The final night of the Republican convention saw Mitt Romney’s table-setting speech, an improv act from Clint Eastwood, and some more jabs at the Democrats.
The headline event of the evening was Romney’s 45-minute acceptance address after a series of speeches and vignettes that talked about the candidate’s personal life.
Romney stuck to three themes that were consistent throughout the convention: America, the presidency, and jobs.
He also made the Reaganesque argument that voters should consider if they are better off now than they were in 2008, with Barack Obama as the current president.
“You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him,” Romney said. The vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, made a similar argument in his speech on Wednesday night.
Romney was also consistent with a campaign theme of turning the economy around.
“What America needs is jobs. Lots of jobs,” Romney said. “I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one.”
Other speakers on Thursday night included Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Newt Gingrich. All talked about the need for American leadership under Romney.
But Clint Eastwood’s appearance as the “mystery speaker” generated the most buzz online, including a tidal wave of tweets.
Eastwood was identified by Thursday afternoon as the mystery guest, after rumors floated around about Donald Trump, Tim Tebow, or Sarah Palin as possible speakers.
Eastwood’s 11-minute appearance, done without a teleprompter and aided by an empty chair as a prop, was a hit on the convention floor.
The online debate was heated, as supporters and critics battled over Eastwood’s imaginary dialogue with Barack Obama.
The one thing that is indisputable is that Eastwood’s speech/appearance generated a ton of buzz, as it was the top trend Friday morning on Twitter.
Convention dodges four storms
As notable as the Romney and Eastwood moments were, the convention also avoided four moments that could have been distractions.
The biggest was Hurricane Isaac, which did cause a Monday cancellation of convention events. But Isaac headed west of Tampa and it had a minimal impact on central Florida.
Isaac also led to a cancellation of Donald Trump’s appearance on Monday night, as the real estate mogul was set to pop up on the convention floor in another impromptu moment.
Instead, Trump flew back from Florida and spent his time engaged in a media war with Arianna Huffington.
Isaac also forced Vice President Joe Biden to cancel two days of appearances in Tampa in an effort to distract the media from the convention.
And Sarah Palin never showed in Tampa, after she was left off the speakers list and said she wasn’t attending the convention. There were reports that her PAC had reserved hotel space in Tampa, but Palin spent her time campaigning out West.
The next big question is what will the Democrats do next in Charlotte?
The Obama camp had planned a low-key event as the president and vice president accept their nominations.
The GOP benefited from a contested primary race and rampant vice presidential speculation to have a convention full of recognizable names.
A partial list of speakers at the Democratic convention is out. Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, will be the keynote speaker, while Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, one of Chris Christie’s biggest critics, is also on the podium.
Bill Clinton will give the speech nominating Obama, but Hillary Clinton will be overseas on a diplomatic mission.
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