing. At least the GOP gave the appearance that they care about the democratic process- which is doubtful seeing as they strip duly elected delegates of their credentials and are promoting voter suppression laws across the nation.  David LeBoeuf, leading Democratic Organizer in Central MA

The highlight of the convention was a tie: Clint Eastwood's speech (at least parts of it) and the picture of Mitt Romney in his biographical video signing the School Building Assistance legislation in Massachusetts with the then State Treasurer looking over his shoulder. A true bipartisan moment!  Tim Cahill, former Treasurer of MA and GoLocalWorcester MINDSETTER™

Taken as a whole, the numerous stories of successful turnarounds of states that were on the brink of financial collapse by their republican Governors would be a high point for me. But the single speech other than the nominees that was most moving was the one given by African American Mormon Utah congressional candidate Mia Love and her best line was "This is the America we know because we built it." Chris Pinto, Worcester GOP Leader

This is easy. Paul Ryan's speech on Wednesday evening was a homerun. He had a mammoth task--introducing himself to the people of the other 49 states beyond Wisconsin, critiquing President Obama's track record, and selling the Romney, Ryan, Republican plan for America. He did it with humor, passion, and conviction. He is the right guy for Romney. Tom Finneran, Former MA Speaker of the House

That it is over. Paul Giorgio, Democratic National Committeeman 

How Did Paul Ryan Perform?

Paul Ryan outperformed my expectations. Our future vice president begins his speech by saying "I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this." He set a positive tone for an America under new leadership and then talked at length of the plethora of failures under President Obama. He was, as they say on the other side of the pond, "Spot On, SPOT ON!!" Chris Pinto, Worcester GOP Leader

Paul Ryan did an excellent job in getting his conservative message across, came off as human and made the case for the Republican party as the alternative to the Obama administration. He also performed under enormous pressure. For that I would give him a B+. Tim Cahill, former Treasurer of MA and GoLocalWorcester MINDSETTER™

The speech earns an "A". He was the grown-up, telling us it's time to close the open bar. It might not be popular but it needs to be done. We're already in for a horrendous hangover. Tom Finneran, Former MA Speaker of the House

Awful. His speech was full outright lies- like the factory he said closed under Obama but actually closed before Obama even took office. Ryan needs to stop using the lie about the decrease in funding in Medicare to hide from his plan to abolish Medicare as we know it. F-  David LeBoeuf, leading Democratic Organizer in Central MA

Knocked it out of the park! "A+" [He can do the math! VP debate will be a TKO, early.] Sandy Williamson, GOP Activist

What was the Low Part of the Convention?

Amazing but true. There was no "lowlight", no major blunder. There have been no memorable demonstrations, no street violence, and no upstaging of the candidates themselves. Congressman Akin and his now infamous comments have NOT been the topic of the week. The convention may have lacked drama and spontaneity but with the demise of party bosses and smoke-filled rooms came the simultaneous rise of scripts. Predictable speech-mongering is not necessarily bad for these things. It certainly could have been worse, a la Chicago, 1968. Tom Finneran, Former MA Speaker of the House

What the heck was the deal with Calista and Newt. Newt should have gone solo. He is the best "attack dog" they have. "C-" Sandy Williamson, GOP Activist

Clint Eastwood- that routine was not only horrific it was absolutely disrespectful and ruined the decorum of the convention. What the hell were they thinking? It was a national embarrassment. David LeBoeuf, leading Democratic Organizer in Central MA

The low point was also a tie between the speeches of Chris Christie and Rick Santorum. The "tough guy from New Jersey" shtick is getting old for me. He also forgot that there is no "I" in team. Santorum is simply too stern and self-righteous for his own good. And for this country. Tim Cahill, former Treasurer of MA and GoLocalWorcester MINDSETTER™

RNC Rules changes that ensure that the GOP establishment can exclude the Grass Roots activists at future conventions. Chris Pinto, Worcester GOP Leader

The unscripted speech by Clint Eastwood was the low point. Why do you script everyone except Dirty Harry. Hey m maybe Charlton Heston wasn't available. He embarrassed himself and the Republicans., and pushed Romney's speech into a later time slot. Paul Giorgio, Democratic National Committeeman


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