NEW YORK TIMES
In the speech that was supposed to seal the deal with a divided public, the man who sheltered his money in foreign lands went on about his “belief in America”; it sounded like the chords of a flat song. The substance of his speech was the rhetorical equivalent of the elevator music the nominee loves. This was President Platitude, the aspirant. ... At the end of the night, the great mystery remained: not just who is Mitt Romney, but how does he cut taxes, raise or maintain defense spending, save Medicare and do it all without adding to a burden of debt that may outlive Romney himself. He gave no answer, because the real substance of his campaign is a construct built on a fantasy. Now he has to sell it.
MITT’S MUSHY MOMENT
NEW YORK TIMES
On the stage last night, a candidate who needed to be “humanized” was wet with humanity. But I’m not sure how much ground Romney, soggy or not, stood to gain on that front. He’s probably never going to match Obama’s likeability. He’s definitely never going to match the historic arc and emotional resonance of Obama’s political career, one that validated the American dream in a special way and suggested crucial progress in racial reconciliation. ... From the beginning of Romney’s campaign, his advisers conceded that if the 2012 election turned into a popularity contest, he’d lose. But in a referendum on Americans’ economic welfare, he had a solid shot at victory. That remains the case. And the smartest and most powerful parts of Romney’s speech weren’t those torn from a family scrapbook or ripe for a Hallmark card.